Being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil as a false traitor against our said Lady the Queen, and wholly withdrawing the allegiance, fidelity and obedience … on the twenty-sixth day of March …, armed and arrayed in a war-like manner, that is to say with guns, rifles, pistols, bayonets, and other weapons, being then unlawfully, maliciously and traitorously assembled…in contempt of our said Lady the Queen and her laws, to the evil example of all others in the like case - court documents
Many years later, our class is revisiting this event. Why? - Because it is still controversial. You will experience the controversy during your debate, which bring history to life - and your fresh eyes to the issues. Perhaps you will have something new to say.
1. Were Louis Riel and the Métis justified in using violence?
2. Was Louis Riel a traitor to Canada?
3. Should the government have executed Louis Riel?
4. Should Louis Riel have executed Thomas Scott?
STEP ONE: RESEARCH
You are looking for general arguments and evidence, as well as your oppositions arguments and evidence. Avoid faulty arguments. Historical research requires you to not only look at the facts of the time, but also how the event has been re-interpreted throughout time.
Good for finding general arguments (table of contents) and details (index)
photo © McCord Museum
Good for finding evidence: details, quotes, statistics etc, to support your general arguments
Analysis by historians who lived later in time and re-analyzed it through their historic lenses
Good for a general overview and extracting main arguments
- Bill C-411: Louis Riel Act: to reverse the conviction of Louis Riel (2001)
- Audio and Video (CBC Digital Archives)
Organize using this format. Get together with your group and compare notes. Decide who will be speaker one, two, three and four. Work individually and with the help of the group - prepare your 2 minute speech ( speakers 3 and four will have notes, and be prepared to change direction after hearing the oppositions side). Here is some advice on making a good speech
Let the debate begin!
DON'T FORGET TO CITE YOUR SOURCES and attach your works cited sheet to the note collection sheet