Louis Riel was the founding father of Manitoba, President of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia and in effect, the first Premier of Manitoba.
He was a hero and negotiating partner in Confederation during the Red River Resistance.
Louis Riel Day celebrates the history and events that occurred during Riel’s lifetime, but it is also meant to honour the people Riel defended — the Métis — who effectively disappeared from written history for 50 years after the Battle of Batoche.
The day also celebrates the Métis people’s story of resiliency and re-emergence, with past wrongdoings being recognized and a new generation of Métis youth encouraged to continue the work of their Elders.
Louis Riel Day is officially celebrated in Manitoba on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, as a provincial holiday.