Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief, Betty Ann Lavallée Message Commemorating “Louis Riel Day”
To Commemorate “Louis Riel Day,” the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples will unfurl the Métis Flag at the Ottawa Police Headquarters on November 16, 2012
(Ottawa) November 16, 2012 – Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, National Chief Betty Ann Lavallée issued the following statement to commemorate the anniversary of Louis Riel execution on November 16, 1885.
“Each year, on Louis Riel Day we pay tribute to a man who fought to preserve Métis rights and culture, and paid the ultimate price. As an Aboriginal person, I believe that history has shown that Louis Riel was in fact a hero, and was unjustly tried and convicted of a crime he did not commit.”
“I believe that Louis Riel was a freedom fighter who stood up for his people in the face of bigotry and racism. I also want to note that not only is Riel an important figure to Métis and Aboriginal people, he is becoming increasingly more important to non-Aboriginal people as well. This, I believe is because as historians look back, a different story of Riel emerge; as a man of courage, of conviction and a man seeking justice for his People.”
“It is for this reason that there have been several attempts which have gone before Parliament to have the conviction of Louis Riel overturned. Although these attempts have not been successful to date, I firmly believe that in the near future, this grave injustice will be corrected.”
“As an Aboriginal person, I encourage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across the country to take a moment out of their day, and pay tribute to the sacrifice that Louis Riel made in the name of justice. It is a day to remember our history, to learn from our past, to ensure that this type of injustice never happens to anyone again in the future.”
Since 1971, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, (formerly known as the Native Council of Canada) has represented the interests of off-reserve status and non-status Indians, Southern Inuit and Métis throughout Canada. Today, over 60% of Aboriginal Peoples now live off-reserve. The Congress is also the national voice for its affiliate organizations who advocate on behalf of Aboriginal Peoples living off-reserve.
Event Details: Métis Flag Unfurling Ceremony
Location: Ottawa Police Headquarters
Date: November 16, 2012, 11 a.m.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Ottawa Ontario, Canada