Louie Riel: Good Guy, Bad Guy

For this short project we had to make a multi paragraph composition about how Louis Riel was portrayed through history. If you don’t know who Louis Riel is, he was considered a murderer in March of 1870 but has been considered more of a hero today.

In 1869 Red River Colony was being sold without the Métis  peoples permission. This angered Riel so much he led a group of Métis and gained control of Red River. He established a temporary government to negotiate with the Canadian government. Some people from the Party of Canada tried to get rid of Riel but got captured instead. One of the captured men called Thomas Scott was found guilty of treason against Riel and was executed. After news of Thomas Scotts death people got enraged and pestered the government to do something. 

For the evidence of this project we had to make a multi paragraph composition. You might be wondering how can you do that in just three weeks? Well I will show you. First we made a timeline about the key events that happened in the Red River Settlement. Second we had to look at different portrayals of Louis Riel. We looked at three different statues. After that we watched a YouTube video titled, “Red River Rebellion: The Métis Nations Fight For Survival | Nations At war | War Stories”. The semi-final portrayal that we looked at was multiple primary sources. I noticed that each portrayal showed Louis Riel differently. Depending on the year, he was regarded as a hero or a bad guy.

While half of the class was learning about Louis Riel the other half was improving their writing by using frayer Models. After that we wrote paragraph on the “Louis Riel Heritage Minute” using the 4 key parts: topic sentence, development, evidence, and summary. I am not the best at writing but using the paragraph model made it a bit easier, because I had my ideas I just needed to format it properly.

Making ideas is easy for me but writing them out is the part that gets me stuck. I can have a paragraph that’s going in a good way but then I just get stuck and have to replace it. When we made our first draft the teachers had us give our classmates feedback. When I got my draft back I saw the main mistake that I made was punctuation and word choice. By word choice I mean basic words or words having more descriptive counterparts. After I got feedback from my peers I changed everything that they found wrong and found some sentences that I didn’t like and changed them, keeping in mind the things I changed from the first draft.

Something that I found out through this project is most things are based on perspective, and we need to know what actually happened before we make a decision. Let’s look at Riel when the people found out that Louis Riel killed Thomas Scott. They were enraged, and wanted justice. Their perspective was “Riel killed Scott we need justice”. Where if we look at Riel his perspective is “these guys were trying to sell my peoples land without our permission, and now they attack us? This isn’t fair.” When we think like this it shows us that neither parties were in the right. One was thinking about how much money they would make, while the other was thinking about self preservation and went to unnecessary lengths.

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