OTTAWA, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today offered condolences to the family and
friends of Elijah Harper of Red Sucker Lake First Nation who passed
away this morning in Ottawa.
"On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations National Executive, I offer
sincere condolences to the family, friends and all First Nations in
Manitoba region and across Canada mourning the loss of a tireless and
courageous leader of our peoples," said AFN National Chief Shawn
Atleo. "Elijah's commitment and dedication to asserting and upholding
First Nation rights and recognition has helped lay a solid foundation
as this hard work continues today. Leading two Sacred Assemblies
focused on finding a spiritual basis for healing and understanding
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, Elijah's drive and
actions toward reconciliation will continue to be a legacy for First
Nation and all Canadians as we move toward improved and renewed
relationships based on mutual respect and recognition - two things he
stood firm on in all of his work."
Elijah Harper was the first First Nation person elected as to provincial
government, serving the Manitoba riding of Rupertsland for the New
Democratic Party in the 1980s. Mr. Harper was named provincial
Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister in charge of the Communities
Economic Fund Act in 1987, and Minister responsible for Native Affairs
later that year.
In 1990 Mr. Harper received the Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Award and
was voted "Newsmaker of the Year in Canada" by the Canadian Press
following his efforts to uphold the Constitution Act during the Meech
Lake and Charlottetown Accords. He also received the title of
Honourary Chief for Life of Red Sucker Lake First Nation and a
commemorative medal of Canada from the Governor General for his efforts
in the public service. He resigned from the Manitoba legislature in
1992, and joined the federal Liberal Party in 1993. Once elected
Member of Parliament, Mr. Harper was a member of the Parliamentary
Standing Committee of Aboriginal Affairs until 1997.
Funeral services will take place at 10 a.m. Monday May 20 at the
Aboriginal Funeral Chapel in Winnipeg, MB.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org