Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada
Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State
Politician, founder of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis, Louis Riel led two resistance movements against the Canadian government: the Red River Uprising of 1869–70, and the North-West Rebellion of 1885, in defense of Métis and other minority rights.
Against the backdrop of these legendary uprisings, Jennifer Reid examines Riel’s religious background, the mythic significance that has consciously been ascribed to him, and how these elements combined to influence Canada’s search for a national identity. Reid’s study provides a framework for rethinking the geopolitical significance of the modern Canadian state, the historic role of Confederation in establishing the country’s collective self-image, and the narrative space through which Riel’s voice speaks to these issues.
“Reid does a bang-up job of describing the intersection of [Riel’s] politics and [his] vision of a New-World Catholic order.”
– Winnipeg Free Press
“I applaud and recommend Reid’s serious and careful effort to generate a distinct and stable position amid the turbulent and vast sea of Riel scholarship and myths.”
– Kevin Bruyneel, Babson College, Great Plains Quarterly (Link)
“A lively addition to a large body of literature that seeks to interrogate ideas of nationhood and the role of Métis peoples in the context of postcolonial realities.”
– American Indian Culture and Research Journal
– Choice Magazine
“The book provides a framework for readers to rethink the geopolitical significance of the modern Canadian state. We are also given a glimpse into how the historic role of Confederation played out in establishing the country’s collective self-image, and the narrative space through which Riel’s voice speaks in regards to these issues.”
– Christine McFarlane, Windspeaker (Link)
About the Author
Jennifer Reid received her Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa and is a professor of religion at the University of Maine, Farmington. She is the author of Myth, Symbol and Colonial Encounter: British and Mi’kmaq in Arcadia, 1700-1867 and Religion, Writing, and Colonial Resistance: Mathias Carvalho’s Louis Riel.