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Métis Awareness, Louis Riel and the Road Allowance People: Home

This guide has been created as a companion to the Chilliwack library's 2019-2023 Métis culture and history display featuring Métis leader Louis Riel and the Road Allowance People.


Louis Riel Day is time to learn about Métis history, values, culture, and governance and to acknowledge the importance of Louis Riel as a political leader and advocate of justice for the Métis people as well as commemorate his execution on November 16, 1885.

This guide was created to celebrate the good work between the UFV Library and its partners in creating a Louis Riel, Road Allowance People, and Metis Awareness installation which was on display at the CEP Campus Library from 2019-2023. In addition, the guide higlights resources available for further research at UFV Library and elsewhere.

2019-2023 UFV CEP Library Louis Riel Display

Shirley Hardman, UFV’s Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs, had an idea about a metal silhouette of Métis leader Louis Riel and a quote from Riel, combined with an image that would convey the poverty of the Road Allowance People, a real Red River cart, sacks and household stuff in the cart, a baby in a cradleboard, an old tarp, a Métis sash, old suitcases, a metal pail, a Métis flag, sand on the road, rocks in a ditch, tumbleweeds in the foreground. It was all to paint a picture of poverty and struggle, a context for what life was like for Métis people in Canada who, in some cases, were not allowed to own property, who were issued "scrip," a form of legal tender, in exchange for land, whose lands were sometimes stolen, and who sometimes lived in road allowances--the spaces left over at the sides of the road. 

The library wishes to thank every one who helped us create this display, especially:

Shirley Hardman, UFV's senior advisor on Indigenous affairs

Josephine Charlie, Indigenous Student Centre, cultural and events assistant, for her advice and for beading and creating the cradleboard

Louis De Jaeger and the Chilliwack Métis Association for donating the Red River cart and lending other display items

Chilliwack library team: Heather Compeau, Johanna Sawer, Korina Gratton, Leslie Olsen, Lisa Morry, Samantha Gibbs and Tracy Bergey

Patrick Calihou, Red River cart carver

Randy Lamont, artist who recreated the historical painting in the backdrop and created the file for the Louis Riel silhouette

Chris James, Smoothlines Welding, who built Louis Riel silhouette, and Joel Feenstra, Trades faculty for facilitating the Riel silhouette

Indigenous Studies Liaison Librarian

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Janelle Sztuhar

2019-2023 Louis Riel Display Inquiries

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