– Louis Riel defended cultural and linguistic rights of the Métis people in Manitoba. On Louis Riel Day (February 20), the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) celebrates his legacy with a full day of family-friendly activities centred on Métis identity and history.
Award-winning poet Marilyn Dumont – a descendent of Métis resistance leader Gabriel Dumont – will demonstrate traditional beadwork and express her perspective on identity through poetry. An educator and writer, she currently works at the University of Alberta and teaches creative writing.
Thirteen-year-old Ryan Spence and his grandfather Ivan Spence will also share their love of Métis culture through fiddling. They come from a long line of fiddlers, which is why they are called "Spence Tradition."
Program interpreter Brigitte Savard will lead short tours, in English and French, of Métis stories in the Museum – from the displacement of Métis people living in road allowance communities to an artistic interpretation of the Métis resistance.
The Festival du Voyageur family and mascot Léo will be onsite from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and happy to pose for a photo or selfie, which can be shared with hashtag #AtCMHR.
Louis Riel Day programs are included with the cost of admission. Festival du Voyageur 10-day pass holders get 10 per cent off Museum admission, while CMHR members also receive 10-per-cent off a 10-day Festival du Voyageur pass bought at Festival's offices.
What: Louis Riel Day at the CMHR
When: Monday, February 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way
Schedule of events
Indigenous Perspectives gallery activities, Level 2
11 a.m. – Fiddling performance with Spence Tradition and beading demonstration with Marilyn Dumont
11:30 a.m. – Poetry and storytelling with Marilyn Dumont
12:15 p.m. – Question-and-answer session with Marilyn Dumont
2 p.m. – Beading demonstration with Marilyn Dumont
2:30 p.m. – Poetry and storytelling with Marilyn Dumont
3:15 p.m. – Question-and-answer session with Marilyn Dumont
Tours of Métis stories in the Museum
2 p.m. – English-language tour, starts in Level 1 Gallery (30 minutes)
2:30 p.m. – French-language tour, starts in Canadian Journeys gallery, Level 2 (30 minutes)