When I think of Louis Riel
I don't think of the Duck Lake rebellion
his sham of a trial
or the Queen's rope used to lynch him.
I don't think of him finally being declared
a father of Confederation or founder of Manitoba.
I think of his statue, south-west of the legislature
Riel, standing alone facing south on the bank of the Assiniboine river.
I used to stop and talk to him, keep him company, ask questions without the expectation of answers
and I still look for answers through his life as it relates to mine and they elude me.
Go see him, spend some time with him and you will understand part of what it means to be Metis.
Riel looks pensive, sad and isolated
away from the eyes of the domes golden boy, out of sight of those who still laugh at him.
History corrected the record but its writers never forgave him and this too
is what it means to be Metis.
I sit with him in winter looking south and wonder was it worth it? Wondering what might have been, if they hadn't destroyed him.
Sitting with Riel and the memories falling like snowflakes around our shoulders breaks my heart, makes me furious and walking up the frozen river, stopping out of my love for him, I cry until the tears freeze on my cheeks and then I turn for home. .