In December of 1985, the Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. appointed a “working group” to study the feasibility of establishing an institute which would serve as a vehicle to deal with the educational concerns and aspirations of the Métis people of Manitoba. The institute would be known as the Louis Riel Institute.
The Province of Manitoba participated in a joint working group. Provincial members were appointed by the Minister of Education and the task was begun. The feasibility of the Louis Riel Institute was researched by the joint working group during 1986, supported by a contribution of $2,500.00 from the Minister of Education. Agreement as to the feasibility of establishing the institute was reached in January of 1987. The purpose of the institute, the goals, and the objectives were defined and agreed to by the joint working group with recommendations for further developmental work including: research, development of infrastructure, a library/ resource centre, publishing and eventual program development.
Subsequent to the agreement and recommendations of the joint working group, the Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. proposed in 1987 to enter into a bi-lateral agreement with the Province of Manitoba to continue the development of the Louis Riel Institute. This initial proposal would have set the parameters and financial resources necessary to bring the institute from a concept to reality.
The Memorandum of Agreement was submitted to the Province of Manitoba in January of 1987, with no substantive response and no agreement concluded.
The Manitoba Métis Federation continued working during 1987 although resources were depleted. The Louis Riel Institute was incorporated in February of 1988 and would operate under provincial legislation. In May of 1988, a new submission was prepared to ensure that staffing and development of infrastructure would take place and that the institute would become operational.
The Louis Riel Institute Inc. was granted tax-exempt status as a registered charitable organization by Revenue Canada as of April 1, 1988. The tax-exempt status is based on the objectives and activities set out in the submission to the Minister of Education for 1988-89, relating to the ability of the LRI to conduct research, provide advocacy and develop programs.
The Institute was created by an Act of the Manitoba Legislature, which received royal assent on November 3, 1995. As a charitable non-profit organization, the institute promotes the educational and cultural advancement of Métis people. The Louis Riel Institute is also responsible for promoting awareness of the values, culture, heritage and history of the Métis people in Manitoba.
As the Educational Authority of the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Louis Riel Institute promotes, builds capacity and supports the heritage and history of Métis in Manitoba through efficient, effective, culturally sensitive programs and activities.
The Louis Riel Institute is the Métis educational and cultural institute that will promote the advancement of education and training for the Métis people in Manitoba; and foster an understanding and appreciation of the culture, heritage and history of Manitoba and of the Métis people in Manitoba for the benefit of all Manitobans.
As the Educational Authority of the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Louis Riel Institute serves to empower the Métis Nation of Manitoba made up of skilled and proud Métis citizens, families and communities.