Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Louis Riel


He was a complex man, full of contradiction and angst, certainly, but what makes Louis Riel him so intriguing is that he managed to straddle two cultures, Native and white, and came as close to anyone to envisioning a sympathetic and equitable relationship between the two. That Canadians may someday achieve this vision remains Louis Riel’s legacy.

- Maggie Sigggins
From Riel: A Life of Revolution
Born October 22, 1844 at Red River Settlement (present-day Manitoba), Metis leader Louis Riel is certainly one the most controversial figures in Canadian history. Some call him insane, a murderer and a traitor. Others regard him as a hero and the “Father of Manitoba.” Today is the 125th anniversary of his death. On November 16, 1885, Riel was executed in Regina, Saskatchewan for high treason. The province of Manitoba now celebrates “Louis Riel Day” every third Monday of February.

For those interested in the life of one of the most charismatic, colourful and fascinating characters in Canadian history, I recommend two books. They are Riel: A Life of Revolution, Maggie Siggins, HarperCollins, 1994 and The Trial of Louis Riel by George Goulet.


On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the United States. This Canadian sends warm regards to all you Sooners out there. On the anniversary of your statehood, I salute you. By the way, you may want to check out my November 4, 2010 blog entry on Oklahoma’s own Will Rogers.


The name Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian words “okla” meaning "people" and “humma” meaning “red.”


Canadian jazz artist, Diana Krall was born on November 16, 1964 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She is one of my favourites.

To watch a video of Diana performing Cry Me a River, click on the link below.



Saturday, November 13, 2010 was another dismal day for Toronto sports teams. The Toronto Maples Leafs lost to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-3. Nazem Kadri suited up for the Leafs and Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox wrote that he “acquitted himself well.” It was not, however, enough to give the Leafs a victory. The Blue and White suffered their 10th defeat in 11 games.

The Toronto Raptors lost yet again, this time to the Miami Heat. They were outscored by the Heat 109 -11 in the Sunshine State. Former Raptor Chris Bosh only had 22 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.

The only bright spot on the Toronto sports scene over the past weekend was the Toronto Argonauts. They defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium by a score of 16-13 to win the Eastern semi-final. They now advance to the Eastern final against the Alouettes in Montreal on Sunday, November 21. If they win that one, it’s on to Edmonton to play in Canada’s national football championship, the Grey Cup. Congratulations to the Argos.

- Joanne