Province Recognizes Métis Leader Louis Riel as Manitoba's First Leader

March 2, 2016

Winnipeg, MB – It was an emotional day at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Tuesday, March 1. After the second reading of The Path to Reconciliation Act the Province recognized Métis Visionary Louis Riel as the first leader of the Province of Manitoba. Louis Riel’s Provisional Government was located at Upper Fort Garry and formed the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia that oversaw the creation of Manitoba and Confederation with Canada.

Under Riel’s leadership, a List of Rights was created to ensure the protection of the rights of the Métis Nation, First Nations, English and French as well as land guarantees for the Métis children and ensuring the new province would be officially bilingual.

During a brief ceremony at the Legislature, Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Minister of Residential Schools and Michif Language Andrew Carrier brought greetings on behalf of the Manitoba Métis Government. He was joined by many Métis Citizens who celebrated this occasion of seeing Riel recognized for the work he did for the Métis Nation and indeed, for all people in the Red River and Canada.

“Louis Riel was a visionary Métis Leader who fought to ensure the rights of all people – Métis Nation, First Nations, English and French – were recognized and protected when his government negotiated the Manitoba Act 1870,” explained Minister Carrier. “This Act was Canada’s first Treaty with one of its Indigenous people in what is now known as Western Canada.”

Provincial Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs and Deputy Premier Eric Robinson joined MMF Minister Carrier in unveiling a portrait of Louis Riel on the Wall of Leaders at the Manitoba Legislative Building.

“It is a pleasure to speak on something that is so long overdue, and that is having the Father of Manitoba and his picture prominently displayed in the Manitoba Legislature,” said Minister Robinson. “Louis Riel is…the Father of Manitoba. He was the President of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia and, some would say, the first Premier of the province of Manitoba.”

“The Manitoba Metis Federation and the Métis of Manitoba have been working long and hard for this recognition,” stated Minister Carrier. “We have always known the truth that Louis Riel was Manitoba’s first Premier. It is great to see the Province of Manitoba recognize this great Métis Leader and place his portrait first on the Wall of Leaders here at the Legislative Building.”



Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

For media information, please contact:

Jonathan Hamel
Director of Communications
Manitoba Metis Federation

Phone:             (204) 586-8474 ext. 324
Cell:                 (204) 806-4752


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