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Manitoba NDP seek honorary premier title for Louis Riel

Manitoba's Opposition New Democrats want to give the title of honorary first premier to Metis leader Louis Riel. Manitoba Archives via CP

Manitoba’s Opposition wants to give the title of honorary first premier to Metis leader Louis Riel.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew has put forward a private member’s bill that would bestow the title and require Riel’s contributions be part of the school curriculum.

Riel is widely celebrated in Manitoba for leading a provisional government and paving the way for the province’s entry into Confederation in the 19th century.

READ MORE: Mint’s new coin honours founder of Manitoba and Metis leader Louis Riel

There is a large statue of Riel behind the legislature and the Royal Canadian Mint issued a new coin in October that features his portrait.

Riel was central to the Red River and North-West resistances to assert Indigenous rights, and was hanged in Saskatchewan in 1885 for treason.

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Kinew’s bill would need government support to become law and it’s not expected to come to a vote before March.

Click to play video 'Louis Riel Day an opportunity for education' Louis Riel Day an opportunity for education
Louis Riel Day an opportunity for education – Feb 15, 2016