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Winnipeg city councillor wants to restore Louis Riel monument

Louis Riel monument St. Vital park
A peeling, crumbling monument to Manitoba's founder stands in Riel Park. Riley McDermid / Global News

WINNIPEG – A peeling, crumbling monument to Louis Riel needs to be restored, St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes says.

A plaque at the bottom of the slab of cement in Riel Park says it’s a monument to Manitoba’s founder, but the structure is in such bad shape, people have started to hang posters on it.

“It’s in plain view but it’s lost in that nobody knows it’s here, nobody knows what it’s supposed to be,” Mayes said. “It’s being used as a notice board.”

The monument was first put up near the St. Vital Centennial Arena in 1979, Mayes said, after the parkland was donated to the city by the Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph, a Manitoba Métis organization.

Guy Savoie, an elder with the union nationale métisse, said they’re excited about Mayes’ initiative.

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“Many of us didn’t realize that it had been fallen in disrepair,” he said. “It’s an eyesore right now.”

Repairing it is expected to cost a few thousand dollars.

“Let’s do the right thing for our history and restore it and make it a meaningful marker again,” Mayes said.

Louis Riel monument St. Vital park
A sketch from the City of Winnipeg archives shows the original intention for the Riel Park monument.
Louis Riel monument St. Vital park
A plaque at the bottom of a peeling cement slab is the only indication that it's a monument to Louis Riel. Riley McDermid / Global News
Louis Riel monument St. Vital park
A peeling, neglected monument to Louis Riel leans in a St. Vital park. Riley McDermid / Global News

— With files from Riley McDermid

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