Métis communities commemorated Louis Riel day across the Boundary Monday, Nov. 16.
The annual service marks Riel’s execution in Regina in 1885. Hung by the Government of Canada after leading armed rebellions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Riel is now remembered as “the father of Manitoba” and a founder of Confederation.
Members of the Boundary Métis Community Association (BMCA) met at Greenwood City Hall and at Grand Forks’ Gyro Park and, where elders raised the métis flag to the sound of traditional music.
BCMA President Doug Arnott and elder Don Robillard met with Greenwood Mayor Barry Noll Monday afternoon. They’d come to honour Riel’s sacrifice not only for his Métis people, but for religious freedom and francophone rights across Canada.
Monday’s service would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago when Riel was popularly demonized as a deranged criminal, Robillard said at Gyro Park.
“I believe we are moving forward,” he told The Times. “We are getting stronger with each member we get. And, I’m very, very proud to be Métis.”
Mayor Noll said he was proud to have been included in Monday’s ceremony.
“Today is a great day for the métis here in the Boundary and for the City of Greenwood. An historic city is proudly flying an historic flag.”