Louis Riel
Caption:  Louis Riel
Credit:  Library and Archives Canada

It is for the Convention to accept or refuse the invitation extended by the Commissioners, and notify them accordingly. For my part I am not ambitious to go to Canada as a representative for this country. My country has given me a position here, and I am not going to leave it for any other position so long as my country holds me there. I am not going to descend to the position of delegate, as long as my country chooses to hold me where I am. After we accept or reject the proposition of the Commissioners, I would like to see this question of Government come up. Our first step, in my opinion, is union. An actual Government is in existence. If we join with that, we establish a Government for the country generally. It may be well that I should here repeat that in all that has been done, we have never had the least intention to interfere with, in any improper manner, our English-speaking friends (hear hear). All our efforts have been directed to the benefit of the whole country; and we did so without wanting recognition. We sought the welfare of the country in good faith and without prejudice. What we have done in the past has been wholly our own. We are willing to guarantee you against all responsibility for any of our acts, even by a written instrument.

New Nation, February 18, 1870