Manitoba’s Liberals say if elected on April 19th, they will formally acknowledge Louis Riel as the province’s first premier.
“Liberals know that history matters and how we tell the story about our past tells all who come after us what we value and hold dear. It’s time to officially honour the sacrifices of Louis Riel and that means a formal declaration that he is the first premier of Manitoba. This is not about revising history, it’s about acknowledging what we know to be true,” said Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari.
Alfred Boyd is recognized as Manitoba’s first premier. In 1870 and 1871 Boyd was the provincial secretary, and later recognized as premier.
Meanwhile, also in 1870, Riel led the Provisional Government of Assiniboia, which was acknowledged as a province by Canada later that year.
Riel was later charged with treason and executed.
The NDP were quick to follow-up on the Liberals’ announcement, pointing out that last month they stood with the Manitoba Metis Federation to officially recognize Riel as “Manitoba’s first Leader”. When asked by 680 CJOB to clarify if ‘Leader’ means ‘Premier’, they responded “We believe that Manitoba would not exist if it wasn’t for the leadership of Louis Riel.”