MAY 15, 1885


Born October 22, 1844, in Saint-Boniface, Red River Settlement, in 1869, Riel led the Métis National Committee in forming a provisional government in what became Manitoba.  When opponents tried to disband the provisional government, the Métis captured and court martialed them.  One member was executed.  While this radicalized Ontario against Riel, in 1875 Canada granted him amnesty conditioned on 5 years of banishment.  Riel settled in Montana, but returned in June 1884 when asked by Gabriel Dumont [see December 1] and a group of Métis to help in the Saskatchewan Valley.  In March 1885, the Métis formed a provisional government with Riel as president.  Canadian troops intervened.  In the ensuing 2-month fight, known as the North-West Resistance, the Canadians prevailed and Riel surrendered himself.  In July 1885, he was charged with treason, tried, and convicted.  Riel was executed November 16, 1885.  His  execution made him the martyr of the Métis people.

Source:  George F. G. Stanley, “Louis Riel,”  The Canadian Encyclopedia, 4/22/2013.  Retrieved 6/30/2019,
Graphic:  Photographer: Israel Bennetto (1860-1946); Engraver: Octave-Henri Julien (1852-1908), taken between 1870-1884.  Public Domain in Canada:  Pre-1/1/1949 and author died more than 50 years ago.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  

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