Today, for the first time, we are raising the Métis flag on Parliament Hill as a symbol of our commitment to reconciliation with the Métis Nation. Louis Riel was elected to the House of Commons three times, but never was able to take his seat. Like Louis Riel himself, the raising of the Métis flag is a powerful symbol of Métis history, strength of spirit and cultural pride.
The memory of Louis Riel is also being honoured by many celebrations across the country, where he is being recognized for his sacrifices, including his work toward Canadian Confederation, and for the rights of Métis and Francophone peoples.
Louis Riel is not only the founder Manitoba, but he is also a key leader who was strongly committed to ensuring the protection of Métis rights. He was a defender of the fundamental values that Canadians hold dear, including equality and social justice. All Canadians, whether they are Métis or not, can be proud of what Louis Rielaccomplished.
Now our government is coming together in partnership with the Métis Nation the provinces and territories to work with the Metis people on how they want to exercise their rights and advance long term reconciliation.
Let us take this opportunity to look towards a better future with the Métis Nation across the country. This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.