Mr. Speaker, 124 years ago today, Canada lost one of its most famous citizens. We lost a man who will forever be a symbol of the difficulties our country faced in its early days.
Whether remembered as a defender of the Métis people, the founder of Manitoba, or a Father of Confederation, the lore of Louis Riel is central to Canada's past.
Louis Riel's fight in the 1800s to protect Métis rights and culture made him a strong voice for the Métis people during a turbulent time in Canadian history. In fact, the strength of the Métis today can be traced back to Louis Riel's efforts, which made the Métis nation an ongoing, vibrant part of our national identity.
Louis Riel's struggle will forever be ingrained in our collective psyche. His memory is now part of our country's great history. Today, on the anniversary of his death, we celebrate the life of Louis Riel, as well as the culture, languages and heritage of the Canadian Métis people.