Metis Nation of Saskatchewan
Isabel Gagne is an 18 year old Metis woman who has accepted an offer to study International Business in Montreal at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. Isabel has a passion for social justice and has lived a life of service to her community. Isabel plans to complete her Bachelor of Commerce degree within the next four years. In 2015 Isabel was named Saskatchewan’s Junior Citizen of the Year and was recognized by the Congress of Aboriginal People’s with the Youth Achievement Award.
The piece she has written explores the issue of justice surrounding the historical portrayal of Louis Riel. Isabel feels her generation needs to right a historical wrong. She believes the writing and teaching of Canadian history should record Louis Riel as an activist who fought for human rights rather than as a traitor hung for treason.
Isabel believes that in today’s context Riel would be referred to as a hero who fought for the rights of all Canadians. Riel is the embodiment of a true Canadian. He stood up against the injustice of racism however history records Riel as a leader of a rebellion rather than a champion of resistance against the oppression of government.
Isabel’s writing refers to Riel as a living treaty between two nations and calls for action to Write/Right a historical wrong.