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Canada (Manitoba) (NorthAmerica)

Louis Riel Day
Monday February 17 2014
(the date changes according to the year)
*Riel was the undisputed spiritual and political head of the short-lived 1885 Rebellion. He never carried arms and hindered the work of his military head, Gabriel Dumont. Riel was increasingly influenced by his belief that he was chosen to lead the Métis people. On May 15, shortly after the fall of Batoche, Riel surrendered to Canadian forces and was taken to Regina to stand trial for treason. At his trial, Riel gave two long speeches which demonstrated his powerful rhetorical abilities. He personally rejected attempts by his defence counsel to prove he was not guilty by reason of insanity. On 1 August 1885, a jury of six English-speaking Protestants found Riel guilty but recommended mercy. Judge Hugh Richardson sentenced him to death. Attempted appeals were dismissed and a special re-examination of Riel's mental state by government appointed doctors found him sane. He was hanged in Regina on 16 November, 1885. His execution was widely opposed in Quebec and had lasting political ramifications.

 
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