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The story of Louis Riel began on October 28th 1844. He was born in a log cabin beside Seine Lake. The same priest who married his parents one year earlier baptized Louis on his day of birth. Many people view Louis Riel as the biggest pioneer of Metis in Canadian history. They base their decision on the fortresses he took and his position in Metis organizations. Others call him a joke and despise him. They base this on him being taken to trial for treason and eventually convicted and sentenced to death. As well as him betraying his country and fleeing when the land's owners were switched ruining a chance for a rebellion and having the nerve to return and restart a rebellion only before being arrested tried and hung. Everybody has his or her own view as what to make of Louis Riel. What's yours…? Hero or Villain?
If you think Louis Riel was a Hero. You need to assess his accomplishments and what they did for the Metis history. In this life time Riel was named the Secretary for the National Committee of the Red River Metis and people came to him for advice instead of the president. Riel was well aware of about McDougall's approach to the boundary at Pembina. On November 2nd, Riel and 120-armed Metis marched through the open gate at Fort Garry and took power of the ambulant storage of food and the fortress itself. Riel also claimed other fortresses for the Metis and eventually the president of the National Committee of the Red River Metis resigned and gave the position of president to Louis Riel. These are some of the many reasons that society today sees Louis Riel as a hero in Canadian history and they admire him. Although as you read you will see the reasons that society thinks of this man as an embarrassment in our history.
If you think of Louis Riel was a Villain. You must look at all the crooked things he did while he was alive. He tried to lead Native Americans and Metis in the Red River settlements in Manitoba to rebel. Although the land was transferred from the Hudson Bay company to the Canadian Government, and the rebellion collapsed. Riel ran away and returned to Canada in 1844. He led rebels attempting to secure land titles in Saskatchewan at the engagement at Batoche in 1885.
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If you were a Metis then you would have entire different views on him. The Metis think of him as a God. Riel led them to many rebellions and the Metis seized many fortresses under his command. Riel ran away when the rebellion collapsed and while he was gone he was given the title "outlaw". Although while he was gone the government set aside a piece of land for the Metis, thus established the province Manitoba. Other Metis may view Louis Riel as a traitor because they are very proud of their heritage and being represented by a person who betrayed them is something that they would not want to admit to. No matter what your race. Society today and the Metis all have different views on this man named Louis Riel
In conclusion there are many different views on what Louis Riel was. He believed he was a full-blooded Metis. He didn't really show it in his actions. Calling him a hero would be correct because he did take over numerous fortresses as well as work his way up to become the president of the National Committee of the Red River Metis. Calling him a villain would also be correct as well. He betrayed his country when his rebellion failed and he was an outlaw until he returned to Canada and tried to start another rebellion when he was captured and taken to trial for treason and sentenced to death. Before he died he said, "When I die, Metis dies with me." He is saying that if he has to go then the whole Metis must go with him. This was a cocky move and it lacked moral. Louis Riel died on November 16th 1885 and according to him, the Metis died with him, or did it?
1) World Book