On Nov. 16, the University of Guelph will raise the Métis flag in recognition of Louis Riel Day, a day marking the anniversary of Riel’s execution following the Northwest Resistance – a stand against the Government of Canada’s encroachment on Métis lands and way of life. 

Louis Riel was the Métis leader of the Red River Resistance and was instrumental in drafting the List of Rights that formed the basis of the Manitoba Act, passed in 1870 by the Parliament of Canada. He was a significant force behind Manitoba becoming Canada’s fifth province and helped lay the groundwork for a Canada that included the Métis Nation and protected Métis rights.  

“I have nothing but my heart and I have given it long ago to my country.” 

Louis Riel 

Louis Riel Day is also an opportunity to celebrate Métis culture, recognize the many contributions of Métis people and highlight the struggles that many Métis continue to face.  

Alicia Hamilton, chair of the Grand River Métis Council, says, “On November 16, we remember Louis Riel: a great leader, the Father of Manitoba and a hero of the Métis people.”