February 17th, 2014

Statement by the Official Opposition on Louis Riel Day

Official Opposition MPs Niki Ashton (Churchill) and Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) made the following statement on Louis Riel Day:

“Each year, Manitobans celebrate Louis Riel Day to remember the important role Riel played in defending Métis rights and in Manitoba’s entry into the Canadian federation.

New Democrats recognize the work of Louis Riel—one of the first great Métis politicians who fought to protect the French language and the rights of minorities.

This day is also an opportunity to highlight the many contributions of Métis people to Canada’s growth and development.

Today we call on the government to recognize the founding role of Louis Riel and restore his rightful place in our history. We renew our call for the government to reverse his conviction. We seek to have Louis Riel exonerated, as a vital step towards healing the relationship between the Métis people and the Government of Canada.

The NDP wishes to work alongside the Métis to create a fairer, more inclusive country and to achieve Louis Riel’s vision of a Canada where there is justice and equality for all.”