It is a great honour to be invited to the inaugural DeLloyd J. Guth Visiting Lecture in Legal History for Robson Hall. In light of the lecture’s focus on legal history, and in this place where he was born, I would like to speak about Louis Riel, his actions, his trial and his legacy. Why Riel? Simply, because 125 years after his execution, he still commands our attention. More precisely, to understand Canada, and how we feel about Canada, we must come to grips with Louis Riel the person, Louis Riel the victim of the justice system, and the Louis Riel who still inhabits our disparate dreams and phobia.