Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Politicians Seek Reprieve from Federal Government for Riel House: Politicians Seek Reprieve for Riel House

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Politicians Seek Reprieve from Federal Government for Riel House: Politicians Seek Reprieve for Riel House

Article excerpt

WINNIPEG - Manitoba's politicians are begging Ottawa to reconsider a decision to close the historic Riel House.

Winnipeg city councillors tell the Winnipeg Free Press the humble wood-frame house in St. Vital is a critical part of the province's history.

Liberal Senator Maria Chaput says closing Riel House will save Ottawa only a pittance while eroding Metis heritage in the province.

Parks Canada announced the closure earlier this week, blaming budget cuts.

The agency was helping pay for the St. Boniface Historical Society program that hires, trains and co-ordinates a small group of interpreters who don historical costumes and keep Riel House open to visitors four months a year.

Parks Canada says it must focus resources on sites and periods with peak demand, but says it will still maintain the house and offer self-guided tours of the property.

The home is where Louis Riel lay in state following his hanging in 1885.

Robert Allard, vice-president of L'Union nationale metisse Saint-Joseph, Manitoba's oldest Metis organization, has called the decision "a slap in the face. …

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