TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Louis Riel was the great Métis leader executed by the Canadian government on November 16, 1885, for leading the Northwest Resistance in defense of Métis rights. Every year on November 16, Louis Riel Day is held to remember Riel's sacrifice, and renew the commitment to completing the work he started. The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) celebrates Louis Riel Day to recognize the many contributions of the Métis to Canada and highlight the continuing struggles that Métis continue to face. "We celebrate this day to recognize our ongoing struggle to fulfill Louis Riel's dream that the Métis take their rightful place within Confederation" explained MNO President Gary Lipinski."
Métis communities across Ontario held Louis Riel Day events and a provincial ceremony took place in Toronto at the Northwest Rebellion monument on the grounds of the provincial Legislature. The provincial government was represented at the Toronto ceremony by Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Minister of Energy, the Honourable Chris Bentley. Minister Bentley recognized the contributions of the Métis to building Canada. "The Métis have shown great leadership and drive," he stated.
President Lipinski was also joined by the Honourable Dave Levac, first Métis Speaker of the Ontario Legislature and as well as Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) including Michael Prue, who spoke on behalf of NDP leader Andrea Horwath. The presence of Minister Bentley, Speaker Levac and MPP Prue at the Toronto Louis Riel Day event demonstrates the positive relationship the MNO has built with Ontario through the MNO-Ontario Framework agreement, which was signed three years ago. "The government's willingness to sign the Framework agreement with us," stated President Lipinski, "signaled there was a new way of doing business with the Métis and that the process of reconciliation had started."
Other speakers at the event included MNO Chair France Picotte, Jean Teillet, a Métis lawyer and descendent of Louis Riel and Jennifer Henry, who represented Métis youth.
More information on Louis Riel Day is available on the MNO website at: http://www.metisnation.org/news--media/news/19th-annual-louis-riel-day-commemorative-ceremony
Image with caption: "MNO President Gary Lipinski and MNO Chair France Picotte during the Louis Riel Day Ceremony in Toronto (CNW Group/METIS NATION OF ONTARIO)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121116_C9048_PHOTO_EN_20854.jpg
SOURCE: METIS NATION OF ONTARIO
For further information:
or interviews contact:
Mike Fedyk, MNO Director of Communications
Ph: 613-798-1488 (office) Ph: 613-314-9402 (cell)