Manitoba's New Holiday: Louis Riel Day

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Manitoba's New Holiday: Louis Riel Day

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Politics101

Yes it is good news - in college I was once banned from class for a couple of days because I dared to challenged my loyal orange protestant professor on Riel's role in shaping of Canada.

Le T Le T's picture

quote:


Yes it is good news - in college I was once banned from class for a couple of days because I dared to challenged my loyal orange protestant professor on Riel's role in shaping of Canada.

What college did you go to? and what union represented you?

That is a pretty inexcusable action on the part of the prof. I hope you filed a complainted against h-er/im and got your student union involved.

1234567

File a complaint? Ha!

I made the mistake of correcting a professor about some aboriginal history. He made a few borderline racists statements to the class, the class laughed and I went from an A student to a B and never went up again. I even switched papers with a B student and guess what...she got an A for my paper.

YOu know what? There are so many battles to fight and we can't fight them all. I could have gone after that professor but there were other things I was fighting at the time which were much more important. Plus I was just damn tired.

Anyway excellent news about Louis Riel Day. My family has some history with Louis Riel! As do many FN living in the area. Cheers, I'm going to crack open a bottle of red and toast the occasion, please join me!

Le T Le T's picture

quote:


File a complaint? Ha!

Yeah, I know. But it in this case 101 got booted from the class for a few days and that might be something that would look good on paper as an official letter or complaint - for use later.

1234567

I wasn't trying to be rude to him. The comment just sparked a memory. Sorry about that kiddo, no hard feelings eh?!

Politics101

The incident happened about 40 years ago and in those days the Student union was too busy leading Vietnam War protests to worry about a student disagreeing with a professor and Riel was still considered an outcast and hadn't gained the respect that he has today.

Tommy_Paine

I was watching a vintage "Front Page Challenge", and the guest that was on fought against Riel in the Rebellion.

Pierre Burton asked him what he thought about the changing attitudes towards Riel. The guest was very strident in remarking that Riel was "a murderer."

I think the show was taped in the 50's.

I'm not even sure that the Riel Rebellion was even a rebellion. Wasn't Manitoba in a kind of political limbo at the time?

Maybe it should be called the Macdonald Invasion?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Two different events involved. He got hung for the 1885 Saskachewan Rebellion not for being a Metis leader and head of a provisional government in Manitoba.

I would like to see Gabriel Dumount properly honoured. If they had only left him in charge of the Metis forces the outcome might have been different.

Tommy_Paine

Sadly, I doubt it. The more successful Dumont was, the more vicious would have been the response. I would think that the army would have gathered up all the Metis women and children, and let them die of malnutrition and disease in camps.

Oh, and thanks for the clarification. I should be embarrassed not to know that.

[ 26 September 2007: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Instead they gave them script and let them starve after the Indian Agents and their friends stole it from them.

[url=http://www.abheritage.ca/mighty/fur_trade/speculators.html]Our Not So Stellar Heritage[/url]

quote:

As the land scrip was provided to the Mйtis, land speculators were prepared to buy the scrip for a fraction of its real value. Many of the Mйtis were illiterate and did not know the real value of the scrip they had been provided. These speculators included the Imperial Bank of Canada, the Bank of Montreal, the Bank of Nova Scotia, some private banks, and individuals.

There were a number of Mйtis that prospered in the years after Treaty 8, but the large majority suffered poverty and poor health with little access to education as they had no Aboriginal title that would have given them some access to services.


Hard to say what would have happened if the Canadian Expedition had been defeated. History tells us the Metis got a raw deal from losing including malnutrition and disease.

Tommy_Paine

When we play "what if", there is no accounting for random events, which certainly would have erupted.

But for fun, I think if the expeditionary force was defeated, there would have been no problem getting thrice the number of original volunteers-- from Orange Ontario. How that would have been received in Quebec is anyone's guess. Mine is that Macdonald would have had two rebellions to deal with. Could Dumont have played that possibility to come up with a political solution favourable to Metis? Hard to say. My gut is that Macdonald would have preferred rebellion to the possibility to losing face -- and potential profits for his developer members of the Family Compact.

jas

Yes, definitely better than "Family Day", which almost made me wish the bill wouldn't pass.

But what happened to:

Burton Cummings Day
Bleak Mid-winter Holiday Day
"Friendly Manitoba" vs. "Spirited Energy" Day

or, my submission:
"Where am I going to Go in February" Day?
[color=#DEDFDF]

[ 14 February 2008: Message edited by: jas ]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Here's a bump because Monday is [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2007/09/25/stat-holiday.html]Louis Riel Day [/url]in Manitoba.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[b]Here's a bump because Monday is [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2007/09/25/stat-holiday.html]Louis Riel Day [/url]in Manitoba.[/b]

Good choice. We're afflicted with "family day" here. So, no holiday for me, I guess....

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

[url=http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-74-1482-9902/people/louis_riel/clip8]The founder of Manitoba finally gets his due.[/url]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I f'n love that crazy, Christian Fundamentalist Metis!

In Grade 7, I did a slide show presentation for my history project entitled "Louis Riel: Traitor or Hero?" (No PowerPoint, kids--real photography!) I still pride myself on coming to the correct conclusion. Probably because I've not accomplished much since, but that's another story...

Anyway, best ever biography of Louis Riel is by [url=http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/riel/comics.html]Chester Brown[/url].

John A. MacDonald, 1885: 'Riel will hang though every dog in Quebec bark in his favour.'

I know who I'd rsther have on my money.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.sickofitday.org/]Take another day off tomorrow[/url]

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Catchfire:
[b]
Anyway, best ever biography of Louis Riel is by [url=http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/riel/comics.html]Chester Brown[/url].[/b]

That is so true. I give this book as a present (birthdays etc.). It is marvellous.

Unionist

I'm so mad. Who the hell does Jack Layton think he is, calling for "Family Day" to be a national holiday? Either make "Louis Riel Day" national, or f*** off, to put it discreetly.

I've started a thread [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=007105]to promote Louis Riel Day[/url] as a national holiday.

What next? Puppies and heterosexuals' day?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Manitoba Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux was quoted by CBC Radio today lobbying to have Louis Riel Day changed to Family Day. So Layton isn't the only Joker in the deck. Gah.

As an aside ... apparently the CBC would rather give a voice to critics of Louis Riel Day than actually bother to explain to its listeners why Louis Riel Day was established, why it "might" be a good idea, and so on. And all this [b]ON LOUIS RIEL DAY.[/b] Thanks, CBC, and f*ck you too.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

How about we designate it as a Stat Holiday and let people decide what the day means to them? I'm all for doing that with the other Stat Holidays as well.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]How about we designate it as a Stat Holiday and let people decide what the day means to them? I'm all for doing that with the other Stat Holidays as well.[/b]

That would be far better than what that opportunist salesman Layton has done. How fucking dare he undermine Louis Riel Day? It's bad enough that Calvert proclaimed Family Day before going to his richly-deserved perdition.

This is utterly disgusting.

ETA: By the way, Scott, you're in that party of his. Did he consult you, or anyone, before coming up with this crap?

This is the same man who whipped his caucus to support the draconian "family values" neo-con Bill C-2, now wanting to celebrate "families" for fuck's sake. Is everyone just scared of saying "boo" to him? Are there no leaders of value to be had?

[ 18 February 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Somehow, if the holiday had anything to do with a famous white guy, I don't think we'd be having this conversation.

I'm particularly disgusted by the CBC. Layton and Lamoureux have political constituencies that they're playing to, and their statements, while annoying as hell, are "understandable". However, [b]you'd think they'd have the decency to wait, say, ONE DAY before trying to strangle Riel Day in its cradle?[/b]

Apparently not.

[ 18 February 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Well, at least you didn't call it an atrocity this time, unionist.

I'd suggest that his motive was not to undermine Louis Riel Day, but to create some equality for workers across Canada and within provinces. I don't really care what the day is called (hell, I gladly take Victoria Day off, and I'm for abolition of the monarchy; I'm an athiest, but I take Christian-inspired holidays).

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]Well, at least you didn't call it an atrocity this time, unionist.[/b]

I call it the way I see it. When Layton does the right thing - which he has managed to do on several key issues after the disaster of the 2005-6 election campaign - I praise him and encourage him to carry on. When he steps into shit - like Bill C-2 or this Family Day atrocity [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] - I tend to speak very openly.

You didn't answer my question. Did you approve this? Or don't you count in the scheme of things? Who the hell does?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

OK, it's useful to point out that any new holiday is a good holiday. Especially if it's a day off with pay. For many people, who don't have a portrait of Queen Victoria in their living room, that's the main thing.

But is it really necessary for these two, and likely other, politicians to be taking pot shots at a holiday - the first one, as far as I know, in this country to be associated with a FN, Inuit or Metis leader - on this very day? [ETA: Layton didn't actually attack Riel Day, he just advocated for a Canada-wide "Family" Day and remained mum about what the holiday would be called in Manitoba.]And what business does the local CBC have giving these jokers a soapbox today anyway?

[ 18 February 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Unionist

Sorry, I've got to promote my Facebook group here as well, as we have two threads going:

[url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8617951051&ref=mf][b][i]Make "Louis Riel Day" a national holiday![/i][/b][/url]

Please consider joining and supporting this group.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

It's bad enough that Calvert proclaimed Family Day before going to his richly-deserved perdition.

This is utterly disgusting[/b]


Where were you in 1990 when Don Getty declared February 18th "Family Day" in Wild Rose County?

And why were you not incensed when Dalton McGuilty's phony-baloney Liberal government declared February 18th "Family Day" as the first of 50-some odd election promises they've actually managed to follow through on?

Is this about Jack Layton or NDP MP Pat Martin's bill, [url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/legisinfo/index.asp?Language=E&Chamber=N&StartList... C-258[/b][/url] to reverse the conviction of Louis Riel?

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]
Is this about Jack Layton or NDP MP Pat Martin's bill, [url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/legisinfo/index.asp?Language=E&Chamber=N&StartList... C-258[/b][/url] to reverse the conviction of Louis Riel?[/b]

The Manitoba NDP government deserves high praise for enacting Louis Riel Day. Jack Layton should have either supported this enthusiastically and called for it to be emulated across Canada - or kept his mouth shut.

I like to give praise where praise is due. Not where it's expected.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]Jack Layton should have either supported this enthusiastically and called for it to be emulated across Canada - or kept his mouth shut.[/b]

quote:

[url=http://www.ndp.ca/page/6201]OTTAWA[/b][/url] – Today, NDP Leader Jack Layton called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to issue a Family Day holiday to all Canadians.

“Today, hardworking Canadians are working more hours to make ends meets and they deserve a break,” said Layton. “Family Day is a great opportunity for everyday families to come together and reconnect with their loved ones.”

Currently, only Alberta, Saskatchewan, and most recently, Ontario celebrate Family Day. [b]Manitoba already observes Louis Riel Day which falls on the same date as Family Day[/b] – the third Monday of February.

At a press conference today, Layton outlined that 40 percent of Ontarians will be expected to work on February 18 – Family Day.

“A day off in the middle of winter is good for everyone – it’s good for the spirit and encourages productivity,” said Layton. [b]“I’m calling on Harper’s government to step up and give Canadians a break.”[/b]


He's basically calling on Harper to declare a national holiday on February 18th, or the third Monday in February.

I think ultimately it's up to parliament to declare a a national holiday, at which point they would then decide on what holiday name it would be given. But this all seems to coincide with the NDP pushing and prodding the two inanimate, rancid and out of new ideas old line parties to [url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/legisinfo/index.asp?Language=E&Chamber=N&StartList... Louis Riel's federal conviction[/b][/url]

Because some politicians in the NDP think it would actually be a good idea to decriminalize Louis Riel's name in this country at the same time Manitobans pay tribute to him with a provincial holiday. Cart-horse? We know the two rancid old line parties are tripping over one another to appease herr Bushler in Iraq and now Afghanistan, but first things should first, and our stoogeocrats in Ottawa do take some prodding before making executive decisions as history reveals.

Wilf Day

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b][url=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8617951051&ref=mf][b][i]Make "Louis Riel Day" a national holiday![/i][/b][/url]

Please consider joining and supporting this group.[/b]


Done.

Unionist

Thank you, Wilf. Now all I need is someone with motivation and time to take over this group and achieve its goal!

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b].. Now all I need is someone with motivation and time to take over this group and achieve its goal![/b]

Look within, we have all joined and asked others to, so go for the gold my friend!

Go to gopetition and start one and add it to your facebook page.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I sent out invitations and see that the group is growing. That petition idea is a good one.

PrivacyRules

Whoo Hoooo!!!  I watched the re-enactment of his trial, and hanging in Regina.  He was a hero.  Richard Fadden must be having a canary.

Matthew Pauly

"Freedom Endures through Sacrifice"

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

[url=http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2177750]Even though the government has nothing to announce other than funding cuts to vital programs, tax payers may be forking over $125,000 to honour a soldier because he fought against Riel.[/url]

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

"...Louis Riel day, which marks the hanging of the Metis leader for treason by the Canadian government in 1885."

 

I wonder why they chose the day they hung him as the day to celebrate rather than a day like his Birthday.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Or maybe the day that Manitoba got its rights after his first rebellion was successful.

lonewolfbunn lonewolfbunn's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Or maybe the day that Manitoba got its rights after his first rebellion was successful.

 

EXACTLY... It would seem obsurd to have 'Lincoln' day on the day Abraham Lincoln was assasinated - wouldn't it?

I also wonder if the government would pay $125,000 to refurbish a statue of Riel.

al-Qa'bong

lonewolfbunn wrote:

"...Louis Riel day, which marks the hanging of the Metis leader for treason by the Canadian government in 1885."

 

I wonder why they chose the day they hung him as the day to celebrate rather than a day like his Birthday.

 

They didn't; he was hanged on November 16 (I remember this because it's my brother's birthday, or vice versa).

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Via Breadnroses: LOUIS RIEL - Was Killed By The Government Of Canada 125 Years Ago Today

Quote:
125 years ago - at the North West Mounted Police barracks in Regina, the government of Canada executed a father of Confederation because he was not white ... was not an English speaking Conservative and because he dreamed of national equity for Canada's Metis and First Nations peoples.

Elected by his constituents three times in federal elections, he was never allowed to take his seat in the Canadian House of Commons.

History is written by the victors of war and in the case of the Metis people, official Canadian history does a disservice to this great leader.

Louis David Riel should be recognized for his role in the creation of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. His legacy speaks of the racism inherent in Canada's creation and ongoing fabric. He was a great man. He was a great Canadian.

NorthReport

I couldn't agree more.
Riel a hero, not traitor: NDP

 

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/11/16/16168261.html

al-Qa'bong

The Broadway is showing The Trial of Louis Riel today.

 

CFCR's been playing adverts for the show - PotashCorp is a sponsor.

D V

Joseph Boyden's new Louis Riel & Gabriel Dumont (2010) I recently read, learning enough new stuff that I was moved to look deeper still (diaries, memoirs). Boyden more than once refers glowingly to Chester Brown's '03 comic book about Riel, which I also enjoyed some time ago. From the latter I think it was I learned Riel eventually called himself, 'Mordecai', from the Boyden I learned about 'David'. I'm rather interested in this Judaic source stuff, beyond whatever visions Riel would have claimed.  Did the Catholic establishment hurt the Riel-Dumont cause as much as Macdonald pleasing the bankers? Would an empowered Dumont even have enlisted armed assistance from across the border? I learned from Boyden that Dumont spent time alongside Annie Oakley in Buffalo Bill Cody's show.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Over 30 years ago, Pierre Burton in his, The National Dream and The Last Spike, also noted Dumont's role.

D V

JR Saul fittingly wrote the intro to Boyden. Saul's Fair Country (Canada is Métis country) I read also and commented on here somewhere after happening upon this thread, http://www.rabble.ca/babble/babble-book-lounge/fair-country-telling-trut... .

Saul at the end of the intro: "This balance, this tension of two very different men, shows how their reality and the reality of the Métis people are central to all our lives."

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Louis Riel was murdered by John A. MacDonald and the government of Canada 126 years ago today. Remember, remember.

Unionist

Thanks for remembering, Catchfire. Going to post that to my FB group.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Myths about Riel hide the man

Quote:
Louis Riel is known primarily through two historical events. The first is the 1870 formation of the Provisional Government of Manitoba and entry into Canadian Confederation.

The second is leading the Red River Resistance of 1885, one of the most significant armed conflicts between indigenous peoples and Canadian forces in history.

The story of Riel is most often framed in two ways: the inspirational and courageous "Founder of Manitoba" or the revolutionary freedom fighter tragically executed for his beliefs.

We know these well. Go ahead, mention Riel. Inevitably, words such as "hero," "statesman," "madman," "traitor" and "Father of Confederation" are used.

Riel is Superman. Riel is a monster. Riel is a victim....

 

[T]his Louis Riel Day, keep it really Riel. Take some lesser-known parts of his life and consider how they enrich the story of one of Manitoba's legendary leaders.

For instance, Riel was almost Canada's first Métis priest. After years in the Red River settlement, he was sent to college in Montreal by his mother, who wished she was a nun.

While there, his father died. Then Riel scandalously tried to marry a Montreal woman named Marie Julie Guernon -- an engagement broken off by her parents. Four months before his ordination as a priest, Riel dropped out of school, worked as a law clerk and eventually returned home.

If he had finished his training, married Guernon or had not become disillusioned with his job, he might have stayed in Montreal and perhaps remained out of Manitoba's history.

Much has been made of Riel's meteoric political rise as a Métis, but less about his place in Métis history.

As today, the Métis of the 19th century were not a homogeneous group. From the nameless individuals who created a path for him, to others who did not share an exuberance for his positions, we know just about Riel, not the Métis.

Ever hear about Pierre Delorme and Jean Baptiste Wilkie, the Métis on the Council of Assiniboia who challenged Riel? As my colleague, Emma LaRocque, says: "Riel overshadows his own people."

In this vein, it's often forgotten that Riel's primary influences were the strong women who surrounded him. I've already mentioned his mother. There are others, particularly Métis women such as his sister, Sara.

Great article by Niigaan James Sinclair.

 

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