Louis Riel Position Paper Was He a Hero or a Traitor?

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  • Topic: Manitoba, Louis Riel, Red River Rebellion
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  • Published : November 10, 2008
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Louis Riel Position Paper
Was he a hero or a traitor?

Louis Riel is considered one of the most important figures in Canadian history. Was he a hero or a traitor? In my opinion, he should be remembered as a hero. His leadership of the Métis was shown in both the Red River in 1869 and North West Rebellions in 1885.

Riel, the leader of the Métis, also a fiery spokesperson, had everything what the Métis wanted to say. Everything Riel did was purposely to improve the Métis’ social status and remind the Canadian government of their presence. He formed the National Committee of the Métis to protect their lands and provided Provisional Government for his Métis people, which negotiated an agreement and allowed the territory surrounding the Red River Settlement to enter the province of Manitoba, and the Orangemen tried to overthrow it. Also, he created the Métis bill of rights to protect themselves, to emphasize to the federal government the importance of negotiating with their Manitoba’s entry into the Canadian Confederation. He didn’t forget his Métis people after his exile, but actually he retuned to form a government and organize resistance, bearing the risk of being charged for treason. By doing it, he made the Métis Bill of Rights in more details saying the Métis wanted equal rights as other peoples in the Northwest. He spent almost all of his life fighting for justice. “Justice commands us to take up arms”, by his saying, he encouraged the Métis to fight with the Northwest Mounted Police for their rights and dignity. Before his high treason at the age of 41, he took the responsibility of the rebellion of the Canadian government all on him. Even before he died, his last words were still trying to protect his Métis peoples.

Riel always have been supported the Métis. However, some of his acts might seem rebellious. For example, by putting a foot on the surveyor’s chain might cause rebellions, but Riel was just in time to stop them, because they were...
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