Fun Ways to Celebrate Louis Riel Day in Manitoba

February 15, 2022

In the week leading up to Louis Riel Day on Monday, February 21, the MMF offers many ways to celebrate Riel and his legacy throughout the province he founded.

A statutory holiday in Manitoba, first observed in 2008 on the third Monday in February, Louis Riel Day celebrates the founder and First Premier of Manitoba, father of Confederation, and visionary leader of the Red River Métis.

For years now, the February long weekend and the week preceding has offered Manitobans an opportunity to celebrate and discover Louis Riel's legacy, participating in Métis traditions such as beading, jigging, and more. Louis Riel Day events allow all Manitobans to embrace our distinct culture and heritage, while also recognizing the leadership Riel demonstrated in the establishment of our province and his undeniable role in furthering both French and Indigenous rights.

In the week leading up to Louis Riel Day on Monday, February 21, the MMF offers many ways to celebrate Riel and his legacy throughout the province he founded:

  1. Louis Riel Day Workshop

Children ages six to 12 can learn about the significance of celebrating Louis Riel Day in Manitoba on February 21 from 11am to 12pm. This one-hour virtual workshop, presented by the Louis Riel Institute (LRI), will include a presentation on Louis Riel, where he came from, his significance in forming the province of Manitoba, and the importance of celebrating Louis Riel Day.

Through participation, children will gain an understanding of Louis Riel and the history of the Red River Métis, and gain pride and confidence through the creation of a paper collage focused on Riel. Three winners will be randomly chosen from those who submit a picture of their finished paper collage to the LRI. The winners will be featured on various platforms such as the LRI and MMF websites and social media.

Email lriculture@mmf.mb.ca for more information.

  1. Louis Riel Day Scavenger Hunt

The MMF is encouraging families to take a journey along historic spots in Winnipeg this Louis Riel Day by participating in a scavenger hunt. From February 18-28, participants can use the actionbound app to connect to the game, and work through clues as they explore the Métis Homeland and learn about the Red River Métis. An at-home quiz option is also available for those preferring to stay at home and those not located in the Winnipeg Region. Scan the below QR code starting Friday, February 18 to download the app.

  1. Louis Riel Family Day at FortWhyte Alive CANCELLED

On February 21, Métis Citizens in the Winnipeg Region are invited to join the Winnipeg Regional Youth Advisory Committee, in partnership with Métis Employment & Training, at FortWhyte Alive from 1-4pm to take part in Louis Riel Family Day. Before warming up by the bonfire, Citizens can connect with nature and explore the picturesque landscape FortWhyte Alive has to offer, with voyageur games, a scavenger hunt, ice fishing, hiking and walking, tobogganing, wildlife watching, and more. Hot chocolate, tea, and hot dogs will also be available.

Contact Angel Simard, Regional Youth Worker at the Winnipeg Regional Office, at 204-586-8474 or youth.coordinator@mmf.mb.ca to register by Thursday, February 17. Attendees must wear masks, and those 12 and up must show proof of vaccination.

  1. A Métis Moment: History of Louis Riel and Manitoba

LRI Culture and History Instructor Shirley Delorme Russell will join Red River College Polytechnic from 12-1pm on Wednesday, February 16, to share the history of Métis peoples in Manitoba. Students will learn about: Riel and why we have a provincial holiday named after him; why the creation of the province of Manitoba, led by President Louis Riel, led to the Supreme Court Land Claims Case of 2013; and understand all the resources available to Métis Citizens.

Click here www.rrc.ca/indigenous/2022/01/20/a-metis-moment-history-of-louis-riel-and-manitoba/?fbclid=IwAR2U-MvPPr0LhDp6ySNPKXO2Pn9svxjiTbvbHSUy_zB5hATrBfhmLQO6C-c to read more about the virtual event.

  1. Northwest Métis Council Inc. presents Louis Riel Day

Celebrate Louis Riel Day in a virtual celebration with the Northwest Métis Council on February 21 from 1-6pm. Streaming live on Facebook and YouTube, the event will feature entertainment from Tequila Creek, the D-Town Junior Steppers, the Campbell family, Colton McLeod featuring Peter Cruz, and more. A Meet Our Elders video will take place between the musical guests, with a live firework show at 6pm at the Dauphin Fair Grounds to close the festivities. Guests who attend the firework show must remain in their vehicles at all times due to public health orders.

Call the Northwest Métis Council at 204-638-9485 for more information.

  1. Métis Family Night

February 21 will mark the 22nd annual Métis Family Night at the Métis Hall in The Pas. From 5-10pm, guests can attend the indoor event, which will include a silent auction. A ticket and proof of vaccination are required.

Contact The Pas Region Inc. at 204-623-5701 or pasreception@mmf.mb.ca.

  1. Louis Riel Day with the Richer Métis Local

Join the Richer Métis Local in honouring Louis Riel and the resilience of the Métis Nation on February 21 from 11am to 4pm at the beautiful Dawson Trail Park in Richer. The free event will include traditional dance, song, fiddle music, ice skating, hayrides, and a bonfire, with entertainment from the Tom Dutiaume Band, the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers, and more. Beef stew with galette and hot dogs will be served alongside coffee and hot chocolate.

Five hundred people can attend the weather-dependent event on a first come first serve basis. If the temperature gets too cold, the event will be moved inside to the Young at Heart Hall in Richer with 50 per cent capacity for attendees who can provide proof of vaccination.

Call the Southeast Regional Métis Corp. at 204-754-2721 for more information.

  1. Auberge du violon

Photo by Jacob Hodgson on Unsplash)

French-speaking Métis Citizens can listen in to CKXL - Envol 91 FM on February 21 from 3-6pm for an event celebrating Métis culture and music. Hosted by Aléxe LaRoche, the three-hour show will offer Métis fiddle music and interviews with Yvon Dumont, former MMF President and the first Métis Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, and MMF Minister Andrew Carrier, on the importance of Louis Riel Day. The event is presented by Le conseil Elzéar Goulet - which represents the interests of French-speaking Métis in the Winnipeg Region and operates under the governance of the MMF and the Winnipeg Métis Association - and Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba.

Tune in at 91.1FM from 3-6pm on February 21.

  1. Day of Fun in the Winter Sun CANCELLED

The MMF's Métis Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow (MELT) program has been offering land-based learning opportunities for school-aged Métis Youth since its inception last year. MELT partnered with Waterways, an Indigenous-led non-profit aimed at creating opportunities for Indigenous peoples to connect with the land, last summer for a canoeing program, and is partnering with the organization again for a day of fun in the winter sun.

Métis Youth ages 12-29 are invited to participate in a free snowshoeing event on February 21. Participants will travel by snowshoe from Parc Elzéar Goulet to Fort Gibraltar, Whittier Park, and Lagimodiére-Gaboury Park while learning Métis culture along the way. Other activities include a slingshot competition, historical and environmental learning opportunities, outdoor games, and activities with prizes to win. Lunches, and compensation for travel and accommodations for those joining from outside of Winnipeg, will be provided. Participants will travel by bus starting at the MMF Home Office at 8:30am and will be dropped off at 4:30pm.

Fully vaccinated Métis Youth can register by emailing Amber Chambers, MELT Coordinator, at amber.chambers@mmf.mb.ca.

  1. Read Louis Riel Day: The Fur Trade Project by Deborah L. Delaronde

Métis author Deborah L. Delaronde has written numerous children's books, and released Louis Riel Day: The Fur Trade Project, last February. The picture storybook follows a young boy who, with help from his grandfather, learns about the history of the Fur Trade, Métis people, Louis Riel, and the Red River Resistance, and why we have a holiday named Louis Riel Day.

Just as many of Delaronde's stories are historical in setting and centre on a Métis protagonist or situation, she wrote Louis Riel Day with the hope that the story would convey the "way of life" of the Métis people in both a historical and contemporary context. Geared towards children ages six to nine, Louis Riel Day is a great way for children to learn more about the Red River Métis leader and the holiday that celebrates him.

For more about Delaronde and her book, read the February 17, 2021 issue of Le Metis here /wcm-docs/news/lemetis_2021_02_17_20211117110956.pdf.

Click here /louis-riel-day-2022 for more information about Louis Riel Day activities and celebrations.

 


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