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Celebrated novelist Joseph Boyden explores the tumultuous year when Riel and Dumont united the Métis while dividing a nation. Could Dumont have foreseen the impact on the Métis cause when he brought Riel home?
Author: Joseph Boyden
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
View: 319Louis Riel, a controversial MEtis mystic and visionary, fought for his people's rights against an encroaching tide of white settlers. Hunter and MEtis leader Gabriel Dumont, a man tested by warfare, was, in contrast, a pragmatic realist of the land. Celebrated novelist Joseph Boyden explores the tumultuous year when Riel and Dumont united the MEtis while dividing a nation. Could Dumont have foreseen the impact on the MEtis cause when he brought Riel home? While making rational demands of Sir John A. Macdonald, Riel seemed increasingly overtaken by a messianic mission. His controversial execution by the Canadian government in 1885 still reverberates today. Boyden, with his powerful narrative skill, creates an unforgettable portrait of two seminal Canadian figures who helped shape the country.
Author:Joseph Boyden [Boyden, Joseph]
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP (CANADA)
While Gabriel and his men fight General Middleton at Fish Creek, the battle waging all day, Louis fights his own battle back in Batoche. He fervently prays hour after hour, kneeling with his arms outstretched, petitioning God and His son, begging the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist, patron of the Québécois, as well as Saint Joseph, newly minted saint of the Métis, to protect all his people, to protect Gabriel and the other brave soldiers, and especially to protect the women, the children, and the old ones of Batoche and surrounding areas. When Louis’s arms grow tired, he implores the women around him to help hold them up. Word arrives in the early afternoon that Gabriel needs more men desperately. Louis doesn’t want the ones who rode back with him last night and who now guard Batoche to leave, but Gabriel’s brother scoffs at this. He will not see his dear Gabriel die alone at the hands of the English. The force meant to protect Batoche gallops off, and Louis prays harder that these defenceless ones around him are not now surpriseattacked by the serpent that is the Canadian military.
Body shaking from exertion, Louis knows that through prayer he’s helped usher in a victory for the Métis. When Gabriel and his men return, exhausted but happy, Louis is ecstatic. In order to thank the Lord properly, Louis declares four days of fasting. He hopes to purify his people for the upcoming struggles. For the next days he keeps a thorough diary, seeking answers and feverishly praying to God that Middleton not become the victor, that his cannon be broken into three, and that the Métis understand that the loss of fifty-five horses at Fish Creek, a horrible blow, is God punishing them for their love of gambling on the animals in races. Louis believes it is a small price to pay in that so few Métis lives were lost on the battlefield.
Louis, in these days following Fish Creek, finds much solace in defining his new church. The new church is, literally, a freshly built, rough-hewn log structure in a willow copse near town, since the priests who run the church in Batoche no longer get along with Louis or want him there. He knows that priests are simply instruments of God, and that instruments often break. Those men are certainly broken, and it’s Louis’s place now to construct the new church. He knows that hell cannot last forever, for this goes directly against God’s divine mercy. Eventually all sinners will end up in heaven, reconciled with the creator.
Louis replaces the fallen priests with his own ministry consisting of members of the Exovedate. Each is given some of the important holy obligations of the church: the ability to administer the sacraments, the ability to hear confession. Gabriel and the others are now, basically, priests. They must scratch their heads over this newest turn of events. From here on out they will have to be on their best behaviour.
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