Big Times In The Suncatch

Big Times in the Suncatch will take place every Friday and Saturday night. More Details

A hero or a traitor is a heavily debated topic when it comes to the actions of Louis Riel.

Though some of his actions may be seen as controversial their significance in the formation of Manitoba isn't something that should be debated says Morden Collegiate History teacher Darrell Toews.

"I think its giving a recognition to someone who I think many people know was controversial in history for the role that he played. I think as we look again at events with fresh eyes, I think we can recognize that yes there were certainly some controversial aspects to Louis Riel but Louis Riel also played a significant role in the creation of Manitoba and its confederation."

In 1869-1870 Riel and his Provisional Government in Upper Fort Gary were working to negotiate with the Canadian Government. Riel and the Provisional Government fought for the rights of the Metis, Indigenous people, and all living in pre-confederation Manitoba.

Toews says though Riel made an error in judgment, this wasn't the first time people stood up against the government for change and recognizing his accomplishments in speaking out against injustice.

"For the Metis people, in particular, it’s a recognition finally of an important person in their history. He was standing up for the rights of people not only in the Red River in 1885 he was standing up for people in the North West Territories which would later become Saskatchewan and Alberta."

As we enjoy a day off on the 10th anniversary of Louis Riel day, we should remember those who have made sacrifices throughout history to create what Manitoba is today.

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