Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Harper's body to lie in state today

Public able to leave their condolences

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Well-respected aboriginal leader and former Manitoba MLA and MP Elijah Harper died early Friday morning.

THE Manitoba government says Elijah Harper's body will lie in state in the province's legislature.

Harper, who as a member of the legislature blocked the Meech Lake constitutional accord in 1990, died Friday at age 64.

The province says the public will be able to view Harper this afternoon and books of condolences will be available at the Manitoba Legislature from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The funeral service is at 7 p.m. at the Glory and Peace Church, 1296 Main St. A burial service will take place Thursday in Red Sucker Lake, where Harper was born and was once chief of the Ojibwa-Cree Red Sucker Lake First Nation.

Jennifer Wood, a longtime friend who worked with Harper in Winnipeg and Ottawa, said the casket will be open during the viewing and there will be a Manitoba flag draped over a portion of it.

Wood said she believes Harper would have been pleased many of the people he worked with at the legislature will be able to publicly pay their respects.

The Meech Lake deal was intended to win Quebec's signature on the Constitution but Harper said it ignored aboriginal rights.

He was a member of the New Democrat opposition in the provincial legislature at the time and the accord had to be ratified by Parliament and most other legislatures.

His vote against it prevented it from being ratified by Ottawa's deadline and eventually scuttled it.

Images of him in the legislature holding an eagle feather while voting "no" were printed and broadcast across the country.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 19, 2013 A4

History

Updated on Monday, May 20, 2013 at 9:05 AM CDT: Updates

10:25 AM: Adds times.

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