Matthew Desrosiers (Manitoba Legislative Building)
Manitoba Legislative Building
In June 1990, the Manitoba Legislative Building witnessed a constitutionally significant event as it was in this building that Elijah Harper, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and a First Nations leader, opposed the Meech Lake Accord. The Government’s objective through the Meech Lake Accord was to recognize Quebec as a distinct society and gain Quebec’s acceptance of the Constitution Act, 1982. However, the ratification by Parliament and all ten provincial legislatures was first required. As a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, Harper’s consent was needed, but he refused consent by raising an eagle feather, which ultimately, led to the failed Accord. Elijah Harper felt that it was inappropriate to recognize Quebec as a distinct society while First Nations continued to be ignored, both historically, and in the lead-up to the Accord. His stance represented a significant moment as he provided a much-needed voice for First Nations communities and proved that they too could influence Canadian history.
Latitude: 49.8847309; Longitude: -97.1470138
This content has been updated on 7 February 2017 at 14 h 18 min.