Louis Riel Day
Anishinaabe Initiatives partnered with Metis Nation of Ontario (SSM), SASA and SKG to host a Sunrise Ceremony for Louis Riel Day.
November 16th 2021
Sunrise will begin at 7am and we will meet in the Fire Arbour
Everyone is welcomed and the event is free.
Please dress appropriately as we will be in the fire arbour
“In Ontario, and across the Metis homeland, Louis Riel Day is celebrated on November 16th, the anniversary of Riel’s execution in 1885. Although Louis Riel Day commemorates one of the great tragedies of Canadian history, it is also a day to celebrate Métis people and culture; and the continuing progress in fulfilling Riel’s dream with the Métis people taking their rightful place within Confederation.
The Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action #62 and #65, call on governments to “…Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms;” and “….to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.”
An important part of reconciliation with Métis people in Ontario is a shift away from the Eurocentric version of the Louis Riel story to a version that helps learners to understand the Métis perspective. Riel fought for the rights of all landowners in Western Canada, including First Nation people, Métis people, and European settlers; he fought for the protection of language rights for both French and English speaking people, even though he himself spoke French, and French was the dominant language in Red River; and he dreamed of the day when the religious prejudices of Europe would not impact people in what is now Canada. Yet, ironically, after his death Riel became a symbol of racial, lingual, and religious divisions in Canada.
As more people become aware of the contributions of Louis Riel and the Métis to our province and country, Post-Secondary Institutions across Ontario are raising the Métis flag; tweeting and/ or reading the Louis Riel story; wearing Métis sashes; playing Métis fiddle music; and dancing Métis jigs, reels and squares; etc.
The Métis Nation of Ontario has put together information and resources to assist with telling the story of Louis Riel and the Métis. To access background information, a two page fact sheet that could be read or tweeted, a poster, a list of resources with further information regarding Louis Riel, and stories from previous Louis Riel celebrations, go to http://www.metisnation.org/news-media/louis-riel-day/ ”
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]