AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL FRIENDS 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 Trudeau, 2015
The Friends of Louis Riel is a nonpartisan society organized to engage Canadians and international friends in creative conversations and actions relating to Louis Riel’s proper place in Canada’s history. We have a long term vision of reconciliation leading to the recognition of Louis Riel as Canada’s Indigenous (Métis) Father of Confederation.
Métis leader Louis Riel was an honourable politician. In 1992 former Conservative prime minister, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Joe Clark, led the Canadian Parliament in Session, unanimously passing a Special Resolution recognizing Louis Riel as the founder, and father, of Manitoba.
However, although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognized Louis Riel as “a champion of minority rights, a Founder of Manitoba and a key contributor to Canadian Confederation,” Louis Riel continued to be denied his place as a “Father of Confederation.
In light of the Canadian government full commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ( UNDRIP), the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls(MMIWG) and the historic 94 recommendations of the Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) the question must be asked: how do we implement Louis Riel’s ideals of inclusiveness and equality? The answer is reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has told all Canadians that healing, recognizingand undoing the errors of the past is possible. Louis Riel’s conviction and execution for high treason stands as a prime example of Canadian injustices in the colonial era, dividing Canada on racial, religion, regional and language biases. The damage done by such a system has percolated through Canadian society with Aboriginal peoples and nations living in third world conditions, women missing and murdered, youth denied an education and incarcerated at alarming rates.
2019-20 will be the 150th anniversary of Louis Riel’s 1869-70 constitutional campaign guiding the entrance of the North-Western Territory and Rupert’s Land into the Canadian Confederation with the formation of the province of Manitoba. This 150th anniversary is the perfect opportunity for Canadians to call on our prime minister and the Parliament of Canada to once again unanimously recognize Louis Riel, as not only the Father of Manitoba, but also as Canada’s Indigenous (Métis) Father of Confederation.
Statement Of Purpose – Friends Of Louis Riel Society
Friends of Louis Riel is a non-partisan partisan society organized to engage Canadians and international friends in creative conversations and actions promoting reconciliation and recognition of Riel’s proper place in Canadian history as Canada’s Aboriginal (METIS) Father of Confederation.
We have a long term vision of reconciliation.
. We seek justice and mercy for Louis Riel through a Parliamentary recognition of Louis Riel as Canada’s Aboriginal ( Métis) Father of Confederation.
Canadian and Canadian resident friends of Louis Riel are invited to join us in our E-Petition campaign calling on the Canadian Government to finally recognize Louis Riel as Canada’s Indigenous (Métis) Father of Confederation.
(petition URL needed here)