Thursday, November 15, 2007

Canada Celebrates a Native Son

Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of Louis Riel Day in Canada. It was on November 16th in 1885 that Louis Riel was hanged in Regina, Saskatchewan. An instrumental and influential figure in Canadian history, most, if not practically all Americans haven't a clue who he was or what he did. Last year I had the opportunity to visit Batoche on the Saskatchewan prairies where Louis spent his last days of freedom. In the winds coming off of the South Saskatchewan River I was touched by the spirit of Riel.

Today in Toronto, hundreds of Métis Citizens and friends gathered at the Northwest Monument at Queens Park to commemorate and celebrate Riel, the leader of the Red River Rebellion and Father of Manitoba. "November 16th marks a significant occasion of observance for the Métis Nation," said Métis Nation of Ontario President, Tony Belcourt. "This date gives us an opportunity to bring about an enlightened focus on the significant role and achievements of Louis Riel and the Métis Nation in the building of Canada."

The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture, language, and heritage, and with an ancestral Homeland that centers around Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, parts of the Northwest Territories, as well as the northwestern United States. For further information: see the MNO website at:
And to Louis Riel, "Alors, allez au ciel!"

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