- An albumen print of a painting of Louis Riel. The print was made in 1886, in order to dispel confusion about what Riel had looked like. The authenticity of the print was verified by Julie Riel, Joseph Riel, Alexandre Riel, Marguerite Riel, Octavie Lavallée, and Henriette Poitras in St. Vital on 12 January 1886; John Lee verified the authenticity of the portrait at Montréal on 24 February 1886.
Louis Riel Photograph Collection
Louis Riel was born in Red River and was educated in St. Boniface before being sent to the Petit Séminaire de Montréal. He returned to Red River around 1868 and soon came to lead Métis hostility to the prospective Canadian annexation of the settlement. His direction of the Red River Rebellion as president of the provincial government was marred only by the execution of Thomas Scott, which allowed the Canadian government to name him an outlaw. He was later elected to Parliament from Provencher on several occasions but was expelled. In June 1884, he was asked by a group of settlers in Saskatchewan to lead them in protest against the Canadian government. The protest turned to violence in 1885, and the Métis and indigenous peoples led by Riel were quickly and brutally suppressed after military defeat at the Battle of Batoche. He was tried for treason, rejecting a plea of insanity advanced by his lawyers, and was hanged at Regina on 16 November 1885.