Statement by Minister Rickford on Louis Riel Day
Today, Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs issued the following statement on Louis Riel Day:
"Today we commemorate the legacy of Louis Riel and his important role in Métis history and the formation of Canada. On this date in 1885, Riel was executed for leading the Northwest Resistance in defence of Métis rights.
In 2009, Canada reversed the conviction of Louis Riel for high treason and recognized his role as a prominent Métis leader and founder of Manitoba, and as a Father of Confederation. Riel negotiated the entry of Manitoba into Confederation on July 15, 1870 and was elected to the House of Commons three times.
Louis Riel was a central figure in the confederation of Canada and the protection of the rights and culture of Métis and Francophones in Canada. His work to protect minority language rights helped to lay the groundwork for the multicultural Ontario that exists today.
Louis Riel's contributions to nation building continue to provide a foundation for the recognition and respect for the diverse history, culture, and identity of Métis people. Our government understands the importance of working with Ontario Métis and other Indigenous peoples to build opportunities to share in the prosperity that all Ontarians have come to expect.
Celebrating Louis Riel Day today acknowledges the significant achievements of Louis Riel and the continuing contributions of Métis people to Canada and Ontario."