Louis Riel was born in Winnipeg on October 22, 1844. He was content and very religious, which is surprising based on his upcoming occurrences. He was a Métis; part Native American and part French Canadian. He lived in the Red River settlement where there was much to rebel against due to the governments totally undemocratic ways. The Métis and Native Americans that lived there were unfairly treated. Louis Riel felt, because of his heritage ties, he had to do something about the treatment of the Métis and Natives. Louis Riel had his own personal problems to deal with, but he cast them aside so that he could contribute to Canada's democracy.
The problems that Riel would protest against started in 1821, when the North West Company merged with its competitor the Hudson Bay Company into one. Both companies were major employers of the Métis and when they merged it created huge unemployment among the Métis, who relied heavily on the fur trade. The Hudson Bay Company tried to encourage the Métis to take up farming in the south western part of Manitoba, but many of the Métis found this hard to accept, as it did not have the same excitement the hunt had. Eventually many years later, Canada bought out Rupertsland, the land owned by Hudson Bay Company. .
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This frightened the Métis as they were afraid settlers and colonization would wear away at their way of life and their culture. The Métis looked for a leader to help them obtain the democracy they were obliged to have. The leader that would help them achieve this would be Louis Riel.
Louis Riel led the Métis in protest against the government to try and take their rights back.