It once belonged to Manitoba's forefather, now it belongs to Manitoba's people. Louis Riel's Metis sash has returned home just in time for the province's first Louis Riel Day.

The historic artifact is now on display at the St. Boniface Museum after a generations-long journey that spanned much of western Canada.

The most recent leg of the journey was with Marian Hackworth - who told her story to CTV's Rachel Lagace.

"It's in the best place that it can be in," she said." It really is."

The sash has been in the possession of Hackworth's late husband's family for more than 100 years dating back to the 1880's; to a small community near Batoche, Saskatchewan. It was the scene of Riel's last great stand of the North-West Rebellion.

It's also where Margaret Monkman Halcro lived with her husband William.

After the Metis forces lost the Battle of Batoche, Riel hid in the cellar of Halcro's home

Philippe Mailhot of the St. Boniface Museum picks up the story from there.

"[Riel] stayed with this Halcro family for a couple of days, and then after that decided to surrender himself to authorities," he explained.

After his surrender, Riel was eventually hanged for treason.

Sash handed down five generations

Halcro kept the garment, and for almost five generations the sash was folded neatly in a plastic bag and placed in a drawer or a chest. Over the years, it was passed from one family member to another.

"It's a great opportunity for people to learn about Louis Riel," said Mailhot, who hopes the sash will attract more people to the St. Boniface museum, home of the largest Riel collection in the world.

Voyageurs used the sash for practical reasons and for fashion.

For one, voyageurs used the sash to carry heavy loads on their backs; they wrapped them around their waists to prevent hernias.

It also helped keep their winter coats closed, and was a place to hang tools and pipes.

The Manitoba Metis Federation looked into the sash's authenticity before buying it.

Researchers found it was woven more than 100 years ago by the Hudson's Bay Company. The MMF examined the family's genealogy, and interviewed neighbouring families.

The MMF says sash is the real thing

"You can't ask for a better condition than what we have here," said MMF President David Chartrand. "It's truly been kept intact."

The Manitoba Metis Federation along with the provincial and federal governments paid more than $20,000 for the sash.

With a report from CTV's Rachel Lagace