Elijah Harper - March 3, 1949 - May 17, 2013

He was known for his quiet scuttling of the Meech Lake Accord in the Manitoba legislature in 1990 – an agreement that, if passed, would have left Indigenous peoples out of Canadian history once again. But, Elijah Harper was also well known – perhaps most widely known – for his deep commitment to family, and friends, for his gentle manner of speaking, and for his amazing passion for reconciliation of the peoples in Canada.

Elijah left this part of the journey of life Friday May 17th from complications due to diabetes. Elijah Harper was our friend – he was my friend.

On many occasions in a host of different venues throughout the country and around the world, I had opportunity to watch Elijah present the best possible image of Indigenous people living in reconciliation with non-Indigenous people in Canada. And, whether we were in Taiwan, New Zealand, Africa, or here at home, he was always the same – passionately committed to Indigenous rights, and to seeking to realize those rights within a strong Canada. His vision was of a nation of nations founded on spiritual healing for all.

In pursuing this vision, Elijah became a great spokesperson and powerful ambassador – not just for Canadian Indigenous people, but also for Jesus. He will be missed on this side of life’s journey.

Our prayers go out for Elijah’s widow, Anita Olsen Harper, and the rest of the Harper family. Our thoughts are also with them as they wrestle through the next weeks and months without him.

Journey well my friend!