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November 16, 2005
City honours Métis people at flagraising on Louis Riel Day
At sunrise today, Mayor David Miller and Councillor Jane Pitfield hosted the
sixth annual flag raising ceremony on Louis Riel Day to honour the
contributions of Louis Riel and the Métis people to the development of Canada.

Joining Mayor Miller and Councillor Pitfield, Chair of the City’s Aboriginal
Affairs Committee, were nearly 100 members of the Métis Community, including
the Aboriginal honour guard and Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, a descendent of Louis

On November 16th, 1885, Louis Riel was hung for "high treason" - essentially
because he challenged the status quo to gain minority rights and to protect the
rights of aboriginal people to keep their traditional lands.

Prior to making his Proclamation for Louis Riel day, Mayor Miller noted that
the hanging of Louis Riel was a shameful decision by the central government and
by the courts. He also observed that Riel was a visionary and an exemplary
leader whose actions were principled and lawful and central to the creation of
a confederation in Canada.

Councillor Pitfield noted that Toronto has a significant Aboriginal Community
of 70,000 people and the Toronto Métis play an active role in the endeavours of
the Aboriginal Affairs Committee. She said that "Toronto City Council has
embraced the Métis Community by celebrating Louis Riel Day."

Media contacts:

Councillor Jane Pitfield
Aboriginal Affairs Committee

Mae Maracle
Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee
City Manager’s Office



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