Born on Oct. 22, 1844, at the Red River Settlement in Manitoba, Louis Riel is widely recognized as the founder of the Province of Manitoba and the historical and spiritual leader of the Métis people, who are descendants of some of the first European settlers in Central Canada and northern United States and the First Nations peoples who lived there at the time of settlement. He was the leader of the Métis people during the Red River Rebellion of 1869/70, and the North-West Rebellion of 1885, that pit Aboriginal peoples against the federal government over rights to food and land.

Riel was captured in 1885, tried and found guilty of treason and was sentenced to death on Nov. 16, which many places in Canada now recognize as Louis Riel Day.

The Northern Lights College campus in Dawson Creek is inviting the public to come to the campus to help celebrate the occasion with some food and live entertainment. A dinner featuring moose meat stew, bannock, smoked salmon and much more will be served in the campus’ new Aboriginal gathering space starting at 5 p.m. The food will be followed by some traditional jigging and dancing, and then some laughs provided by comedian Brian Major from Prince George, who has been featured on CBC Radio, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as well as the comedy circuit in Vancouver.

The event is free to attend, and is being sponsored by Talisman Energy.