On May 1, 2016, the Friends of Louis Riel wrote the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs informing her of our letter to Prime Minister Trudeau regarding the exoneration of Louis Riel. This week we were pleased to receive the Minister’s response. For the information of all friends of Louis Riel I am pleased to include our letter to Minister Bennett and the Minister’s positive reply.
May 1, 2016
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
RE: The Exoneration of Louis Riel
Louis Riel made important sacrifices to defend the rights, the freedoms, and the culture of the Métis people. The ideals that Louis Riel fought for – ideals of inclusiveness and equality – are now the very same values on which we base our country’s identity.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Louis Riel Day, 2016
Dear Minister Bennett,
We were thrilled with your bold statement made on Louis Riel Day, November 16, 2015, recognizing Louis Riel as a “leader … for all Canadians.” Please find enclosed letter to Prime Minister Trudeau regarding the exoneration of Louis Riel. The Friends of Louis Riel are dedicated to engaging Canadian and international friends in creative conversations and actions relating to Louis Riel’s place in history. We base a great deal of our understanding of the injustices done Louis Riel on The Trial Louis Riel, Justice and Mercy Denied by Metis historians George and Terry Goulet (2 copies are in the Parliamentary Library) and would be pleased to work with you to ensure that Canadians know and understand that the injustices of the past are being replaced with positive actions leading to a Parliamentary exoneration and recognition of Louis Riel as Canada’s Métis Father of Confederation. We would like to suggest a Government sponsored Bill exonerating our Metis iconic hero Louis Riel for Canada’s Sesquicentennial. Surely Canadians could receive no finer birthday gift.
We wish you the very best in the challenging role you have undertaken and watch with interest as your government moves ever forward on reconciliation and the building of Canada based on the ideals Louis Riel fought and died for.
David Doyle, Secretary
Friends of Louis Riel Society
The Minister’s Encouraging Response