There is also a statue of him at the universitaire de Saint-Boniface where he looks like he’s melting. Robert E. Lee never got one of those.

17 Feb

I know so many people from Winnipeg. Like, for every Canadian I meet online, there seems to be a 50% chance that they’ll be from Winnipeg. Anyway, earlier I mentioned how being from Virginia, I’m sort of obligated to note that it’s Presidents’ Day, so in honor of those stalwart Manitobans among my acquaintance, I note that it’s also Louis Riel Day. Or was. Technically it still is in some time zones! :D?

I was actually unaware of Louis Riel before, but now that I have done some research he sounds like a pretty cool dude! I use cool in the slang sense, not just the sense of meaning “cold”, which I’m sure he was that as well, because he was from Manitoba and it seems to get pretty fucking cold there, plus he spent some time in the northern US, where it also gets pretty cold. “Cool” is also sort of an understatement there, because holy wow, this dude was interesting.

I’ll be honest: most of my Canadian history knowledge pretty much stops after the French and Indian War, because I have this weird thing about the French and Indian War. But Louis Riel makes me wish I knew more about it, because talk about your badass folk heroes, man, holy crap! He was elected to the House of Commons while in exile in America! Three times! I don’t know if even Barack Obama could manage that.

He is also quite a tragic figure, and let me tell you, dudes, I love tragic historical figures. I am trying not to let Robert E. Lee derail this post, because I will yammer enough about Virginia and I have not gotten nearly enough about Louis Riel in my life, CLEARLY, but man. I think me and my Manitoban friends need to have a Tragic Historical Figures Of Our Home Region baseball card swap, is what I think my final point here is.


One Response to “There is also a statue of him at the universitaire de Saint-Boniface where he looks like he’s melting. Robert E. Lee never got one of those.”

  1. Elizabeth-Anne February 18, 2009 at 01:30 #

    Louis Riel was indeed pretty awesome! Or a traitor. Depending on where you’re from! I was in university before I realised he was not nationally revered as a hero/nation builder/man of great ideas. Of course, all of my high school history classes were very, very pro-Quebec, because I live in a Frenchish neighbourhood and my teacher was French-Canadian. Here’s the Heritage Minute on him, which I think was actually banned from television:

    (Also, are you familiar with the works of Kate Beaton? I imagine I have pimped her to you, but I feel you might enjoy her.)

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