Louis Riel may be considered one of the most controversial political figures in Canadian history. Riel is widely considered the “Father of Manitoba” and the key figure in bringing Manitoba into Canadian confederation. At the same time, he was the leader of a rebellion against the Canadian government and was hanged for treason in 1885 under the government of Sir John A. Macdonald.
This coin commemorates Louis Riel’s place in history and celebrates the cultural legacy of the Métis Nation and its resilience. While the struggles of the past continue to echo through generations, Canada is taking steps towards acknowledging our troubled history and recognizing the sacrifices of a founding people.
The coin features a portrait of Louis Riel (1844-1885). The Métis Nation leader and founder of Manitoba is wearing his fur-trimmed buckskin jacket, which is adorned with traditional floral beadwork. His Conventry sash forms one looped half of the emblem of the Métis Nation: an infinity sign that represents the unification of two cultures (European and Indigenous) and the immortality of the Métis Nation. The sash bears Riel’s title in three languages: Michif (NIIKAANIIW POOR LA NAASYOON LII MICHIF), English (MÉTIS NATION LEADER) and French (CHEF DE LA NATION DES MÉTIS). An engraved reproduction of Louis Riel’s signature appears below the word “CANADA”, the year “2019” and the face value, “DOLLAR”. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. Mintage is limited to just 15,000. HST/GST exempt.