Every November 16th, Métis Across the Homeland come together to Commemorate Louis Riel Day. 2010 marks the 125th anniversary of the execution of the Métis leader who was hanged by the Canadian Government on November 16, 1885 for leading the Northwest Rebellion.
It is a solemn day of commemoration for a man who paid the ultimate price for his efforts to secure justice for Métis people and protect their way of life. But as Métis Nation of Ontario President Gary Lipinski points out, Riel’s fight for justice on the battlefield is perhaps best remembered, but it is important also to recognize the political gains he made through the establishment of a Provisional Government in Manitoba.
Riel’s success in negotiating Manitoba into Confederation and the protection of minority language rights laid the groundwork for his vision of a Canada that included the Métis Nation and protected Métis rights. President Lipinski believes that all Canadians have benefitted from Louis Riel’s efforts to secure and affirm Métis rights in Canada.
Both the Ontario and Federal Governments have declared 2010 the Year of the Métis. The year long celebration of Métis history and culture will include community celebrations and events, cross-cultural exchanges, educational forums for the public-at-large and re-enactments of historic events in the history of the Métis Nation.
Watch this site for more information about the Métis Nation of Ontario’s plans for an extra special Louis Rield Day celebration on November 16, 2010 in Toronto and throughout the province.