Ottawa, Ontario (November 16, 2021) — The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs; the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, issued the following statement today on Louis Riel Day:
“Today, we join Métis and all Canadians to commemorate the legacy of Métis leader Louis Riel. Louis Riel is remembered for his efforts to defend Métis rights, culture and identity. He led several movements, fought for the rights of Métis, and he continues to inspire so many. His leadership led to the creation of Manitoba as Canada’s fifth province on May 12, 1870. His contribution to Canadian Confederation and advocacy for Métis and their rights have made him a renowned and celebrated historical figure.
As we acknowledge the leadership of Louis Riel, we also remember that this is a dark day in Canada’s history. Despite numerous appeals for clemency and his trial jury recommending mercy, he was executed for treason. On this day, we are reminded of this and other historic injustices, and the work we still need to do together to end systemic racism in Canada as we continue to walk on the path of reconciliation.
Our Government commits to continue our shared work, in partnership, to advance Métis rights and culture in Canada.
We encourage all Canadians to learn about Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Cuthbert Grant and other Métis leaders who helped to clear a path toward a brighter future for Métis.