Louis Riel: Father of Confederation or a Treasonous Rebel? Essay

Louis Riel: Father of Confederation or a Treasonous Rebel? Essay

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"We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on." (Louis Riel, 1884). Louis Riel, a man of great nature and abiding love for his western Métis heritage, is proven to be one of the most revolutionary men looked upon in the chronicles of the Dominion of Canada. In spite of this, he remains as one of the most controversial and cryptic figures throughout the course of Canadian history, leading to the question, is he recognized as the Father of Confederation or a treasonous rebel? A period of revolution lasting from the 1870’s to the late 1880’s was condemned with constant revolts justified as an intervening year for those involved; initiated by Riel. Although his actions may have struck him as a villain, Riel’s actions benefitted Canada greatly. Louis Riel is regarded as a hero by preserving the civil liberties and identities of the Métis and leading two memorable resistance movements against the Canadian government, in which to sustain their heritage. Louis Riel is claimed to be a valiant but flawed conqueror. However, despite all these flaws, he is known to be one of Canada’s national heroes, as he left a substantial impact on Canadian history as a dominant individual within civilization.

Riel was highly looked upon by the Aboriginal peoples, notably the Métis, on account for fighting for their civil liberties in which were being stripped from them systematically by the government. While stationed in the Red River settlement, he was welcomed by the invasion of discrimination brought by Ontario Anglophone settlers; racial tensions escalated. He strived to protect the Métis habitat, customs and values in the Northwest as they were steadily l...


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...dships, in fear of their identities being erased. He willingly sacrificed his own existence to protect those who could not protect themselves. He was a man who seized such remarkable qualities that made him such a powerful individual during the nineteenth century; determination, charisma, and the ability of having strong beliefs. Those who question his sanity still view him as an essentially honourable figure within Canadian history. He was a man of nobility and pride in his own culture, he voiced for equality and freedoms for his people, without him, many rights would have been denied to the Métis citizens. In the end, many still question his existence and reputation, when in fact, his name is still a living legend today; a symbol of native sovereignty. Louis Riel is in fact, one of Canada’s most important figures in history and is without a doubt, a hero to many.

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