Memorials are made as a reminder of someone or somethings’ significance, impact or contribution in our lives. The monument I chose to do was of Louis Riel, also known as the father of Manitoba. The reason I decided to do Louis Riel is because, he is a big part of Canadian history and he is also a big part of the Indigenous peoples’ contribution in Canada. Louis Riel was the founder of Manitoba and a Canadian Aboriginal man.
Louis Riel was the leader of two Métis government rebellions, and he fought for Métis people’s rights and protection in Canada against the then prime minister, John A, Macdonald. He was born October 22, 1844 in Winnipeg. Louis Riel lead the Métis nation and gave them hope, strength and pride.
Even with all the good he tried to accomplish for his people, he is still considered one of Canada’s most controversial figures. What he started out trying to accomplish for the Métis was the Red River, in March 1869. The Red River was a place in Canada highly populated by the Aboriginal community, but later was sold to the New Dominion of Canada. Louis Riel set out to negotiate with Ottawa for their land back, which he accomplish to get back into the province of Manitoba. The prime minister set out to gain control of Manitoba by using his army forces, which scared Louis Riel away causing him to fled to America.
In 1873, he managed to get himself a sent in parliament then went back to America. While in America, Louis began to show signs of mental instability, which lead to him being admitted into a mental hospital in 1876. In 1884, he settled down with his family and got himself an American citizenship. Even though he left, the Métis still fought for their rights back in Canada.
Later, the Canadian government began to try to take away more of Métis peoples rights, which lead them to write a letter asking Louis Riel to come back to help them. Louis Riel lead the beginning of the battle of the northwest rebellion, which was the fight of the Métis against the Canadian government. May 15th 1885, after the Métis people lost, Louis Riel surrendered and was taken to trial for treason. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death by hanging in Regina on November 16th 1885. Aboriginals in Canada have had to fight for their rights and land for centuries now.
I believe Louis Riel is significant enough to commemorate because of the impact he made in Canada for the Métis people. An example of his impact on Aboriginal Canadians is, even after he fled, the fight still continued because of the hope Louis Riel gave to his people for change. To this day, many Aboriginal people are still being discriminated against and treated poorly by the Canadian government.
Examples of this mistreatment is the Indian residential schools system, which was a program made to take Indigenous children away from their parents and into an education system designed to take the Indian culture out of the child. Indigenous communities are also underfunded and unfairly targeted by the police. Many Indigenous people fight against what is/was happening to them because of Louis Riel legacy. Also many Indigenous people consider him an inspiration despite others trying to dismiss him as a trader or just insane. I acknowledge the fact that Louis Riel has made some questionable decisions in his past, but I believe the good outweighs the bad, because of his positive impact on many of the people feeling discriminated against and fighting for change. I believe Louis Riel lived and died for his peoples rights and protection.
Therefore, I consider Louis Riel to be a inspiration for many Metis people, and is significant enough for a monument.My memorial is representative of all the things Louis Riel impacted before his death. It also shows remembrance of Louis Riel. My monument is a statue of Louis Riel on his tombstone, and in the background is three flags (Canada flag, Metis flag, and Manitoba flag), and behind the flags is a picture taken of Manitoba in 1885.
What I would hope a viewer took away from looking at this monument is, what Louis Riel represented and fought for. I would want a viewer to think of all he tried to do for his people, for Canada, and his accomplishments. I used a picture of Manitoba in 1885 for the background because, he is the founder of Manitoba and he died in 1885. The Canadian flag symbolizes his fight for change in the Canadian government’s’ treatment towards his people. The Metis flag symbolizes his people and his contributions towards them, andwhat motivated him to fight. The Manitoba flag symbolizes his significance towards being the founder of the province.
Finally, the statue of Louis Riel on a tombstone symbolizes that he died for the three flags behind him and as commemoration of his time alive. Also, his statue reaches out to symbolize his efforts of a better future for the Metis. In conclusion, Louis Riel lead the Metis peoples fight for equality. He is a huge inspiration to the Indigenous community, and he should be commemorated because of his positive impact of encouraging Aboriginals to fight for their rights.