Louis Riel is widely regarded as a national hero who died defending Metis people’s rights, cultural, recognition and existence. Born 1844 at Red River, Manitoba, Louis Riel was a well educated and bilingual Metis who came to prominence as a leader of his people at Red River. He was best known for his role as a spiritual and political leader of the Metis in Manitoba, resulting in the establishment of a provisional government in 1869 which negotiated entry into Canada, recognized in the 1970 Manitoba Act. Later at the request of the Metis who lived at the south branch of the Saskatchewan River, Riel headed that 1885 Northwest Rebellion in Saskatchewan. The Metis there were frustrated with Canada continually ignoring their grievances. For his role in this action, Riel was tried for treason, found guilty, and given the death penalty.
He was later hanged that same year. Today Riel is regarded by Metis as a heroic defender of the Metis way of life and rights.
The Metis Sash
The Metis sah is a hand woven woolen belt which traditionally may have been measured up to three meters long, worn by both men and women. Its colours may vary. Red and white are usually main sash colours. Traditional styles include close-woven pattering with long fringes at the ends. Women may wear it over the shoulder. Men often wear it in the traditional way, wrapped around the waist and knotted at the front. Sashes are decorative and practical. Traditionally sashes belted closed coats and garments. They were used for carrying small items such as pipes or tobacco; knives; or fire bags.
The sash truly represents the Metis as the many colours and textures correspnd with the many faces lifestyles of Canada’s Nation builders. “The Metis”