Legislative Assembly to Commemorate Louis Riel Day
Posted on: Nov 14, 2022
For Immediate Release
EDMONTON – The Legislative Assembly of Alberta along with the Métis Nation of Alberta will host a Louis Riel Commemorative Ceremony on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 11 a.m. The ceremony will pay tribute to the life and work of Louis Riel and honour the distinct culture and heritage of Métis people in Alberta.
“Louis Riel was a remarkable figure in history, and his life’s work continues to have a profound impact today. While November 16 is a sombre occasion to reflect on the life and death of Louis Riel, we also celebrate what he stood for and fought to preserve, a truly distinct Métis nation with inherent rights and freedoms. We honour Louis Riel for his courage, his determination and his lifelong fight for the rights of Métis people.”
- – Honourable Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
“On this day 137 years ago Louis Riel willingly gave his life for Métis rights. Today as we gather to honour him, Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Citizens are voting on the Constitution that will realize his dreams of self-determination. Riel laid the foundation for what we’re accomplishing today, and he is in the hearts of our community this month as we cast our votes. This Métis Week the MNA is hosting a range of events in honour of Métis culture and history. I encourage all Albertans to join us as we celebrate our heritage and decide our future.”
- – Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta
The ceremony is open to the public and will include a colour guard, prayers, music and jigging entertainment, and remarks by Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta.
The ceremony will be live streamed on assembly.ab.ca, the Legislative Assembly’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels as well as on the Métis Nation of Alberta’s Facebook page.
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Louis Riel believed the Métis in the west had the right to negotiate their own terms of entry into Confederation. He created the first provisional government west of Ontario and wrote a “List of Rights” for its people, passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1870. It included provisions that protected Métis lands, guaranteed their rights to religion and to the use of their language in the Legislature and the courts.
When Ottawa later betrayed this list of rights by encroaching on Métis lands, he led a resistance.
Alongside Riel, the Métis people took a stand against the government, but they were overwhelmed within days. Riel surrendered, was tried and on November 16, 1885, he was executed. In the aftermath, Métis citizens across the homeland hid their culture and heritage for generations. But they never stopped practising their way of life, and they passed it on to current generations, a testament to the courage of Métis people.