Louis Riel Day 2021

(November 16, 2021) Surrey, BC – On November 16th we commemorate the life of Louis Riel, and the legacy he left behind. Louis Riel fought for the inherent rights of Métis people across Canada and sought to build a strong, proud and prosperous Métis Nation. His dream of a nation that embraces all cultures is still shared by many people today and one that MNBC continues to work towards.

Louis Riel’s accomplishments are still remembered today through numerous memorials from the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, to the Louis Riel Student Residence at Simon Fraser University. However, Louis Riel Day is not only to commemorate his accomplishments but to remember the sacrifices he and our other ancestors gave fighting for our culture. 

We remember the Red River Colony threatened by the Confederation of Canada which led to the emergence of leaders such as Riel. We remember the glaring omission in the Manitoba act which promised 1.4 million acres to Métis peoples, a promise which was broken and remains broken to this day. We remember The Battle of Batoche which brought about the forgotten generation and the great migration west of many Métis people. 

Through all these turbulent events Riel’s resolve still shines through, being proclaimed as the Founder of Manitoba in 1992. The List of Rights Riel drafted as the Métis leader of the Red River Resistance formed the basis of the Manitoba Act, passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1870. Today we nationally recognize the sacrifices Riel made not only for people of Métis ancestry but for all Canadians.  

The legacy of Louis Riel teaches us the value of reconciliation, and the promise a new day can bring. Riel taught us not to look at what makes our people different, but rather what unites us. This Louis Riel day let’s remember the sacrifices made, and the ancestral roots that unite us. Let’s celebrate this Louis Riel Day united and working towards the vision Riel himself sought for his people. Building a proud, self-governing, sustainable nation.