Louis Riel honoured on November 16th
- EFN Staff | November 16, 2017
People in Saskatoon and Regina are celebrating November 16th, Louis Riel Day, a day to pay tribute to a great hero of the Métis for his service and sacrifice.
Dennis Brooks, president of the Regina Riel Metis Council (RRMC) # 34, said celebrating this day is important to remember Louis Riel, as this day marks when the historical figure was hanged for treason in Regina.
“It’s important for us to remember the sacrifice that he made for the Metis people,” he said. “ not just the Metis people, he fought for the rights of a lot people, the Aboriginal people who settled the land here.”
Brooks said the RRMC Local #34 has organized this annual event for more than 10 years now. At 4:30, gatherers march from the Optimist Park and walk down to the RCMP Barracks – which is a kilometre walk. A prayer is held on the spot where the hanging took place 132 years ago. The official memorial ceremony is expected to start at 5:10. Following the ceremony, Brooks invites everyone to the Indian and Metis Christian Fellowship for a suggested $8-dollar donation meal located at 3131 Dewdney Avenue. He encourages everyone to wear their sashes and capotes and for walkers to bring their Metis flags, banners and signs.
“With what’s going on with our provincial government’s recognition now that Metis people are the larger Aboriginal group…it shows the things that was trying to do should have been happening all along,” Brooks said. “It’s nice to see that. Hopefully were starting slowly trying to move in that direction even if it is over one hundred years later.”
In Saskatoon, starting at 10:30 am, people will be meeting at the statue of Gabriel Dumont in Friendship Park located at the base of the Broadway bridge and the intersection of 4th Avenue and 19th Street where a short, informal ceremony will take place.
At noon, the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) Metis Local located at 315 Ave. M South will be inviting participants for lunch with fun entertainment to follow. The Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) will be open from 1-4pm where visitors can come and go to take in a display dedicated to Louis Riel and the Metis Veterans. Organizers will also pay homage to all veterans including the Metis veterans who served Canada. GDI and the Fédération des Francophones de Saskatoon will co-host a Louis Riel Day Celebration at Station 20 West and welcome everyone for an evening of celebration, music and refreshments.