DOYLE, David

Author Tags: First Nations, Métis

David Doyle Of Powell River is a Canadian Plains Research Fellow and a retired First Nations school principal. He has archived the oral and documented history of the Northwest. Given a Cree name and twice recognized as an Honorary Métis (Honoré Jaxon II), Doyle continues his work seeking justice for the Northwest leader Louis Riel through exoneration and reconciliation with Canada and Canadians.

Joining with participants from over fifty countries, long-time Louis Riel activist David Doyle returned to Havana in January of 2016 for the second UNESCO-sponsored José Martí Project of International Solidarity: With All and for the Good of All. Doyle attended the Havana International Book Fair in 2012 with his video On the Trail of Louis Riel and his book From The Gallows – The Lost Testimony of Louis Riel which he hopes to have republished for a sesquicentennial Canada 150 Edition.

Born in 1947 in Saskatchewan, David (Davy) Doyle moved to BC in 1972 to attend Simon Fraser University and become a teacher. In 1985 he returned to Saskatchewan to follow the trail of Louis Riel. Searching for Riel's "lost Revolutionary Bill of Rights" across Canada he was able to return the document to the Metis Nation at the first Back to Batoche 1885 - 1985 celebration. In 2000 he was made an "Honourary Metis" for his work in support of Louis Riel. Receiving a fellowship with the Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina, David Doyle recorded the Oral History of the Plains Cree from his mentor and his friend, Sweet Grass First Nation oral historian, Alphonse Little Poplar.

In 1997 Ethnic Press of Summerland BC published his book From the Gallows, The Lost Testimony of Louis Riel. Invited to the XXI International Book Fair in Havana Cuba, 2012, David Doyle, a member of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance, produced a new updated From the Gallows, trade paperback and e-book for the book fair. In Havana he was also invited to present a dramatic re-creation of the trial of Louis Riel at UNEAC, the Cuban Writer’s Union, as well as speak on the Saskatchewan Cooperative Movement at the IXth Canada Studies Symposium at the University of Havana.

As an educator, David Doyle spent his teaching career working in Special Education and Aboriginal Education in British Columbia. Working in First Nations schools he went on to be a principal in Mount Currie and in Chemainus First Nations. Retiring from teaching he went on to be Manager of Special Programs for Education Yukon in 2010. Returning to BC in 2012 he has been active presenting his video, On the Trail of Louis Riel, and working in support of the British Columbia Metis Federation.

According to David Doyle, "The struggle for independence in Cuba and Canada has taken very divergent but also similar paths, with the Cuban people fighting Spanish colonialism through a series of wars and revolts and the Canadian, Quebecois, Métis and First Nations also involved in revolts against Anglo-Canadian colonialism, but in the end following the British parliamentary system. I relate the career of José Martí to that of Métis leader Louis Riel - in their nineteenth century struggles against colonialism, recognizing that the struggle against colonialism and neo-colonialism remains a common concern of contemporary life in the twenty-first century as seen in the IDLE NO MORE movement and the struggle for Indigenous rights and environmental sustainability in Canada and internationally. My work this year is to introduce the noxious, racist, Doctrine of Discovery - the foundation of colonialism from the era of Christopher Columbus to the present. The racist Doctrine of Discovery remains the foundation of Canadian and American law, and need be repudiated for a new relationship to be established between Aboriginal People and the Canadian state through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as signed by the Canadian government in 2010.

"I had the honour to introduce Louis Riel at the XXI International Book Fair in Havana in February 2012 and as a member of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance (CCLA) I also presented a dramatic recreation of Riel’s trial for High Treason at UNEAC, the Cuban Writers and Artists Union and at the University of Havana Canadian Studies Seminar. Returning to Canada from Havana I was inspired to compare the lives and careers of Marti and Riel. These two prominent nineteenth century revolutionaries were contemporaries; remarkable in their youth and principled in their lifelong leadership against colonialism. Both men were men of letters, poets, looking into the universal and cosmic questions of life while leading their people toward independence. Both were concerned with and appalled by American imperialism; ‘Manifest Destiny’ and the ramifications it had on Indigenous nations and Peoples. Unknown to many Canadians Riel effectively blocked the annexation of the Northwest by U.S. agents during the Red River insurrection in 1869-70. He also led the constitutional agitation and armed resistance against Anglo-Canadian colonialism in Western Canada in 1885. Tried for the crime of ‘High Treason’ Riel, was ‘hanged by the neck until dead’ for his work to establish Indigenous Rights and democratic institutions in the Northwest.

Louis Riel was and remains branded as a ‘traitor’ in Canada today.

"Marti died a hero in the Cuban War of Independence in 1895 and is honoured for his work and beauty of his verse throughout Latin America. These two individuals gave up their lives for their people and both men were far-reaching world personalities providing lessons for the future. It is time to exonerate Louis Riel - the Prophet of the New World."


From the Gallows, an enquiry into the career of Louis Riel, Summerland: Ethnic Pres, 1999 / NorthWest Educational Productions, 2012 $20.00, ISBN 978- 09867767-1-7

Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done (Ronsdale 2017) $24.95 978-1-55380-496-3

[BCBW 2017]

From the Gallows, An Enquiry into the Career of Louis Riel
Press Release

Each February, Havana’s International Book Fair transforms the old Spanish fortification San Carlos de La Cabana that overlooks the Havana harbour into one of the biggest book parties in the world. The book fair takes place in Havana for 10 days before continuing on to other cities for two more weeks. It is considered Cuba’s premier cultural event, as well as the event with the highest attendance in Cuba: the XX International Book Fair drew over 2.3 million people, and sold 1.7 million books sold. Canadian author Margaret Atwood presented a special compilation of 67 stories she had written for Cuba at the fair.

This year’s fair will pay tribute to the Bicentennial of the rebellion organized by Jose Antonio Aponte against the Spanish colonial empire and the Centennial of the Colored Independent Party members’ uprising. In that same anti-colonial era, the Métis leader Louis Riel led a struggle for democracy and land rights in the Canadian Northwest. When Anglo-Canadian forces attempted to arrest Riel, he and his followers established a provisional government. Attacked by Canadian troops the Métis government fell and Riel was tried for High Treason. Found guilty, Louis Riel was executed November 16, 1885.

The trial and execution of Louis Riel divided Canada and remain at the centre of controversy 127 years later. Long-time Riel activist and Canadian educator, David Doyle, will introduce the anti-colonial struggle of the Métis Nation in Western Canada and the fate of their leader, Louis Riel, to Cuba at the XX1 International Book Fair. David Doyle has long supported the call for an inquiry into the career of Louis Riel and will be presenting an overview of Mr. Riel’s career at the fair on February 17, 2012. Mr. Doyle will present his video, On the Trail of Louis Riel, and introduce the 15th anniversary, updated edition, of his book, From the Gallows, the lost testimony of Louis Riel. While in Havana, Mr. Doyle will also be presenting at a forum on Writing and Contemporaneity at Casa de las Americas and rendering a dramatic re-enactment of Riel’s trial at UNEAC (the Cuban Writer’s Union). As a member of the Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance (CCLA) he is scheduled for a book reading at the University of Havana, where he will also be presenting at the Xl Canadian Studies Symposium, Las Cooperatives en Canada.

David Doyle (B.A. M.Ed.) is a specialist in Aboriginal education. Formerly a manager of education in the Yukon Territory, principal of First Nations schools and Fellow of the Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina, he has collected First Nation and Métis oral history and written extensively on First Nations education and the legacy of colonialism in the Americas. Mr. Doyle is seeking international literary representation as well as holding discussions with publishers while in Havana.

Invited to this year’s international book fair in Havana as a member of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance, David Doyle of Summerland presented a dramatic re-creation of the trial of Louis Riel for the Cuban Writers Union based on his newly revised From the Gallows, An Enquiry into the Career of Louis Riel (NorthWest Educational Productions $20). Doyle was a First Nations school principal in Mount Currie and in Chemainus.

978- 09867767-1-7

[BCBW 2012]

Louis Riel Day, 2012
Press Release (2012)

BC Metis Federation’s own online show Métis Coffee Talk will air a special feature show this Thursday, November 15, at 7:30 PM. The show will interview special guest and Louis Riel historian Mr. David Doyle who is arguably the most knowledgeable Louis Riel expert in Canada. Mr. Doyle will present about the life and times of Louis Riel from his extensive years of experience researching and fighting for Louis Riel’s place as one of the greatest Canadians.

This will be a must see show for all and we encourage anyone to watch to better understand the history of Métis people in Canada. We will be holding a LIVE Louis Riel Day (November 16th) Webcast on Thursday November 15 – 7:30 Pacific Standard Time.

David Doyle will be reviewing Louis Riel in Canadian History, including an overview of the key books published reflecting Louis Riel’s place in Canadian history. David will also be showing his video ON THE TRAIL OF LOUIS RIEL, - an homage to Riel, Big Bear, Poundmaker and Gabriel Dumont and those who fought Canadian colonialism in Saskatchewan 1885.

This evening’s presentation is also dedicated to two Saskatchewan patriots who passed-on in this last month. Brian Rands was a working class hero, and an ardent supporter of Louis Riel and the rights of Indigenous Peoples everywhere. Jim Sinclair, the former leader of the Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan (AMNSIS), was a leader who stood up and demanded the Métis be recognized as an Aboriginal Nation in the Canadian Constitution of 1982. Both Brian and Jim carried on many struggles in the interests of the People and both men marched to the old North-West Mounted Police barracks in Regina on November 16, 1985 carrying the “lost” Revolutionary Bill of Rights of the Saskatchewan on the 100th anniversary of the execution of Louis Riel.

Havana Times coverage
Article (2013)

HAVANA TIMES — Powell River historian and educator David Doyle is travelling to Cuba this month to give a presentation on the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ at the third annual UNESCO World Balance Forum to take place January 28th to the 30th in Havana, states a press release.

The UNESCO Conference for World Balance will debate major world problems and challenges. The event will also mark the 160th anniversary of the birth of Cuban national Hero Jose Marti and will grant the UNESCO Jose Marti International Prize. Doyle, who introduced Louis Riel to Cuba at the International Book Fair in 2012, is the author of The Prophet and the Apostle of the New World, Louis Riel and Jose Marti, as well as From the Gallows, the Lost Testimony of Louis Riel and producer of the video On the Trail of Louis Riel.

Invited back to Cuba for the World Balance Conference Doyle’s main interests is to bring to light the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and its historical role in the colonization of the Americas. Doyle explains how this feudal doctrine, which is over 500 years old, is still the very foundation of colonialism. It was the Eurocentric ’Doctrine of Discovery’ that gave Christopher Columbus the right to claim the New World and the Indigenous Peoples for Spain and for England and France, and now the United States and Canada, to claim sovereignty over North America and the Aboriginal nations and peoples as well as their lands and resources.

Doyle explains, “Unfortunately, although both Canada and the United States are modern, mature, countries, the racist ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ remains the foundation of Indigenous law in both countries. It remains the cornerstone of Indigenous policy and continues to hinder true nation to nation relations with the Aboriginal peoples.”

Doyle’s work has been influenced by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that called for the repudiation of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ in 2012. The IDLE NO MORE movement has now taken up the call to repudiate the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples signed by Canada in 2010. In bringing the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ to the attention of the delegates from over forty countries Doyle hopes to prepare conditions for the international condemnation of colonialism and the repudiation of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ at the Unite Nations Indigenous Global Summit in 2014.

To contact David Doyle write:

José Martí & Louis Riel & the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’
Speech (2013)

(Havana, Cuba, November 28 – 30, 2013)
speech prepared by David Doyle (M.Ed.)

Cuba and Canada have a special relationship in the Americas. Cordial relations between the two countries can be traced back to the eighteenth century when Cuban rum and sugar were traded for Atlantic cod and beer. In the wake of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, contrary to the wishes of the United States, Canada has maintained warm relations with Cuba and has been a staunch friend for the past fifty-five years – although there was an embarrassing negative act by the Canadian government in 2012 with Canada, despite the unanimous position of all other OAS states, siding with the United States denying Cuba entrance into the Organization of American States (OAS). As a Canadian I offer my sincere personal apologies to our Cuban friends for this insult. (See: REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL: Stephen Harper’s Illusions April 9, 2012).
A settler son of the Great Northwest, that beautiful land that sweeps across the northern great plains of North America, the traditional homelands of the Aboriginal Cree and the mixed-blood Métis nations I have been fascinated by the nineteenth century Canadian Métis leader Louis Riel who was hanged in my home town, Regina, Saskatchewan in 1885. In 2012 I had the honour to introduce Louis Riel to Cuba at the XXI International Book Fair through my video On the Trail of Louis Riel and my book From the Gallows, the lost testimony of Louis Riel. My Cuban friends commented on the many similarities between Louis Riel and Cuba's national hero, José Martí. Seeing the love and admiration the Cuban people have for José Martí I investigated further and fully agreed. In the spirit of Canada–Cuba friendship, and as a member of the Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance, I have produced a booklet: The Prophet and the Apostle of the New World, Louis Riel and José Martí. Although this booklet is only in English, I am looking forward to the production of a bi-lingual English-Spanish language version.
Presently in Canada an historic Indigenous resistance movement IDLE NO MORE is active across the country. In unprecedented numbers IDLE NO MORE has mobilized thousands upon thousands of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who are actively resisting the neo-liberal assaults by the Canadian government and industry on Indigenous ways of life. This spontaneous movement has reawakened the Canadian people to the deplorable social situation facing Canadian Aboriginal People, as well as the need to protect the natural environment. Amongst the key demands of IDLE NO MORE is the implementation of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights. Included in these demands is a Declaration of Responsibility* with the Canadian government acknowledging the systematic nature of Canada's colonial past and present. This demand includes the repudiation of the foundation of colonialism — the 'Doctrine of Discovery'
Both Louis Riel and José Martí were nineteenth century democrats and revolutionaries. Although geographically diverse, both men took the anti-colonial and national liberation struggles to new historic levels. The distinction between the two is in their official recognition. Where José Martí is venerated in Cuba as a national hero, Louis Riel, having been tried for the crime of High Treason, found guilty and executed is officially still considered a 'traitor' to Canada. After one-hundred and twenty-eight years, Louis Riel's 'proper place in Canadian history' has yet to be officially recognized. My work is to see Riel exonerated and recognized as a 'Father of the Canadian Confederation.'
The Christian 'Doctrine of Discovery'
Both Cuba and what is today Canada were initially colonized by Christian Europe beginning with Christopher Columbus claiming Spanish 'discovery' of a 'New World' in 1492. Giovanni Caboto (anglicized to John Cabot) claimed 'discovery' of North America for England in 1497, and, not to be outdone, France sent Jacques Cartier across the western sea to claim 'discovery' of "New France" in 1534. All three of these navigators, and the many that followed, claimed European sovereignty through a number of symbolic acts as well as the first of the European "international" laws: the "Doctrine of Discovery."
The 'Doctrine of Discovery' was not a single covenant but a collection of the rulings of religious and political leaders from the time of the Roman Empire onwards. These were the vestiges of agreements that arose out of the conflicts between the Christian Crusaders in their invasions of the "Holy Lands" (1100–1300 A.D.) to assert Christian domination over the Muslim world.
After a series of defeats and with the fall of Constantinople to the Muslims in 1453 the Christian countries sought new worlds to plunder. The Portuguese navigator Bartolomé Dias reached the southernmost tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, in 1488, opening up the vast Indian Ocean to Portugal. An era of Portuguese prosperity would follow. Neighbouring Spain desperately wanted in on the action, as did the other European sea-going nations: England and France, and soon Holland and others.
In this new European "Age of Discovery" the newly consolidated Courts of Europe sought to legitimize their maritime "adventures" through Papal Bulls, Royal Charters and borrowed money. These were men that made their livelihood carrying out the ancient traditions of the pirate: raid, rape and plunder. Each nation looked to both legally and symbolically sieze new-found lands — before their European Christian competitors could make such a claim.
'Doctrine' is the embodiment of scripture. In feudal Christian Europe 'discovery' was considered a sacred responsibility, fulfilling God's law. To legalize and legitimate the colonization of occupied territories variations on the 'Doctrine of Discovery' would be used by all of the Western European colonial nations. Joining Spain and Portugal, Britain and France refined the concept of 'discovery' by manufacturing new laws affirming their right to carry out such practices as unequal trade, land seizures, piracy and slavery.
The 'Doctrine of Discovery' was the foundation of colonialism and conquest internationally. In today's 'Americas' millions of people lived in thousands of nations. No matter that the Aboriginal peoples had their own civilizations and cultures; Aboriginal "ownership" of land was not valid for the Europeans. Following the feudal theory of jura regalia (Regalian Doctrine) 'discovered' lands were declared the exclusive patrimony and dominion of the European Crown. Aboriginal lands became chattel, the extended property of the Monarch or 'Crown.' Connected to this is the Crown's power of Dominuum: the capacity of the Crown to own or acquire property. Allowing for Indigenous occupation and use of land, but refuting, Aboriginal title, all 'discovered' lands became the exclusive dominion of the Crown, hence, all private title also originated with the Crown. Herein is the foundation for the expropriation and commandeering of Aboriginal lands, as well as land speculation, colonization and privatization. It is also the foundation of 'Crown lands' and today's real estate laws.
Although there were massive exceptions (Aztec, Maya, Inca) the Indigenous peoples, on whose territory the Europeans intruded, most often occupied their lands in a different fashion than the European. Many cultures did not erect permanent structures or cultivate with domesticated animals. This lack of "development" was taken as non-habitation of the land, making it terra nullius; "open land" — land for the taking. Under this extended doctrine the Europeans could claim that the land was not being used for productive purposes, or not properly cultivated. In short, the newcomers came to the New World with the God-given right to do whatever, wherever and to whomever they pleased. This New World was their next Holy Crusade.
Since its inception, and up to the present, the 'Doctrine of Discovery' has legitimized the morally condemnable, socially unjust and racist policies used against Indigenous peoples worldwide. Europeans, and later the United States and Canada gained governmental, political and commercial rights over the Indigenous inhabitants without their knowledge or consent. Founded on racial discrimination the 'Doctrine of Discovery' placed the Indigenous inhabitants subservient to that of the 'conquering' European nation with the attendant loss of sovereignty and self-government.
Extremely predatory towards the Aboriginal Peoples of the New World, and also to each other, the European conquering nations would squabble and fight with competing claims from Newfoundland to Brazil. After Columbus, Spain seized Indigenous Cuba and most of Central and South America through military occupation and the slaughter and degradation of the Indigenous population. In North America, Spain, France and the English would all claim
'discovery' of the Indigenous lands. Contention between the colonialists would last for close to three-hundred years. With the British defeat of New France in 1759 and Spain being limited to the southern portion of the continent, Britain became the main colonial force in North America until the American Revolution. Far to the north, Indigenous 'Canada' would become part of the vast British colonial empire with the new country of Canada being established in 1867 after the American Civil War (1861–1865).
Cuban independence from Imperial Spain involved a number of revolts leading to 1869 and the 'Ten Years War.' It would be at this time that a sixteen year old Cuban youth, José Martí would step onto the stage of history in opposition to Spanish colonialism. That same year, 1869, an indigenous Métis youth, Louis Riel, would lead the struggle against Anglo-Canadian colonialism and against American annexation of the Great Northwest.
José Martí
In an attempt to gain independence from Spain, the Ten Years’ War began in Cuba in 1869. Inspired by these events, young José Martí wrote passionately in support of the rebels attracting the attention of the Spanish authorities. At the age of sixteen José Martí was convicted of treason and sedition and sentenced to six years’ hard labour. After a year in chains, his parents were able to intervene and his sentence was reduced to exile from Cuba. José was exiled to Spain. He would spend most of the next twenty-five years in exile writing plays, poems and children's literature as he organized for Cuban independence.
Louis Riel
In 1869 the new country of Canada secretly purchased the Hudson’s Bay Company’s chartered lands, the Northwest homeland of the Métis and the Indigenous Cree. Repudiating this purchase and demanding recognition of Aboriginal title, twenty-four year old Louis Riel led the Métis in preventing the appointed Canadian governor from entering the territory. In the face of Anglo-Canadian aggression, the Métis insurrection seized the seat of power, Fort Garry, and established a Provisional Government. Thereafter, Louis Riel and an elected Council of 40 from the English-speaking and French-speaking communities negotiated with Canada for entrance of a new province, Manitoba, into the Canadian confederation. Throughout this
period Louis Riel wrote numerous poems, as well as the Bill of Rights, and the Manitoba Act - the foundation for the establishment of the new province of Manitoba. With ratification of the Manitoba Act, Louis Riel was appointed interim Governor of Manitoba.
In the summer of 1870 Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald sent Canadian and British troops into the Red River community. Riel and other members of the Provisional Government were forced to flee across the American border. Murders and rapes occurred as the Canadian troops ransacked Métis homes searching for Louis Riel. Although elected to the Canadian parliament three times Louis Riel was not allowed to take his seat and was exiled from Canada with a $5,000 bounty on his head. For ten years he never knew if it was safe to water his horse or sleep in the same bed for two nights in a row.
José Martí
In exile José Martí dedicated himself to planning and organizing Cuba's second War of Independence. Publishing a newspaper La Patria devoted to Cuban freedom he began to push for immediate revolutionary action in Cuba. His impatience was affected by his growing fear that imperialist forces in the United States would succeed in annexing Cuba before the revolution could liberate the island from Spain. Martí noticed with alarm the U.S. movement to annex Hawaii, and how the United States used the Pan-American Conference in 1889-90 to fasten their leadership upon the Western Hemisphere. Seeing a great American design for the Caribbean, Central and South America he knew Cuba was the key to this grand vision because of its strategic location and its potential as a source of trade and investment. Under this American scheme there was no room for an independent Cuba.
Enlisting the support of Ten-Year War veterans Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez, the Cuban War of Independence started on February 24 1895. Prior to reaching Cuba, Martí and Gomez outlined the policy and goals of the Cuban liberation movement in the Manifesto of Montecristi. In this document, Martí envisioned Cuba as a completely independent republic, free from economic or military control by any outside source. He saw an end to U.S. economic domination, an end to Cuba's one-crop economy and an end to racial discrimination with the embrace of Cuba's African population. He saw a free and independent Cuba. Martí and Gómez returned to Cuba to participate in the war and on May 19, 1895 Martí was killed in his first battle against the Spanish Royalist Army at Dos Rios. The rebels tried, in vain, to recover his dead body, but were not able to do so. Spanish soldiers buried Martí in Havana on May 27 1895.
Launching the Spanish-American-Cuban War in 1898 the U.S. landed troops in Cuba. The war was effectively over in three months. The United States replaced Spanish rule of Cuba, dismantling the Cuba's Revolutionary Governing Council and destroying the Liberation Army. In
1902 Cuba was granted nominal independence by the United States and the first of many puppet governments was established. It was not until 1959 that Fidel Castro and the Cuban people overthrew the military dictator Batista and established Martí's independent Cuba.
José Martí’s single goal since the age of sixteen had been a free Cuba, a democracy without slavery. All of his actions and writings until the time of his death were undertaken with this goal in mind. He was charismatic and able to share his passion with others. It was a case of the pen being mightier than the sword: his passionate writings allowed his fellow Cubans to visualize freedom just as he could. Martí was the Apostle of Independence.
Louis Riel
In July 1884 Louis Riel was called to Saskatchewan to help petition Canada in regards to various grievances of the Métis, settlers and Indians. The settlers had been betrayed by the Canadian government and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) leaving them with no transportation or markets. The Indians, who had signed unequal treaties with Canada in the 1870s, were starving on their 'reservations' and the Métis settlements were under threat by eastern colonization companies. In late 1884 Riel and William Henry Jackson of the Settlers and Farmers Union submitted a petition of grievances to the Canadian government in Ottawa. The government responded by sending 100 North-West Mounted Police to arrest Riel. The Métis rose to arms and established the Provisional Government of the Saskatchewan. Under the leadership of Adjutant General Gabriel Dumont, the Métis and their Indian allies fought British General Middleton and 5,000 Canadian soldiers and police for two months before being defeated. Riel was charged with High Treason in June 1885. Found guilty in a 'fitted-up' trial in the prairie town of Regina, Louis Riel was sentenced to hang. Despite strong opposition, on November 16, 1885, Louis Riel was executed by the Canadian government. Aboriginal leaders Big Bear, One Arrow and Poundmaker were imprisoned and contracted tuberculosis. Eight other Indians were also executed.
After Riel’s execution the Métis were the 'forgotten people', their land claims were denied and they were forced to exist as a marginalized race living with their Indian relatives or relegated to the bush or road allowances as the prairies filled with farmers and settlers. The Métis were not recognized as an Aboriginal nation in the Canadian Constitution until 1982 and it was not until this year, 2013, that the courts recognized their rights as Aboriginal People. The Canadian government is expected to appeal this decision.
Although Louis Riel remains branded as a traitor to Canada, the province of Manitoba has recognized Riel as a father of Manitoba, and a bust of Riel sits outside the legislature. Riel’s contribution to Canada has also been recognized by the Canadian people who declared Riel a
hero in a cross-Canada survey in 1999, Canadian parliamentarians have called for his exoneration and a former Governor General recognized his contributions to the Canadian confederation. However, after 127 years, no Canadian government has been willing to review Riel’s trial and execution and recognize Louis Riel as a 'Father of the Canadian Confederation.' Giving his life for his people, Louis Riel was the Prophet of the New World.
Cuba - Canada
Having gained her true independence in 1959 Cuba repudiated her colonial past and was an initial signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights in 2008. In Canada the 'Doctrine of Discovery' is still the foundation of colonial rule and continues to be the basis of Canadian law; including the notorious Indian Act, the un-equal treaties, and claims to the lands, resources and sovereignty of the Aboriginal Peoples. Canada reluctantly signed the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights in 2010 and now with IDLE NO MORE, in 2013, the Indigenous Peoples are saying 'NO MORE' and are demanding the implementation of the UN Declaration and the repudiation of the noxious 'Doctrine of Discovery'.
Long Live the vision
of the
Prophet of the New World and the Apostle of Independence
Louis Riel and José Martí

Doyle returns to Cuba, 2015

David Doyle, Powell River historian and author (FROM THE GALLOWS – the lost testimony of Louis Riel – Canada 150 Edition) is returning to give a second presentation on Canada's Louis Riel and Cuba's Jose Martí at the third annual UNESCO World Balance Conference taking place January 25-28 2016 in Havana, Cuba. Doyle’s main interests is to bring to light the reconciliation process presently active in Canada and see Louis Riel exonerated for Canada's Sesquicentennial—July 1, 2017.
The UNESCO Conference for World Balance discusses and deliberates on major world problems and challenges with the event marking the anniversary of the birth of Cuban national Hero Jose Martí. Working with noted Cuban historian, Manuel Velazquez (PhD), Doyle is the author of the PROPHET and the APOSTLE OF THE NEW WORLD - PROFETA Y APÓSTOL DEL NUEVO MUNDO Louis Riel y José Martí a bilingual Canada-Cuba review of their remarkably similar careers as "liberators" – political, economic, literary and religious thinkers and revolutionaries. He chronicles their life's works each leading their national struggles through the pain of exile and martyrdom in the last half of the nineteenth century.
David Doyle is Secretary of the Friends of Louis Riel Society which seeks to ensure Louis Riel is exonerated and recognized as Canada's "Aboriginal (Métis) Father of Confederation." Doyle first introduced Louis Riel to Cuba at the International Book Fair in 2012. Returning each year since he has undertaken a comparative study into the life and works of Jose Martí and Louis Riel highlighting the distinction between the love and respect Martí receives in Cuba and the situation where Louis Riel remains a convicted criminal—and a "traitor" in Canada. Doyle exposes the colonial nature of official Canadian antipathy towards Louis Riel and his Métis nation and the new found hope for true reconciliation with a new Canadian government respecting Aboriginal rights. Referring to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) recommendations and the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights Doyle draws the conclusion that without the exoneration of Louis Riel Canada will face the inevitability of ongoing injustice. Exoneration of Louis Riel, Canada's Aboriginal Father of Confederation, opens the door to justice, mercy and reconciliation.
David Doyle has a deep admiration for José Martí, the Apostle of Independence who is rightful and respectfully recognized as a national hero in Cuba and internationally while Louis Riel, and his career as a New World Liberator, remains in virtual obscurity. Working with the Friends of Louis Riel, David Doyle calls for a parliamentary review of the career of Louis Riel, pointing out that Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau has the opportunity to rectify history and recognize Louis Riel as Canada's "Aboriginal (Métis) Father of the Confederation." The country of Canada, and especially the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, could receive no greater present on Canada's 150th birthday—July 1, 2017—than the exoneration of Canada's New World Liberator – Louis Riel – the Prophet of the New World.
Mr. Doyle may be contacted at