UCalgary hosts special Louis Riel exhibit, MMF expresses interest in loaning collection for MNHC

University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries is currently hosting The Devotion: Louis Riel Writes Home exhibit, which CBC says includes never-before-seen writings by the Métis leader. The exhibit—which has been digitized for broader access—consists of two notebooks and 37 letters sent to and from close family members, several of which were written during his exile from Manitoba. “Those are sort of the lost years of Louis Riel,” explained UCalgary Rare Books and Special Collections librarian Annie Murray. When the in-person exhibition ends, Turtle Island News reports that the collection could be shared more broadly or become a travelling collection with a new curator. The Manitoba Métis Federation has been working to repatriate many of Riel’s works and belongings from Canadian museums, reports CBC, and is interested in the collection. MMF minister Anita Campbell stated that they would like to build a relationship with the university and work out a loan of the collection for display at the Métis National Heritage Centre, which will open in 2026. “It’s not just a letter, it’s not just an artifact, it’s not just a document — it’s our history,” said Campbell. “It’s part of who we are. He is part of who we are.”

Turtle Island News | CBC