Management Plan - Introduction

 Riel House National Historic Site Management Plan, August 2003 (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Riel House restored and furnished to 1886 Riel House restored and furnished to 1886
© A. Cornellier

Riel House National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC) is near the Red River, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Parks Canada property is 0.8 hectares on which is a house – the family home of Louis Riel – built in the Red River Frame tradition. This land and house were part of a river lot that once stretched from the Red to the Seine River, more than four kilometres apart. Riel House was acquired by the Government of Canada in 1969 as the place to commemorate Louis Riel, a person of national historic significance. It was designated a national historic site in 1976 and opened to the public in 1980. La Société historique de Saint-Boniface has operated Riel House NHSC under contract with Parks Canada since 1980.

The restoration, management, and interpretation of Riel House NHSC have been based on a 1977 site development proposal, the forerunner to a site management plan. Under the Parks Canada Agency Act (1998), a management plan for national historic sites administered by Parks Canada will be prepared and tabled by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in Parliament. This is the first such plan for Riel House. The primary goal of the management plan is to ensure the site’s commemorative integrity, using Parks Canada’s cultural resource management principles and practice.

This management plan also addresses an objective from Gathering Strength - Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan (1997), specifically:

No attempt at reconciliation with Aboriginal people can be complete without reference to the sad events culminating in the death of Métis leader Louis Riel. These events cannot be undone; however, we can and will continue to look for ways of affirming the contributions of Métis people in Canada and of reflecting Louis Riel’s proper place in Canada’s history.

As the place where Louis Riel is commemorated as a person of national historic significance, Riel House has an important role to play in conveying Riel’s place in this nation’s history.

This management plan will guide Parks Canada and its partners as they protect and present Riel House NHSC. While the plan should be effective for ten to fifteen years, it will be reviewed in five years time for effectiveness and continued relevance.