Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Indigenous Rights Activist Vernon Harper Dies in Toronto

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Indigenous Rights Activist Vernon Harper Dies in Toronto

Article excerpt

First Nations activist Vernon Harper dies

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TORONTO - A Cree elder who was a co-organizer of a cross-Canada trek to raise awareness of broken treaties and grievances against the federal government has died, according to an organization that advocates for dozens of First Nations communities in Ontario.

Vernon Harper, a medicine man and Indigenous rights activist, organized the Native People's Caravan from Vancouver to Ottawa in 1974.

Harper, 85, also authored a book about the trek entitled "The Red Road: The Native People's Caravan, 1974."

The Anishinabek Nation Grand Council says Harper died on Saturday, surrounded by members of his family in Toronto, where he was born on June 17, 1932.

He served as vice-president of the Ontario Metis and Non-Status Indian Association and in 1976, he co-founded the First Nations School of Toronto, which is designed to empower its students with a strong cultural identity. …

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