Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Let virtue be our soul's food.
November 16, 2006 5:38 PM   Subscribe

121 years ago today Louis Riel was hanged. A lost poem he wrote for his jailer has a new home at the University of Saskatchewan.
posted by arse_hat (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. Not at all bad for a guy working in a second language under a lot of pressure.

I've heard that Riel's comic-strip biography is very good.
posted by Iridic at 5:46 PM on November 16, 2006


Ugh, as much as I like the story and the history, we covered Riel so damn much in highschool that I honestly have flashbacks to history class the moment I hear that bugger's name.
posted by nightchrome at 5:54 PM on November 16, 2006


Being rather ignorant of Canadian history, I didn't realize that you folks were just about as bad to your indigenous people as we were. And Australia is (still) being rather evil to ITS natives, so it would appear to be the rule, rather than the exception.

Kind of sad, when you think about it.
posted by Malor at 5:59 PM on November 16, 2006


Thanks for the province, Louis.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:14 PM on November 16, 2006


Oh, that's really interesting, thanks for the link! It's a very good poem, too.
posted by livii at 6:25 PM on November 16, 2006


nightchrome: I too was sick of learning about Riel in highschool history classes, but I now am truly thankful for learning about a story of such blatant silencing of political dissent that occurred in my own country. I understand the significance now, even if back then he was only a name and a date to be memorized.
posted by tehloki at 6:28 PM on November 16, 2006


tehloki: Agreed. One thing that I can appreciate now more than I did at the time is the fact that our Canadian history classes were extremely honest about much of the terrible crap that our government had a hand in.
For that matter, I seem to recall that no historical personage was safe from having their dirty laundry aired, no matter how unflattering.
posted by nightchrome at 6:46 PM on November 16, 2006


Just heard about this on cbc radio on the drive home.
posted by juv3nal at 6:54 PM on November 16, 2006


we covered Riel so damn much in highschool that I honestly have flashbacks to history class the moment I hear that bugger's name.

Thanks for the province, Louis.

our Canadian history classes were extremely honest about much of the terrible crap that our government had a hand in.


Just wanted to concur with all three of those statements.
posted by dreamsign at 6:59 PM on November 16, 2006


I've heard that Riel's comic-strip biography is very good.

I thought it was excellent. Highly recommended.
posted by gompa at 7:00 PM on November 16, 2006


There's a great story about how the night before his hanging, a reporter for the Regina Leader posed as a priest to sneak his way in. He then interviewed Riel in French, the English-speaking guards none the wiser.
posted by evilcolonel at 8:35 PM on November 16, 2006


But for lust, we could be friends,
On each other's necks could weep:
In each other's arms could sleep
In the calm the cradle lends:

Lends awhile then takes away.
But for hunger, but for fear,
Calm could be our day and year
From the yellow to the grey:

From the gold to the grey hair,
But for passion, we could rest,
But for passion, we could feast
On compassion everywhere.

Even in this night I know
By the awful living dead,
By this craving tear I shed,
Somewhere, somewhere it is so.

-It reminded me of Ruth Pitter's poem.
posted by isopraxis at 8:45 PM on November 16, 2006



Ugh, as much as I like the story and the history, we covered Riel so damn much in highschool that I honestly have flashbacks to history class the moment I hear that bugger's name.


I'm with you. We had to memorize the names of his various teachers as well as learn what he ate for breakfast (oatmeal) and lunch (boiled beef). I know that he hung out with two native dudes - Pitikwahanapiwiyin and Mistahimaskwa (I think, I'm working from memory). shudder, grade 12 Sciences Humaines, je te deteste.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:58 PM on November 16, 2006


Huh, I guess I got lucky. My Sc. Hum. class in junior high in NB covered him pretty regularly but not in any kind of insane detail like that, arcticwoman, and we never talked about him in high school (NB or AB) once.

I had great high school social studies & history classes, I kind of miss them.

All I think I remember from junior high is "les autochtones!" which is fun to say.
posted by blacklite at 10:55 PM on November 16, 2006


I now have Thee Headcoats' Louis Riel (to the tune of Louie Louie, of course) stuck in my head.
posted by scruss at 4:49 AM on November 17, 2006


We learned about Riel repeatedly over the years in my school experience. As Winnipeggers, we even got to go on a field trip to Fort Garry and to our leglislative building to see the Riel statue(s ?).

I find it strange that my home province was a fairly radical place, what with Riel's rebellious attempt at exercising some sovereignty and our general strike some years later. And now... well... we've got lots of pigs!
posted by utsutsu at 7:42 AM on November 17, 2006


I'm with you on "les autochtones," blacklight.

The unfortunate thing is that since we focused so much on the insane details, I don't really remember any of the actual, you know, important things he did. We must have covered them, but by that point I had probablt tuned out. Blah blah blah... Manitoba... blah blah blah oatmeal... Metis... whatever...
posted by arcticwoman at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2006


« Older WARNING:...  |  OOBLECK!... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments