Manitobans honour legacy of province’s founding father

Métis leaders, government officials and community members gathered Friday to honour Manitoba’s founding father.

The group met at Louis Riel’s grave in Saint Boniface, marking 133 years since the Métis leader’s death. The Métis Nation gathers every year on Nov. 16 to commemorate Riel’s life and legacy.

“I believe Riel would be proud of the progress his people have made and that we continue to ‘say the truth’ in the face of the current dark clouds we have over us provincially. Riel’s integrity and strength continue to sustain his people,” said Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand.

“Today, we honour the man, his family and his people. We will never rest.”

In a statement issued Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of Riel as a champion for minority rights and the Métis nation, saying he played a key role in Canadian Confederation.

“He was a visionary who dreamed of a diverse and inclusive Canada. On Louis Riel Day, we reflect on his contributions to building the country we are all proud to call home,” the statement read.

Trudeau also encouraged Canadians to reflect on the vital contributions made by Métis people in building Canada.