Former Boundary Métis Community president Jean Lloyd wore her traditional capote at Monday’s flag-raising. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Former Boundary Métis Community president Jean Lloyd wore her traditional capote at Monday’s flag-raising. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Métis community comes together for Louis Riel day at Gyro Park

Monday’s flag-raising ceremony marked Riel’s 1885 execution by the Government of Canada

Métis communities commemorated Louis Riel day across the Boundary Monday, Nov. 16.

The annual service marks Riel’s execution in Regina in 1885. Hung by the Government of Canada after leading armed rebellions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Riel is now remembered as “the father of Manitoba” and a founder of Confederation.

READ MORE: Louis Riel Day celebration coming to Grand Forks November 2019

Members of the Boundary Métis Community Association (BMCA) met at Grand Forks’ Gyro Park, where elders raised the métis flag to the sound of traditional music.

From the left: River and Doug Arnott wore face masks and traditional Métis sashes for Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at Gyro Park (Nov. 16). The senior Arnott is president of the Boundary Métis Community. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

From the left: River and Doug Arnott wore face masks and traditional Métis sashes for Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at Gyro Park (Nov. 16). The senior Arnott is president of the Boundary Métis Community. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

BCMA President Doug Arnott spoke to a crowd of around 20 people at Gyro Park. They’d come to honour Riel’s sacrifice not only for his Métis people, but for religious freedom and francophone rights across Canada, he said.

Courtney Jewitt, left, and Polly Sisson braved the snow and rain at Monday’s ceremony at Gryo Park (Nov. 16). Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Courtney Jewitt, left, and Polly Sisson braved the snow and rain at Monday’s ceremony at Gryo Park (Nov. 16). Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Arnott and community elder Don Robillard hoisted the métis flag after a traditional smudging led by Shannon Hurley.

Monday’s service would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago when Riel was popularly demonized as a deranged criminal, Robillard acknowledged.

“I believe we are moving forward,” he told The Gazette. “We are getting stronger with each member we get. And, I’m very, very proud to be Métis.”


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