Métis leader Louis Riel was placed on trial for high treason in July 1885 for his leadership of the North-West Resistance. Held in Regina rather than his home province of Manitoba to avoid a sympathetic jury, Riel was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Against Riel’s wishes, his lawyers pleaded insanity on his behalf in order to reduce the sentence to a lifetime in an asylum. Riel told the court: “I have a mission. I cannot fulfil my mission as long as I am looked upon as an insane being.”
One of the doctors assigned to evaluate Riel was Dr François-Xavier Valade of 142-144 St. Patrick Street. His home survives under the custodianship of the NCC. Riel was executed on November 16, 1885.