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Métis commemorate father of Manitoba Thursday

Louis Riel was honoured in Winnipeg Nov. 16, the anniversary of his death. Jeremy Desrochers / Global News

November 16 marks a special day for the Métis in Manitoba, a day to pay respect to the memory of Louis Riel.

The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) said in a statement that Louis Riel, the father of Manitoba, gave his life for the Métis people.

“We mark the anniversary of his death and celebrate his life. He and his government took the stand to protect our rights, our lands, and our families, MMF President David Chartrand said.

“It was by his stand, and of other Métis leaders, that the Métis became Canada’s negotiating partners in Confederation and the founders of Manitoba,” Chartrand said.

Ceremonies were held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the St. Boniface Basilica grounds.

RELATED: Canada’s top court extends rights to nearly 600,000 Métis, non-status Indians

Many special guests were expected to take part, including Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development; Wab Kinew, NDP Leader; Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth and several MLAs and MPs.

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PHOTO GALLERY:  view images of the commemoration ceremony

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Jordan Pearn / Global News
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Jordan Pearn / Global News
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Jordan Pearn / Global News

Manitoba RCMP were also at the event.

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