MP-1977.211 | Louis Riel, about 1880

Louis Riel, about 1880
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1880, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
8 x 5 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Louis Riel (1844-1885) was one of the most important figures in the early history of the Prairies, and his role is still hotly debated. To the Métis people, he was and still is a hero, the leader of their nation and of two attempts (in 1870 and 1885) to resist the Canadian takeover of the Prairies. To the government of that day, he was a traitor, and after the 1885 rebellion he was tried in Regina and hanged. Was he a traitor or a "Father of Confederation" who deserves a full pardon? The controversy continues.

  • What

    This is a photograph of Louis Riel (1844-85), the great Métis leader.

  • Where

    When this photograph was taken, Riel was living in the United States.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1880, five years before Riel's trial and execution.

  • Who

    Louis Riel is still a highly controversial figure in Canada, and the Métis people still struggle in the courts for their rights.