Why Jagmeet Singh wants Louis Riel recognized as Manitoba's first premier
WINNIPEG -- Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is putting his support behind a bill that would see Louis Riel recognized as Manitoba’s first premier.
“Louis Riel was one of the first great Métis politicians who fought to protect the French language and the rights of minorities in Canada,” Singh said in a news release.
“I’m proud to stand with Wab and the Manitoba NDP to recognize Louis Riel’s legacy as a founder of the province of Manitoba, a father of confederation and a champion of the rights of the Métis people.”
The NDP’s Bill 206, known as The Louis Riel Act, was introduced in December 2019. On top of naming Riel the first Manitoba premier, it would make sure his the province’s education curriculum accurately covered the political leader’s contributions.
The news release notes it was Riel’s vision that formed the Manitoba Act of 1870, which brought the province into Confederation and brought language, religious and schooling rights to English and French-speaking Manitobans.
“Louis Riel founded the first representative government in Manitoba and brought our province into confederation. He is our first Premier,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew.
“Passing this bill will ensure every Manitoban recognizes the true scope of Riel’s achievement and can take pride in one of our great provincial leaders.”
Singh is in Winnipeg on Monday to celebrate Louis Riel Day. He is set to attend Festival du Voyageur with Kinew to observe a Métis flag procession, participate in a Pow Wow lesson and meet with families.