Nov. 16 honours Louis Riel and Métis people. (Métis Nation British Columbia Facebook photo)

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133rd anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

As the sun rose above Victoria, so did a flag outside the B.C. legislature, honouring Louis Riel Day.

Nov. 16 celebrates the contributions of both Louis Riel, a historical Métis leader who died on this day in 1885, and the Métis people.

READ MORE: Métis flag raised at B.C. legislature

“As a proud member of the Métis community, I was honoured to watch the flag rise in front of the people’s house,” said Carole James, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance. “By proclaiming Nov. 16 as Louis Riel Day, we celebrate the importance of Louis Riel’s personal sacrifice and Métis culture. We are committed to working together to make life better for Métis people throughout British Columbia.”

Métis became a distinct nation in the late 1700s as a fusion of First Nations and European cultures. Riel himself championed Métis rights and culture, ultimately dying for the cause when he was executed by the Canadian government after a rebellion on the prairies. A 2016 census shows nearly 90,000 people living in B.C. identify as Métis. Since then, a press release said, that number has increased by nearly 30,000.

The president of Métis Nation BC (MNBC), Clara Morin-Dal Col, MNBC board members and Métis people gathered at the ceremony. Morin-Dal Col said, “As a celebration of our shared history, Louis Riel Day is an important day for all Métis people in B.C. Proclaiming this day and marking it with a flag raising in front of the legislature recognizes our distinct culture, heritage and history of Métis people throughout British Columbia.”

READ MORE: Island Métis society rights long cultural misstep with Vancouver Island First Nations


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Infamous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and other destinations

Bear trapped and killed near Tofino-Ucluelet

“This bear just was not leaving humans alone,” said Conservation Officer Andrew Riddell.

Fire restrictions in Tofino and Ucluelet

“It is visitors and residents alike that struggle with this one on a yearly basis.”

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Laid-off B.C. hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

Most Read