Louis Riel was born on October 22, 1844 at the Red River Settlement. It was in 1868, after eight years of college study, that Riel’s star began to ascend. From a discontented young man without any apparent future in Red River, he had become within six months the head of the colony’s only effective government. He was ready to go ahead with his purpose to negotiate the terms that would see the entrance of Red River into the Canadian Confederation.
Riel was a novice in the game of politics yet he had played his role with strength and with not a little skill.
He had achieved nearly everything he had set out to do. Louis Riel held the uncritical adoration of supporters and the grudging respect of most of his opponents. On June 24, 1870 he brought a new province into being, the Province of Manitoba.
In 1885, he led a badly organized rebellion in Saskatchewan after which he was condemned to death. Riel was hanged for treason in Regina on November 16, 1885. But let us, the students of Louis Riel Collegiate, remember him as the founder of our province, a leader of his people, and a man for whom race, religion, and country were his constant preoccupation.