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Louis Riel
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World Leader
    (October 23, 1844-November 16, 1885)
    A leader of his Métis people in their resistance against the Canadian government in the Canadian Northwest
    Hanged in 1885 for treason
    He believed that he had a religious mission to lead the Métis people of the Canadian northwest.
    Riel's decision to execute a Canadian named Thomas Scott, enraged anti-Catholic and anti-French sentiment in Ontario.
    Riel's role in the death of Scott resulted in his exile from Canada.
    Although chosen for a seat in the House of Commons on three occasions, he was unable to take his seat in the house.
    Riel was the undisputed spiritual and political head of the short-lived 1885 Métis Rebellion.
    He personally rejected attempts by his defence counsel to prove he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
    He was executed for treason.
    He is one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history.
    He was ambitious, well educated and bilingual.
    He was a poet and an author.
    One of first three Métis sent East to undergo religious training leading to the priesthood at the College de Montreal (May 1858).
    In 1870, he negotiated an act that established Manitoba as a province and provided some protection for French language rights.
    He is referred to as the 'father of Manitoba.'
    In 1884, he was asked by a delegation from the community of Métis from the south branch of the Saskatchewan river to present their grievances to the Canadian government.
    Despite being seen as the leader of the 1885 rebellion, he never carried arms.
    At his trial, Riel gave two long speeches which demonstrated his powerful rhetorical abilities.
    Many people, especially French speaking and Native communities, regard him as a hero.

Credit: Jet


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