www.whyville.net Aug 22, 2007 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Eh! The Canada Column

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Author's Note: This is one of my more interesting history notes. Louis Riel was fighting for Metis rights in Red River (a small community that became Manitoba). The Metis people are descendants of Aboriginal and French ancestry. If you have any questions about Louis Riel in Canadian history, please post them in the BBS.

Louis Riel, Hero or Rebel?

I think that Louis Riel was a hero, for getting land and rights for the Metis, and a rebel, for breaking laws to do so.

Louis Riel came back to Red River after 10 years living in Quebec. Not only did he have the burden of having to care for his family, but surveyors were staking out plots of land, for the expansion of Canada into the west. I think Riel was a hero for the Metis. When he found out what was happening to the Metis land, he decided to do something about it. He and a group of Metis made a chain, blocking the entrances to Red River from the Canadians moving west. Riel and his followers formed their own government, took over Upper Fort Garry, and built barriers to keep the English out of Red River.

Riel was also a rebel, because he was breaking laws to help get Metis rights and land. Taking over Upper Fort Garry was against the law, and capturing John Schultz???s house as well. Even though doing these helped him pass the Declaration of the People of Rupert???s Land, it made the Canadian government a little mad. Technically, Riel was rebelling against Canada.

The execution of Thomas Scott also made Riel a hero and a rebel. Many people in Ontario believed Scott had been unrightfully murdered, even though he was a prisoner and an anti-Metis leader. However, the French-Speaking population considered him a hero, for giving Scott what he deserved.

When Manitoba was finally made a province in 1870, Riel was a hero to the Metis, even though that meant Riel had to rebel against the government of Canada.

This has been rochrox, reflecting on Canadian history.


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