Elijah Harper's daughter overwhelmed by condolences
"We have a lot to live up to," Holly Harper says
Elijah Harper's daughter, Holly, says she is touched by the outpouring of sympathy and condolences for her father, as hundreds of Manitobans lined up at the Manitoba Legislature to pay their respects.
Harper said it reminded her of how her father felt when people supported his decision to reject the Meech Lake accord.
"I am feeling the same support and it is giving me strength really," she said.
"To see all the people, just not aboriginal, but the non-natives as well. And all the different people that are coming. It's great to see," she said.
Elijah Harper died early Friday morning at the age of 64. According to a statement released by his family, Harper died in Ottawa from cardiac failure caused by diabetes complications. The former member of the legislative assembly and member of Parliament played a key role in defeating the Meech Lake accord.
Holly Harper said her father was a great man.
"He was my support. He was my rock," she said.
"My grandfather taught us.....and my father passed those teachings down to me and my siblings. We have a lot to live up to."
Hundreds of Manitobans lined up at the Manitoba legislature Monday to pay their respects as Elijah Harper's body lay in state.
About 700 people are expected to attend the funeral Monday evening, which begins at 7 p.m. CT. at Winnipeg's Glory and Peace Church on Main Street.
Pastor Michael Efezino, who described Harper as a close friend, will speak at the service.
"He lived his life to do the right thing," said Efezino. "We owe him that great, great honour and respect to say...'This is a man that lived with purpose.'"
Harper achieved national fame in 1990 by holding an eagle feather as he stood in the Manitoba legislature and refused to support the Meech Lake accord, effectively blocking the constitutional amendment package negotiated to gain Quebec's acceptance of the Constitution Act of 1982.
He stood against the proposed accord because it was negotiated in 1987 without the involvement of Canada's aboriginal peoples.
The accord needed to be approved by all 10 provinces, Harper's actions held Manitoba from doing so before the deadline.
The official burial service for Harper takes place at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Full Gospel Church in Red Sucker Lake, where Harper was from.