May 12, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – MLA and Leader of the Manitoba NDP Wab Kinew is renewing his call for Métis leader Louis Riel to be recognized as Manitoba’s First Premier and offered congratulations to the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) on the purchase of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) building at Portage and Main, which the MMF says will become the future home of Métis Nation Heritage Centre.
“On behalf of the Manitoba NDP, I offer my sincere congratulations to the Manitoba Metis Federation on the purchase of the historic Bank of Montreal building in downtown Winnipeg. The Métis have a rich history in Winnipeg and we look forward to visiting the future Heritage Centre,” said Kinew.
Kinew has introduced a bill to recognize Louis Riel as First Premier of Manitoba and ensure his legacy is conveyed to Manitoba students.
“Today is the 150 year anniversary of Manitoba joining Confederacy and we recognize Métis leader Louis Riel as a founder of this province and his role in negotiating the List of Rights that acknowledged and respected the rights of Indigenous peoples and linguistic minorities of this land,” added Kinew. “Riel played a key role in the creation of Manitoba as we know it, and it is important for young students to understand his progressive vision for a fair and inclusive Manitoba.”
The bill bestows the honorary title of “First Premier of Manitoba” onto Riel and mandates the Minister of Education take steps to ensure the provincial curriculum outlines his significant contributions to the province. Following the land transfer from the NorthWest Company to the Dominion of Canada, Louis Riel led the Red River Resistance and negotiated the List of Rights based on a multicultural, bilingual and inclusive vision of a province that respected the rights of Indigenous and minority communities.
In 1870, the national legislature passed the Manitoba Act, allowing the Red River Colony to enter Confederation as the province of Manitoba.