Execution of Riel

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The execution of Riel is an extremely controversial event. Some say that Riel is a villain, who tried to disrupt the peace that had been established. However, Riel is a true hero, standing up for the rights of the Metis and First Nations people. Through various actions he would take during the course of his life, he would preserve the traditional way of life of the Metis and ensure that they had a place in the Dominion of Canada.

Everything began with the arrival of the surveyors. Due to the fact that Canada had bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company and was to be officially transferred to Canada on June 23, 1870, the Canadian government sent out people to inspect the lands that would soon be theirs. From the arrival of the surveyors, the Metis learned of how the Canadian government had planned to purchase the area that they lived in. They were not consulted by either the HBC or the Canadian government during their negotiations for the rights of the land. The Canadian government acted as if they were the owners of the vast lands. However, these lands were first inhabited by the First Nations people before any European settlers arrived. Although the Metis people were half Native and half European, they were treated like Natives. In reality, the European settlers arrived to the new lands claiming it was theirs while giving the First Nations people no compensation. If justice was to be truly served, the Canadian law could not exist because they were made by the very people who arrived from overseas and the Europeans would have to follow the customs of the First Nations people. However, the obnoxious Canadian government did not take such actions. Instead, they thought the Natives could be governed by one of their own and sent William McDougall to become the lieutenant-governor for the North West Territory. Riel acted swiftly and prevented the Canadians from taking control. Before the Metis were to be a part of Canada, they would need sufficient rights...