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Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. Grand Chief David Harper

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. Grand Chief David Harper

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. Grand Chief David Harper


David Harper was raised in Garden Hill First Nation by his Grandparents who instilled traditional values in him. They also taught him the obligations of the Crown and First Nations with respect to the treaties.

David Harper attended school in Garden Hill First Nation and then furthered his education and attained his pilot’s license through an Aviation Management program. After his program, David was a public relations manager for a regional airline and a corporate pilot. He then returned to Garden Hill and was nominated and successfully attained the position of Councilor in a band by-election in 1996. At the next band election in 1998, he was elected Chief of Garden Hill for a two year term. David Harper served two terms as Chief of Garden Hill from 1998-2002. In 2002 he joined the EIIF Investment Group as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer dealing with First Nations. In 2004 he was re-elected as Chief of Garden Hill and was elected again in 2008 and served until August 2009.

On September 2, 2009 David Harper was elected to a three year term as the Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.

Before assuming office as MKO Grand Chief, David was involved in the following political offices:

  • MKO Executive Council
  • Island Lake Tribal Council Executive Committee Vice-Chair
  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Executive Council
  • Lead Negotiator for joint AMC/AFN Housing Initiative
  • AFN Chiefs Committee on Environment
  • Assembly of First Nations Chief Committee on International Relationships
  • Manitoba Representative on negotiation of Kelowna Accord
  • MKO Chiefs Committee on Housing member

MKO Grand Chief David Harper is a visionary leader who will protect our lands and our people. With his strong leadership attributes, he will bring issues to the table both locally and nationally. David Harper believes in a strong voice for all First Nation people, he advocates strengthening our political commitments and believes it is time to implement positive change

Message from
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
Grand Chief David Harper

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for electing me as the Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. The position and work of the Grand Chief faces a huge challenge in working to improve the social and economic conditions for our people. My objective will be to establish and maintain good working relationships with the Chiefs and Council and membership of MKO and to consult with you on all matters related to improving our people’s situation.

I will carry on the work with you in strengthening our rights to life, to health, to good living standards, to security, to education and training for our youth so that their future may be productive, and to the lands and resources that were handed down to us by our ancestors in their teachings and in the Treaties. Working together in attaining more housing for our communities so that our people need will not live in overcrowded conditions. Together we need to finish the water and sewer infrastructure work that is being done and we have to make sure that those communities that need that infrastructure get the commitment and funding so that they may get proper water sewer facilities.

Together we need to do everything in our power to help our children and youth. There are still too many who fall prey to influences that induce them to addictions and behaviours that lead to despairing and impoverished lives. I mentioned employment and training and that is only one aspect of help they need. We need to impress upon the youth benefits of applying respect, life values, and teachings in their lives so that they have strength and commitment. We also need to impress upon them that they have to make plans for their future. One of the ways is to help them generate revenue for our communities. That must change and our youth can be the ones to change that. Our lands and resources on our traditional territories have a lot of potential for creating wealth and the governments can no longer just come in and use those lands and resources. Our youth need to know that they can work towards making that wealth for themselves and our communities.

We have a lot of work to do. Together we can make a difference by working as one and taking the stance that governments and companies must work with our communities and people if they want to conduct business on our land. Efforts will not fail – we must help our people so that their lives will not continue in poverty and despair. Together we can work to improve the lives of our people.

Ekosi, Ekosani, Masicho!

Oath of Office for Grand Chief David Harper


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Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Copyright 2015 © Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO). All rights reserved.
ph: (204) 927-7500   |   fx: (204) 927-7509
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
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