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This question has plagued my mind for awhile: was the Métis leader a traitor or hero? Some believe that he was insane, some believe that he was just defending his people or did he actually commit the ultimate sin, to betray one’s country. Either way, he paid the ultimate price. He was found guilty of his actions and was hanged on November 16, 1885. The real question is did he deserve it?I believe that Louis David Riel is innocent of treason but guilty of modern-day terrorism because the land wasn’t part of Canada when the rebellion started. but when the land was sold the Canadian government let them have a provisional government. There is also the case of the second rebellion, but at that point, he wasn’t even a Canadian citizen. So how can you commit a crime against one’s country when it’s not even your country?The first reason I think that Louis Riel is is innocent of treason because the red river land was still in the process of being sold to Canada from the Hudson Bay Company. The Metis were getting annoyed by the Canadian Government’s repeated attempts to survey the riverside farm plots. The Metis were worried that they might lose their farms and that fear was not helped by the fact that the government wouldn’t promise to keep the Metis’s occupancy rights. This caused Riel to lead a group of armed Metis to prevent William McDougall and the land surveyors to enter their territory. Also after the sale of Rupert’s Land to the government the “Canadian government to refuse to assume control of the territory” ( ) due to the backlash from the Metis. This is the reason that Louis Riel had started the provisional government to negotiate their entry into confederation. This means that if it’s not part of Canada then how can he commit a crime that the definition states that “the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.” ( If Louis Riel did not commit treason he must have committed a crime though, so what was it? I have researched and decided that Louis Riel is guilty of modern day terrorism. If you read the definition of terrorism: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims” ( I feel that this is the crime the Louis Riel committed because he used violence against Thomas Scott and the rest of the land surveyors when he prevented them from entering the land. These acts were in pursuit of political aims because I believe that Louis Riel acted the way he did so that the government would act on their promises and to give them the same rights as everybody else. This article states that when Mr. Riel and the provisional government took over Fort Garry they sent a list of rights that they wanted the Canadian government to give the Metis People. ( This list included that they can elect their own legislature that has the power to create ALL laws for the local territory, that all official documents will be printed in English and French, as well as many more. There is still the case of the second rebellion. For this rebellion Louis Riel wasn’t even a Canadian citizen, he was American, so again how can Louis Riel be guilty of a crime against his country when it wasn’t his country anymore.These are the reasons that I think that Louis Riel was Innocent of treason but guilty of modern day terrorism.

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