The View From Above: Editorial
Eye Witness Account: The Hanging
Citizens across the country are still arguing at their dinner tables over the death of Louis Riel. How is it that a jury of 6 can find a man guilty, yet recommend leniency, and a judge sentence this man to be executed? Something is afoul in our dear legal system. Is it the doings of one racist judge? Or is this a sign of systemic racism against Metis? How many examples of Metis injustice will it take for us to join together and fight for our rights? Isn't that what Monsieur Riel was doing? For too long Metis have been persecuted, judged, and prevented from living as true Canadians. Ironic, that as our National Dream has pushed entirely across our nation that our people are still so divided. Isn't it the blood of our brothers greasing the rails? The execution of Louis Riel points to just how strong the rift between French and English Canadians is. No train is going to bridge this gap! No one is denying that Louis Riel was a rebellious leader, but we should at least acknowledge the courage it took to take such a stand. and talk with our families about the issues raised by his fight, and his execution. I am committed to continuing to discuss Louis Riel in this paper. His body is not yet cold but it seems that already there is a push to bury his unfinished legacy. Why? Because our "fathers" are scared.
At 8 o'clock on the dot the assured footsteps of Louis Riel could be heard ascending the stairs to the gallows, as frost dusted the courtyard and forlorn puffs of breath crystallized in the crisp air. I dare not share the grotesque details of the execution itself, but will state that Monsieur Riel took his sentence with a similarly steadfast determination as he had taken earlier stands at Batoche and Red River.
Batoche Underground, 26. Novembre. 1885
With special thanks to our guest reporter, Maximillien Pierre who attended the Hanging as a supervisory parishoner.
I am glad that the Crown have proved that I am the leader of the half-breeds in the North-West. I will perhaps be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the half-breeds, and if I am I will have an opportunity of being acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country.
I am more convinced everyday that without a single exception I did right. And I have always believed that, as I have acted honestly, the time will come when the people of Canada will see and acknowledge it.?
22 Octobre 1844
16 Novembre 1885