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Edmonton MP Peter Goldring has called former Métis leader Louis Riel a 'villain' who has blood on his hands from leading the Northwest and Red River rebellions. ((Tom Hanson/Canadian Press))

The Métis Nation of Alberta is condemning a Conservative MP's attack on Louis Riel.

Edmonton East MP Peter Goldring sent out a pamphlet in December to "set the record straight" about Riel's actions in the late 1800s.

In the newsletter, Goldring called Riel a "villain" who has blood on his hands from leading the Northwest and Red River rebellions.

Goldring said Riel doesn't deserve a statue on Parliament Hill and that such a tribute would condone his "civil disobedience."

Audrey Poitras, president of the Métis Nation of Alberta and one of Goldring's constituents, said she was shocked when she read the brochure.

"[I was] very, very upset. That we still have leaders of our country in Canada today that don't know the true history of Canada — either it's ignorance or it's hatred" she said.

"If it's ignorance, then I suggest that he, like anyone else who believes it, get some real knowledge about the history of Canada."

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Louis Riel is regarded as a folk hero by many for his defence of Métis rights and culture. ((National Archives of Canada/Canadian Press))

The prime minister's office denounced Goldring's comments in an email to CBC News, saying the document "is absolutely not, in any way, an initiative of our government or our party."

The email goes on to say the brochure "is a personal initiative of MP Goldring which we strongly disapprove of.

"Louis Riel is a historical and controversial figure," it reads. "But he played an important role in the development of Canada and in the protection of the rights and culture of the Métis and francophones in Canada."

Goldring's office did not return phone calls or emails from CBC News.

Although he was hanged as a traitor, Riel is regarded as a folk hero by many for his defence of Métis rights and culture.

NDP MP Pat Martin has introduced a private member's bill to reverse his conviction and recognize him as a Father of Confederation.

With files from The Canadian Press