Hero or Traitor
Despite the controversy surrounding Louis Riel, and the dispute which has arisen because of him, he will forever remain a hero and savior of the Métis people, and a model for other oppressed aboriginal people. Louis Riel has left his mark in the history of the Dominion of Canada, the voice piece of the Métis people, both an eloquent spokesman for their aspirations, and a man who had compassion. Louis Riel, the eldest of his other eleven siblings was born on October 22, 1844 near, the now modern times Winnipeg, Manitoba. His parents were Louis Riel, Sr. and Julie Lagimodiére. He was a part of a well-respected French Canadian Métis family. His family was well known in the Red River Area because of their devout to Catholicism and their strong family ties. Riel was first educated by Roman Catholics priest at St. Bonifance. He was described as a fine scholar of many languages, science, and philosophy and sometimes was unpredictably odd and reclusive. At age 13 he came to the attention of Alexander Taché, the Bishop, who was promoting priesthood for talented young men. In 1858 Taché arranged for Riel to attend the Petit Séminaire of the Collège de Montréal. After Riel heard of his father’s death in 1864, Louis had lost all interest in being a priest and he left the college in March 1865. He continued his studies in the Convent of Gray Nuts to study law, but was soon asked to leave due to his behavior. Riel decided then to remain in Montreal living in her aunt’s house, Lucie Riel. Left with very less source of money to sustain him, Riel worked as a law clerk in the Montreal office of Rodolphe Laflamme. During this period of time he was involved in a Romance with a young Woman named Marie-Julie Guernon. They signed a contract of marriage which was soon broken because her family did not approve her involvement with a Métis. Riel decided then to leave Canada East on 1866, partly because of his canceled love and because he...
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