Remembering Louis Riel and the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia

October 22, 2015

Winnipeg, MB – Today the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the Manitoba Government introduced a new learning resource tool for high school students that highlight and recognize the contribution of the Métis people and the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia.

“From before Confederation the Métis people emphasized equality of people, language and religion,” said MMF President David Chartrand, “The MMF is proud to be a part of this educational tool that highlights the contribution of the Métis Nation as Founders of Manitoba and Canada’s negotiating partner in Confederation.”

Between March and June of 1870, the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, under the leadership of Louis Riel and his Provisional Government, negotiated and ratified a List of Rights that helped form the Manitoba Act 1870 which created the province of Manitoba and brought it into Confederation with Canada.

“The Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia was the first and only democratic-elected government of its time and it was formed by Aboriginal people,” said Joan Ledoux, MMF Minister of Education, “This government was composed of Métis, French and English members that sought to recognize the rights of all people equally.  It was also the first government that mandated both the French and English languages be used in the Assembly and the workings of the government and court systems.”

This new tool will promote a better understanding of the role the Métis played in forming the province of Manitoba and help Manitoba students have a better appreciation of how our province came into being and of those that worked diligently to secure our place in Confederation.

“This history is not new to the Métis Nation. We have always taught our Métis Children about our rightful place in history,” said Minister Ledoux, “We have always celebrated Louis Riel as the Founder of Manitoba and a Father of Confederation.”

On hand also was the Sessional Journal of the Assembly of Assiniboia that records the momentous occasion of ratifying the Manitoba Act 1870:

“Hon. Mr. Schmidt seconded by Hon. Mr. Poitras moved that the Legislative Assembly of this country do now, in the name of the people, accept the Manitoba Act, + decide on entering the Dominion of Canada, on the terms proposed in the Confederation Act. – Carried amid loud cheers...” – Sessional Journal (pp 51-52)

Members of the public were also able to view the actual Sash worn by Louis Riel.

To view the resource tool and to learn more about the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia, please visit

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