In this project we learned about louis Riel, and how he has been perceived throughout history. Our driving question was “ How has the portrayal of Riel changed over time” to answer our driving question we researched all about Riel, using both firsthand, and secondhand sources we were able to understand how Riel was viewed throughout history. To show off what we had learned about Riel we made a multi compositional paragraph. To start off our researching we first learned about the red river settlement, and how when Louis Riel came back from University he learned about how his brothers farm was on land that was going to be sold to the British empire. He disliked that so he decided to stop the surveyors, by threatening them, and then taking the fort they came from. We also learned about Riel fleeing the country, for murder and how he was in a mental hospital for ten years. After he came out of the mental asylum, he help the Métis in Saskatchewan for their land, and helped them fight for their freedom.
To display our learning we wrote these multi-compositional paragraphs about Riel and how he has changed in public opinion, this was the essay that I wrote.
Louis Riel, Hero, or Villain?
Louis Riel has been seen through many lenses that have changed throughout time. Louis Riel’s story starts in the early 1800s in what is now known as Canada. European settlers came to Canada in search of riches through the fur trade. A settlement was founded on the red river in what we now call Manitoba. This was before Louis Riel was born, as he was born on the 22 of October 1844. In 1868, one year after the Canada constitution was created, the Hudson Bay company, who controlled most of the Canadian fur trade wanted to sell Ruperts land. Louis Riel, who had just come back from University, to his brothers farm that was part of the land to be sold. Louis Riel despised the indefatigable of the farm being sold, so he and a group off armed Métis scared of the surveyors. After this Riel decide to launch an attack on a nearby fort called fort Garry. He was able to easily take the fort, as it had little to no reinforcements, this is where Louis Riel was first seen in public. These actions portrayed him as a rebel, and also as a problem that needed to be stamped out. As a threat to the “establishment”, even though he just wanted equality for the Métis people.
Recently, statues have been the portrayal where Riel is seen through the most varied lenses. The first statue was made by Lemay, the statue depicts Riel slightly deformed, and it looks like he is melting away. The statue is meant to depict Riel being taken away by the police, however this statue was very controversial, because it showed Louis Riel as a weak person, which got lots of backlash. This cause so much controversy to the point where the statue had to be removed, as the public detested it.
The second statue we looked at was the statue by Joyal. In this statue he looks much more profound; he looks like an authoritative figure. He is seen with the Métis bill of rights in his hand and he looks like he is observing his victory.
The final statue is by Nugent, and it is a stone statue of him looking up, as if he is looking for something with his hands stretched out. It is supposed to represent Riel having his vision of god, telling him to protect the Métis people. Something that I had observed with all of the statues, is that they all seemed to portray Riel as a hero, even the one of hime that was taken down still seemed to show Riel as a hero rather than a crazy person
All of this just shows how the perception of people can change through out time as in one generation he is seen as a psychotic killer, the next as an hero hero, who fought for equality
In me writing I talk about how there public view has shifted throughout generations, because there was more information about him, and his cause. This has led to him being seen as a hero in our time period, because our views as a society are more aligned with his views, and his intentions. Throughout all of history, people will change there opinions, and we will see how the view on Riel might shift in the future.
Until next post, Jannik out.