OTTAWA, ONTARIO (November 16, 2015) – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today to commemorate Louis Riel Day:
"November 16, 2015, marks the 130th anniversary of the execution of Louis Riel for leading the North-West Resistance in defense of Métis rights. Louis Riel fought for basic human rights. He was a leader not only for the Métis but for all Canadians.
With a steadfast commitment to protecting minority rights and the French language, Louis Riel fought for the very values that Canadians hold dear – equality, pluralism, and social justice. His many sacrifices have secured him an enduring place in our shared history as a champion of the Métis people, a founder of Manitoba, and a key contributor to Canadian Confederation.
As we commemorate Louis Riel Day, I would also like to honour Métis people and Métis communities across Canada.
Improving Métis quality of life will require distinct and innovative approaches and a real partnership with Métis groups, as well as provinces and territories.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am looking forward to working with Métis people, communities, and organizations in order to ensure a renewed, Nation-to-Nation relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation."