View this slideshow for picture highlights of the Louis Riel Day 2014 ceremony
at Queen’s Park in Toronto on November 14, 2014.
Louis Riel was the great Métis leader executed by the Canadian government for leading the Northwest Resistance in defense of Métis rights and the Métis way-of-life. Every year Louis Riel Day is held to remember what Riel sacrificed, and renews the commitment to completing his work. The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) celebrates Louis Riel Day to recognize the many contributions of the Métis to Canada and to highlight the continuing struggles that Métis continue to face. “We celebrate this day to recognize our ongoing struggle to fulfill Louis Riel’s dream that the Métis take their rightful place within Confederation,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski.
Métis communities across Ontario hold Louis Riel Day events and a provincial ceremony took place in Toronto at the Northwest Rebellion monument on the grounds of the provincial Legislature. The provincial government was represented at the Toronto ceremony by the Honourable David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “It’s important for all Ontarians to acknowledge Louis Riel’s legacy, as well as recognize the unique history, culture and identity of the Métis people,” Minister Zimmer stated. The Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Ontario Legislature also brought remarks: “I, being of Métis descent,” stated Speaker Levac, “am always excited to have Métis heritage events here at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Each event furthers cultural knowledge of the Métis people in Ontario and continues to promote strong dialogue between the Métis Nation and First Nations people; and the Province of Ontario.”
The remarks from Minister Zimmer and Speaker Levac demonstrate the positive relationship the MNO has built with Ontario through the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement, which was renewed earlier this year. “The government’s willingness to sign the Framework Agreement,” stated President Lipinski, “signaled there was a new way of doing business with the Métis and that the process of reconciliation had started.”
President Lipinski was also joined by Members of the Provincial Parliament, including Norm Miller, PC Aboriginal Affairs Critic and Lisa Gretzky, NDP MPP for Windsor West. Other speakers at the event included MNO Chair France Picotte, MNO Vice-chair Sharon McBride, Jean Teillet, a Métis lawyer and great niece of Louis Riel, Senator Joseph Poitras and Alex Young, who represented Métis youth.
More information on Louis Riel Day is available on the MNO website at: /news–media/news/2014-louis-riel-day-events
Speakers and dignitaries at Queen’s Park Louis Riel Day Ceremony (l-r) Alex Young, Métis youthrepresentative, Senator Rene Gravelle, Lisa Gretzky, NDP MMP, MNO Secretary-Treasurer Tim Pile, Jean Teillet, great niece of Louis Riel, PC MPP Norm Miller, Honourable David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Reta Gordon, MNO President Gary Lipinski, Senator Verna Brunelle-Porter, MNO Chair France Picotte and MNO Vice-Chair Sharon McBride