Statement by Niki Ashton and Pat Martin on Louis Riel Day

On the third Monday of every February, Manitobans commemorate the life of Louis Riel.

Louis Riel is most renowned for his unwavering defence of Métis rights and culture, and for being instrumental in Manitoba becoming a part of Canada. Louis Riel was also a Member of Parliament, who although elected to the Canadian Parliament three times, was never allowed to take his seat.

Driven by his vision for a Manitoba where Métis culture was respected and where all its citizens prospered, Louis Riel fought for a fairer and more inclusive province. We can all find inspiration in Louis Riel’s determination to make his vision of a more equitable and prosperous Manitoba a reality.

As we recognise Louis Riel’s indelible impact on Manitoban and Canadian 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 people of Manitoba have recognised Louis Riel as a hero it is time for the government of Canada to do the same.