Louis Riel

Leadership Assignment


In this smore, you will get familiar with the leadership qualities of Louis Riel, who was a Canadian politician. This smore will explain what Louis Riel was involved in that made him a leader and what actions he took to show leadership; his responsibilities and achievements. Furthermore, the three leadership traits that Louis Riel applied to make him a respected and a professional politician will also be listed.
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  • Early Life:
Louis Riel was born on the 22nd of October, 1844, in Saint-Boniface, Red River Settlement. His father, Louis Riel.Sr was a business man and a political leader in the Metis community. His mother was the daughter of one of the earliest white families to settle in the Red River Settlement in 1812.

  • Education
Riel was an outstanding student from the beginning of his formal education. He was offered a position as a strong candidate for priesthood by the catholic clergy, Alexandre Tache and was later given a scholarship to study at a sulpician school in Montreal.

  • Legacy
Louis Riel was a Canadian Politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba and a political and spiritual of the Métis people of the Canadian Prairies. He lead to popular Métis governments and was dominant in bringing Manotiba into confederation.

  • Death
Riel was executed on the 16th November, 1885 in Regina, Northwest Territories for high treason for his role in the 1885 resistance to Canadian violation on Métis Lands. Some Canadian Historians referred to him as a rebel although now many remember him as a Métis leader who fought to protect his people from the Canadian government.

The Métis Facts

  • The Métis are one of the three recognized Aboriginal people in Canada. They are of mixed European and First Nations decent.
  • During Louis Riel's time, the Métis lived on the Red River Settlement, which was then known as Rupert's Land.
  • Métis communities were established along the major fur trade routes, mostly near the important freighting waterways.
  • The Red River in Manitoba was used as a principle route during the western fur trade. Therefore, it played a critical role in the establishment of the Métis Nation.
  • Métis communities along the Red River became known as the ‘Red River Settlement’.
  • Most Métis communities were located in two Canadian Prairie Provinces: Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Louis Riel's Involvement That Made Him A Leader

  • Louis Riel played a major role in Canadian History. He was the founder of Manitoba and the political leader of the Métis.
  • He was the leader of two major rebellions in the Canadian West:
    Red River Rebellion, 1869 - 1870
    North-West Rebellion, 1885
  • In March 1869, when the Hudson's Bay Company agreed to sell Rupert's Land and the North Western Territory to the Dominion of Canada, the Métis were concerned that the immigrants from Ontario would destruct their social, cultural, religious/ traditional and political status. As a result, they organized a Métis National Committee in order to protect their rights and freedom.
  • As a communicative and educated young man, Louis Riel was elected as its secretary, and then later elected president.Riel used his confidence and courage to protect the rights of the Métis by preventing William McDougall from entering the Red River Settlement and uniting the settlers from Ontario and the Red River Settlement.
  • Riel was the political head of the short lived 1885 rebellion. It was because of him the Métis did not lose their land and rights. Louis Riel was a hero to them because of how he worked hard throughout the challenging situations to protect his and his people’s rights.
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Execution of Thomas Scott

  • In 1870, an Ontarian Orangeman named Thomas Scott who escaped from jail and tried to start a counter rebellion between Scottish Settlers was executed by the Métis under Louis Riels command. This caused Louis Riel a lot of complications and he received hatred as well as death threats from the furious Ontarians.
  • in 1871, Riel was labelled as the murderer of Thomas Scott and a reward of $5000 was offered for his arrest. Fearing arrest, he flew to the United States and then returned to Canada and settled in Batoche (now known as Saskatchewan) in 1884.

Actions Riel Took to Show Leadership

  • Riel encouraged his fellow Métis to stand up for their rights through the major conflict between the settlers and the Red River settlement.
  • He was determine to preserve the Métis rights and went through many challenges and difficulties in order to fight for their rights,
  • In 1885, during the North-West Rebellion, Riel decided to prove his points and win support by making a grand gesture; with an armed group of the Métis, he seized parish church in Batouche in March 1885 and used it to form a provisional government, and demanded the surrender of nearby Fort Carlton.

Execution of Louis Riel

A formal charge of treason was laid against Riel on 6th July, 1885 for the murder of Thomas Scott. His trial began in Regina on the 20th July, 1885 and he was executed on a public gallow in Regina on 16th November 1885.

The Three Leadership Traits Louis Riel Applied

The three leadership traits Louis Riel applied were:

  • Courage is not the absence of fear- it's inspiring others to move beyond it: Even though Riel feared his arrest, he still had the courage to gather all the Metis and seize the church so that his voice and his opinions about their rights and freedom could be heard. Instead of fading into disappearance, Riel made a brave gesture of gathering all the Metis and building up their courage and strength to fight for their rights.
  • Keep your friends close-and your rivals even closer: Louis Riel kept the Metis, his friends and supporters close to him, but he kept his rivals even closer, in order to get to know them better. He ordered for Thomas Scott to be executed and then united his rivals (settlers from Ontario) and the Red River Settlement (the Metis). Louis Riel embraced his rivals which was why he had some control over them and this reduced the risk of any harm or danger to the Metis.
  • Lead from the front- but don’t leave your base behind: Louis Riel was the political leader of the Metis, and the Metis were his base. They were what got him to where he was; Riel wouldn’t come this far if it weren’t for his base (his supporters). Despite the fact Riel was in danger and he feared being arrested, he still managed to gather up the Metis and helped them fight for their rights. Louis Riel is still remembered by the Metis as a hero, because he never left his base behind and he accomplished something no other Metis could have.
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Louis Riel was and still is remembered by the Metis and some Canadians as a Canadian hero. If it weren't for him, many rights would still be denied to the Metis and aboriginal citizens. His excellent leadership skills made him an outstanding and a tremendous leader, who fought for the rights of his people and was brave enough to face the consequences of executing an intruder from the opposition. He has always been, and will always be remembered for his heroic actions.