This is for you, Justin.

A majority of voters have elected you the new Prime Minister of Canada. May the blessings of all that is sacred grace your days and light your path.

You have before you a window of opportunity. Use it well. Waste not one moment on petty grievances, needless insecurities, paranoia or fears that may come your way, no matter the spin or swirl. Light a candle in the political heart of this country once again and let it shine a mirror of goodness for all to experience.

We are a vast country, but we are but one of many. The world needs compassionate leaders more than ever. Be one of them.

Be strong, yes. Courageous, of course. Act with clarity and decisiveness, absolutely. But remember the heart of kindness and caring that beats within each member of this nation and help us, as a country, to come home to that again – because it is who we truly are, and because each and every member of this nation matters, no matter who they are or where they are or where they’ve come from.

There once was a Canada that people in the rest of the world looked to as one that could be admired, whose policies could be taken as a template for their own, whose way of caring was sought after. We lost that in the political mist of yesterday.  Act with heart and sincerity in ways that bring us back to our place at the world table, and once there, let us as a country with you as our leader act with even greater clarity, diplomacy, and humanity than ever before. Let us, once again, be a positive contributor to the wellness of the world.

You were elected because people in this country chose to believe in you. Be the beacon of light you were destined to be. Make Canada proud.

Blessings to you, your family, and the path you now walk.

I wish you well.

Elijah Harper

elijah harper 2Elijah Harper left us today.

Ojibwa-Cree Red Sucker Land band member – former Chief – NDP opposition member of the Manitoba Legislature from 1981-1992, he will be forever remembered as the man who stood against the Meech Lake Constitutional Accord in 1990.

Sitting quietly in his legislature seat, holding a single Eagle feather, he appeared to be a lone wolf who actually represented many. One word was repeatedly what he brought forth – “No”. It was that No that would stall the process and it was that No that ultimately scuttled the Meech Lake Accord. He said the deal ignored aboriginal rights and so he could not vote for it. There too he appeared to be a lone wolf. One can only imagine the pressure.

For many Canadians today, Elijah Harper is probably but a fleeting memory. For the very young, perhaps no memory at all. Do we teach that moment of history in our schools today? I do not know. What I do know is this. Looking to that time, there was nothing so profoundly powerful an image as Elijah Harper in his legislature chair with his elijah harper 3Eagle feather and his serene dignity refusing to bend to the tide. That image swept across the nation and touched the hearts of many. No matter your politics, then or now, it cannot be ignored that Elijah Harper brought honour to the political landscape of our country. We could use more like him.

I am not First Nations. I have not had the privilege of walking that road, at least not in this lifetime, so there is no way I can truly know what it must have felt like, for him or for the First Nations people, then or now. What I can reflect on is the enormous pride he brought to many. There stood a man of integrity willing to fight, oh so quietly, for what he believed in. He was a member of our human family who just happened to call Canada, home.

As you read the biographies, you come to know that Elijah Harper was not without his frailties. There too he was one of us, perfect in his imperfections.

Bless you, Elijah. You were an inspiration.

May your journey home be a gentle one.

We are grateful.