In a film based on true events, Louis Riel (Raymond Cloutier) is a Metis Indian returning to his home on the western prairies after studying law in Quebec. With Canadian Prime Minister John Macdonald planning on unifying Canada via a trans-continental railroad, Riel sees the Metis' traditional nomadic, hunting lifestyle under threat. He leads two separate rebellions against the Canadian military, casting him in the conflicting roles of folk hero, founding father, turncoat and villain.

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