Was Louis Riel a Hero or a Traitor?

Topics: Red River Rebellion, Louis Riel, Red River Colony Pages: 3 (1162 words) Published: December 12, 2012

SS7 CH9 Louis Riel Essay Teagan Moore 7-1

Louis Riel is known by many names: a prophet, a traitor, and a madman. Out of them all, Riel is regarded as a hero, who stood up for his people in the face of the Canadian government, and those who question his sanity still view him as an essentially honourable figure. Riel was strongly respectful towards the Métis and felt that they deserved rights too, like any other human being, as they faced racial discrimination by Canada’s government, whom denied them many rights and took away things like their land and culture. Riel’s earlier life contributed to who he was during the encounter with the surveyors and the settlers, such as his good education and his knowledge of three different languages: English, French, and Cree. As part of the Red River Resistance, he helped establish a provisional government, and was elected president. Since the Resistance and execution of Thomas Scott, he had suffered a series of emotional breakdowns, but later on, his delusions had subsided and he was married with a family and became a school teacher.

Louis Riel was born a natural leader.
Born in St. Boniface in the Red River settlement, Riel was raised in the Francophone-Catholic community of St. Boniface. However, Riel identified strongly with the Francophone Métis. When Riel was 14, he went to study at the College de Montreal, and was a good student whom received a broad and excellent education in many things, including languages and the sciences. When Riel returned to his community, Red River, in 1868, he stood out as someone with a higher education. He could speak fluent English, French, and Cree. In the transfer of Rupert’s Land for the HBC to Canada in 1869, when the surveyors began arriving, Riel saw an opportunity to establish the Red River settlement as a province. He saw the opportunity tht Confederation would provide Red River with. Confederation would give red river and elected...
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