Louis Riel

Louis Riel
- Patriote or Traitor?

Louis Riel was born in 1844. He was captured and executed by Canadian authorities in November 16, 1885. He was a leader who gave up his life and time to fight for the right of the Metis, Indians and the western settlers. He was an well-educated young man fluent in both French and English. He was also selected as the Metis?s spokesman to negotiate with the Canadian government. During the 1869-70, he led the rebel when Canada purchases Manitoba from the Hudson?s bay company. Also, he organized and led a similar rebellion in 1885. Above all, is he a patriote or a traitor? It was inappropriate to accuse Riel as a traitor. He tried to defend the traditional rights of Metis and made sure they treated as equally as the British subjects. Riel was a patriote, who passionately love, supported and defended his people. He was also a serious and thoughtful person who dedicated his life to help others. Metis, Native Indians and western setters were all very proud of and respected this leader because of his life long effort. He was a person who was willing to step up and told the government what they needed. Riel never wanted any violent, in fact, he wanted to use peaceful methods to achieve the changes they desired. Moreover, he had no intention to declare independence nor to take over Canada. Unfortunately, Canadian government did not realize the difficult situation of the Metis. They kept ignoring and disregarding their demand. Consequently, these people were forced to rebel and fight against Canada.

During 1870, the Hudson?s bay company sold the Repert?s land to Canada. However, the Metis had never been consulted by either Hudson?s Bay Company or the Canadian government during the period of negotiations. The Canadian government ignored the resentment from the Metis by sending surveyors to the Red River Valley. The Surveyors treated the Metis quite badly, even caused physical abuses. The Metis needed someone who understood the Canadian law and willing to help them in defending their rights. They chose Louis Riel as their leader. When Riel knew how the surveyors treated his people, he and some followers quickly reacted to the threat posed by the Canadian government. Riel formed an organization called the Comite National des Metis to defend his people. After Riel setup this organization, they took another action to protect their rights. They blocked William McDougall from entering Red River without any violent incidents in order to allow negotiations with the Canadian government. Then, Riel organized a provisional government to ensure law and order in the area until an elected assembly was created since Metis were not opposed to becoming part of Canada. Moreover, they had sworn allegiance to the Queen to show their loyalty. Riel, as a patriote had shown his loyalty and care to Canada. As a patriote, Riel rather sees Red River area becomes part of Canada, instead of the United States. Throughout the years, the Canadian government had denied the Metis their rights to decide their own fate. Decisions were made without consent.

Riel was often called insurrectionist, even he was willing to be Canadian. Moreover, he was a true hero who was eager to help his people and the western settlers. He tried to solve the problems and drafted the ?Metis list of rights? with other Metis. These rights had stated the reasonable demands from the Metis. His goal was to see that all people in the Red River area was protected. He tried to solve the problems in a peaceful way and as a result, no battles were fought. At the end, Manitoba Act was established.

Along the Saskatchewan River, the Metis, Native peoples and the few white settlers were living peacefully together until the intervention of the Canadian government. During the intervention, the Canadian government had slashed the funds allocated to the Indians. Meanwhile, lands were further divided by the government surveyor. The farmers were angered that they could not receive title to their lands. Factors accumulated had put the Metis in a despairing condition. Some native people were starved to death because their buffalo hunting land were destroyed. As a result, the white Indian and Metis then turned to Riel?s help. Riel quickly returned to Canada and ignored his personal safety. As a patriot who loves and cares about his people, Riel knew