Trial of Louis Riel


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Trial of Louis Riel

July-August
Louis Riel (1844-1885) was the leader of the mÉtis, Canadians of mixed French and Indian ancestry. He became their champion in the struggle for Canadian unification during the late 19th century and was twice elected to the House of Commons but never seated. He became a U.S. citizen in 1883, but returned to Canada two years later to lead the North-West Rebellion. Defeated, he was eventually tried for treason, convicted, and hanged at Regina, Saskatchewan, on November 16, 1885.
The transcripts of Riel's five-day trial are the basis for a full-length courtroom drama that is performed in July and August in Regina. Riel's life and death are seen today as symbolic of the problems between French and English Canadians.
CONTACTS:
Tourism Regina
Hwy. 1 E
P.O. Box 3355
Regina, SK S4P 3H1 Canada
306-789-5099; fax: 306-789-3171
www.tourismregina.com
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON K1A ON4 Canada
613-996-5115
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html
SOURCES:
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 77
References in periodicals archive ?
This was a trial of Louis Riel in absentia, which ended with only the accused looking honourable: certainly not the alleged victim (Scott), the prosecuting (Cornish) and defending (Royal, Dubuc, Girard) lawyers, the sixteen doubtful witnesses, the twelve select jurors, and the judge (Chief Justice Edmund Burke Wood).
The Trial of Louis Riel, which is the second-longest running play in Canada next to Anne of Green Gables, is based on the actual court transcripts of the trial and is re-enacted by Riel Co-productions Inc.
George and Terry Goulet, retired Metis lawyers who live in Calgary and who wrote two books on the Metis and the Trial of Louis Riel, responded to Goldring's mail out with a letter to the MP.
Readers unfamiliar with this hero of the Metis people should consider reading one of his many biographies: Chester Brown's graphic novel, Louis Riel, 2003; Thomas Flanagan's, Louis "David" Riel: Prophet of the New World, 1979; or George Goulet's The Trial of Louis Riel, Justice and Mercy Denied, 2005).
In 1885, during the trial of Louis Riel, most historians believed that Riel had long since lost his faculties.
It was followed by a command performance of the historical play The Trial of Louis Riel at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts.
Although over-shadowed by the earlier treason trial of Louis Riel, the trial of Big Bear on four counts of treason-felony deserves recognition as a decisive moment in Canadian history.