Louis Riel

LOUIS RIEL (1844-1885)

Louis Riel Quotes:

Founder of Manitoba / Father of Confederation
"I am glad the Crown have proved that I am the leader of the half-breeds in the Northwest. I will perhaps be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the half-breeds, and if I am, I will have an opportunity of being acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country."

Louis Riel, 1885
"I am more convinced everyday that without a single exception I did right. And I have always believed that, as I have acted honestly, the time will come when the people of Canada will see and acknowledge it."

Louis Riel
"In a little while it will be over. We may fail. But the rights for which we contend will not die."

Louis Riel, May 6, 1885, Batoche, N.W.T.
"Yes, I have done my duty. During my life I have aimed at practical results. I hope that after my death my spirit will bring practical results. All that I have done and risked... Rested certainly on the conviction that I was called upon to do something for my country I know that through the grace of God I am the founder of Manitoba."

By Oral Tradition Attributed to Louis Riel
"My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back."

Louis Riel
"We have allowed ourselves to fall into the hands of a Government which only thinks of us to pillage us. Had he only understood what God did for us before Confederation, we should have been sorry to see it coming. And the half-breeds of the North-West would have made conditions of a nature to preserve for our children that liberty, that possession of the soil, without which there is no happiness for anyone; but fifteen years of suffering, impoverishment and underhand, malignant persecution have opened our eyes; and the sight of the abyss of demoralization into which the Dominion is daily plunging us deeper and deeper every day, has suddenly, by God's mercy, as it were, stricken us with horror."

Louis Riel, March, 1885
"During these different phases of strain, the Métis nation has never, for anything in the world, abandoned its leaders, who were no doubt devoted, but were subjected by a treacherous government, to all sorts of humiliation and misery. God will reward it for its loyalty and constancy. In spite of failures, the Métis cause grows incessantly..."

"In 1869-70 they wanted to steal our land... Since the transfer, up till the arrests of 73, they have betrayed us..."

Louis Riel
"We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on."

Louis Riel, Memoir
"When the Government of Canada presented itself at our doors it found us at peace. It found that the Métis people of the North-West could not only live well without it . . . but that it had a government of its own, free, peaceful, well-functioning, contributing to the work of civilization . . . It was a government with an organized constitution, whose jurisdiction was all the more legitimate and worthy of respect, because it was exercised over a country that belonged to it."

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