Louis Riel Honoured at BC Legislature

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Métis flag raised outside the people’s house to honour Louis Riel Day

Métis and provincial government representatives gathered on the front lawn of the B.C. Parliament Buildings to proclaim Louis Riel Day and celebrate the contributions of the Métis people to British Columbia.

“As a proud member of the Métis community, I was honoured to watch the flag rise in front of the people’s house,” said Carole James, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance. “By proclaiming Nov. 16 as Louis Riel Day, we celebrate the importance of Louis Riel’s personal sacrifice and Métis culture. We are committed to working together to make life better for Métis people throughout British Columbia.”

James was joined by Clara Morin-Dal Col, president of Métis Nation BC (MNBC), MNBC board directors, veterans and Métis community members to witness the Métis flag being raised in a sunrise ceremony.

“As a celebration of our shared history, Louis Riel Day is an important day for all Métis people in B.C.,” said Morin-Dal Col. “Proclaiming this day and marking it with a flag raising in front of the legislature recognizes our distinct culture, heritage and history of Métis people throughout British Columbia.”

By proclaiming Louis Riel Day in B.C., the Province acknowledges the importance of Riel as a foremost historical Métis leader and the historical wrongs committed.

Louis David Riel (1844-85) was a political leader and a champion of Métis rights and culture. His commitment was so strong that, in the end, he gave up his life in defense of the rights of the Métis.

“The many Métis people who call B.C. home are an important part of the fabric of Indigenous culture and communities in this province,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “I’m delighted to mark Louis Riel Day. Listening to and honouring the voices of Métis people is a crucial step on our shared journey toward true reconciliation.”

The B.C. government has supported regional engagement sessions to help create a path to reconciliation for Metis people in B.C., and focused on children and families, education and training, economic opportunities, health, housing, justice and wildfire stewardship.

Quick Facts:

  • The Métis people emerged as a distinct nation on the plains of western North America during the late 1700s, developing a culture that is not European or First Nations, but a fusion of the two cultures.
  • The 2016 census shows that B.C. is home to nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis people, an increase of nearly 30,000 since 2006.
  • Nov. 16 is an important and symbolic date recognized by Métis people throughout British Columbia each year in commemoration of Louis Riel’s death on that day in 1885.

Learn More:

Métis Nation BC: www.mnbc.ca/

Louis Riel Day Proclamation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Louis_Riel_Day_November_16_2018.pdf

Métis Nation Relationship Accord:

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Métis flag flies at B.C. legislature to mark Louis Riel Day

Highlights: click on image to enlarge