Drawing of Riel by artist Irma Council for the Indian Hall of Fame exhibition.

Drawing of Riel by artist Irma Council for the Indian Hall of Fame exhibition.

Louis Riel was Métis, born in St. Boniface in the Red River Settlement area, now Winnipeg in 1844. He went to school in the area and later attended Sepulcian College in Montreal. Between 1868-1869 the transfer of lands from the Hudson’s Bay Company to Canada sparked an uproar with the Metis people who lived in this territory. Riel led the movement to stop the surveyors in the territory, and form a Metis political military party. They took control of Fort Garry and Riel became the president of their provisional government.

Riel retained a position in the Canadian government several times until he was thrown out of the House of Commons and exiled from Canada for five years in 1874. With the coming of westward expansion, Riel returned to Canada and again established a provisional government along with the support of other First Nations groups. In 1885 a second rebellion began, but Riel was overthrown by the Canadian Government. Riel was then convicted of treason, and in 1885, was executed in Regina.

Louis Riel Day in Toronto 2013

Every year, Métis from across the Homeland, honour the anniversary of the unjust execution of Louis Riel by holding Louis Riel Day events. Although Louis Riel Day commemorates one of the great tragedies of Canadian history, it is also a day to celebrate Métis culture and the continuing progress the Métis people are making in fulfilling Louis Riel’s dream of the Métis taking their rightful place within Confederation.

Provincial Louis Riel Day ceremonies will be held at Queen’s Park in Toronto on November 15, 2013 at 11:00am

This year’s provincial Louis Riel Day events are especially poignant because they will also recognize the landmark tenth anniversary of the historic R. v. Powley decision. As has happened for the 12 previous years, this Louis Riel Day the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Law Society of Upper Canada are partnering on an event to highlight key developments in Métis law, research and self-government. In honour of R. v. Powley, this year’s event features a panel of distinguished lawyers and MNO President Gary Lipinski who will discuss the significance of the Powley case; past, present and future

Agenda for MNO/Law Society Event

The MNO Toronto-York Métis Council is also holding at Métis Flag Raising at Toronto City Hall.

Anuual Métis Flag Raising Agenda


About FirstStoryTO

A mobile app that invites users to explore Toronto’s Indigenous history. This is a community project that is a work in progress. For those interested, we encourage you to email us at: firststory@ncct.on.ca with suggestions for possible sites and/or stories you would like to share on First Story. This blog will be up while we work on creating a permanent website for First Story. View all posts by FirstStoryTO

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