Happy Louis Riel Day 2012 .. on a Moody Manitoba Morning ..

Feb 19th, 2012 | By | Category: In Brief

Last year on Monday, February 21 Kyla Lee on Canada’s Pacific Coast — “Fashion Model, Law Student, Blogger” — wrote: “Today is Louis Riel Day. For those who don't know, Louis Riel was the leader of the Metis Nation during the Red River and Northwest Rebellions. In Manitoba, it's a holiday. Here, in BC, where the courts have refused to find a historic Metis community, it's nothing.”

As best as I can make out, this is the fourth installment in a series of pleas on this website, written on or about the third Monday in February. Like its predecessors it argues that Manitoba’s inspired moniker for this (in some provinces) newish Canadian public holiday of sorts — Louis Riel Day — should also be adopted in other provinces, for a host of excellent patriotic reasons.

For those who may have forgotten (and I confess I have had to look it all up afresh myself) the three previous installments are:

* FEBRUARY 21, 2011 (CITIZEN X), “Not everyone agrees with Happy Louis Riel Day 2011 across Canada, but …” ;

* FEBRUARY 15, 2010 (COUNTERWEIGHTS EDITORS), “Happy Louis Riel Day 2010 .. that’s what it should be called everywhere in Canada, coast to coast to coast” ; and

* FEBRUARY 18, 2008 (RANDALL WHITE), “It should be Louis Riel Day in Ontario too.”

Riel testifies at his trial, 1885.

If you still are not convinced by this argument, you probably ought to read or re-read all three of these previous installments.

I think I would recommend that you do this in chronological rather than reverse chronological order (as above) — starting with “It should be Louis Riel Day in Ontario too” from 2008, which gives the full historical variation on the theme, under four different headings:  Who was Louis Riel?, Louis Riel in Ontario and Quebec and Western Canada … then and now … ,  Donald Smith’s new book on the man from Ontario who became Louis Riel’s friend … , and Louis Riel Day from coast to coast to coast … ? .

I should note that last year Citizen X wrote about how “at a recent impromptu meeting held to confirm a 2011 reprise of last year’s call, it was suddenly discovered that not exactly all counterweights editors agree with the Canada-wide Louis Riel Day concept. (The dissenting voice, it turns out, missed the 2010 confirmation meeting as a result of a massage/hairdresser’s appointment — take your pick.) So I have been asked to jot down some hasty thoughts for this year, on behalf of those who continue to endorse the concept.”

Another shot from Kyla Lee’s blog on Riel Day last year.

I have taken on Citizen X’s assignment for 2012 AD. I don’t really have much more to say than what I have just said: if you still aren’t convinced read the earlier installments above, especially the first one from 2008 (which has all the big arguments in far too much eye-glazing detail).

I would just add my secular endorsement for the work of Kyla Lee on Canada’s Pacific Coast — “Fashion Model, Law Student, Blogger” — who posted two interesting photos and some accompanying text on Louis Riel Day last year. The photos and text are reproduced elsewhere on this page. I still find them pretty convincing in 2012! (And hats off to that great old tune, “Moody Manitoba Morning” — which I think Louis Riel would probably have liked, quite a lot.)

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