Gibsons and Sechelt have proclaimed Nov. 16 as Louis Riel Day and both municipalities plan to fly the Métis flag over their respective municipal halls, but it will be raised without the usual ceremony in light of the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Both councils passed motions earlier this month recognizing that the “Métis people and their descendants have significantly contributed to the exploration, growth and development of Canada” and that Louis Riel “was a humanitarian and an advocate for the Métis people, and one of the Métis people’s foremost historic leaders who strove for justice and the rights of the Métis people as Manitoba joined Confederation.”
Riel was convicted of treason for his role in the Red River and North-West rebellions and executed on Nov. 16, 1885
Some Métis groups have called for the federal government to exonerate Riel and have him formally named a Father of Confederation.
"Riel was a champion of Métis rights who paid the ultimate price in his crusade to have Métis people accepted as equals in Canada,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement released Nov. 16. “Today, he is recognized as a founder of the province of Manitoba and a key contributor to Canadian confederation.”