Elijah Harper Service Dog Award

Every year MSAR - Service Dogs puts out a call for submissions for the Elijah Harper Service Dog Award. This award is in memory of Elijah Harper who was one of the builders, mentors and leaders of MSAR.


Each year hundreds of applications come flooding in either by or on behalf of someone with a disability who could benefit from a service dog. The applications are then reviewed by a board of elders; a representative from MSAR and Red Sucker First Nation. The person or people chosen go on to receive a FREE service dog and FREE on-going support and training. The Service Dogs are trained by world renowned and award winning Certified Master Dog Trainer George Leonard to honour Elijah Harper; his former mentor and leader of MSAR.


To qualify for the Elijah Harper Award:

  • The person(child or adult) must have a disability and need a service dog

  • Must live in Canada

  • Must meet MSAR- Service dog ownership guidelines and agreements

The Service Dog Can Be Trained For:

  • PTSD

  • Seizure Detection

  • Seizure Response

  • Mobility Assistance

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Guide Dog, Autism

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Diabetes Alert

  • High Blood Pressure Alert

  • Down Syndrome

  • A rare disease that does not have a category yet


This award is an incredible opportunity for those who are in need. Especially those like myself who have rare diseases or a diagnosis that does not fit into one category. While I had applied last year and did not get picked for the free Service Dog; I was chosen to be the recipient of a partial award through the Elijah Harper Service Dog Award Program. We are incredibly grateful to the Elijah Harper Service Dog Award Program for their assistance in kick starting the process of getting me a new Service Dog as it helped to reduce the amount we will have to fundraise.


To Apply:

Send a short email about the person applying and their need of the service dog to gl@msar.ca. Closing date for applications is September 30th. The winners will be picked one week before Christmas.



About Elijah Harper:

Elijah Harper was born was March 3rd 1949 on the Red Sucker Lake reserve, an Oj-cree community about 700 kilometres north of Winnipeg, MB.

Like so many Aboriginal children of his generation, when he was a young boy, he was forcibly removed from his family and was sent

to live in a residential schools.

He attended the University of Manitoba in the 1970s.


He was a politician, consultant and policy analyst. In 1981 he entered provincial politics and ran for MLA(member of legislative assembly) under the New Democratic Party(NDP) riding of Rupertsland. When he won, he became the first Aboriginal person to take a seat in the Manitoba legislature.

In 1986 he went on to join the Cabinet becoming the minister of Northern Affairs for Manitoba.


In 1990 Elijah Harper rose to national prominence for his opposition to the Meech Lake Accord. He initiated procedural delays in the Manitoba legislature that threatened to extend the vote beyond 23 June 1990, the deadline established for the accord. The Premier of Manitoba Gary Filmon, needed all MLAs to approve the procedure for ratifying the accord. Eight separate times Elijah refused to give his consent, on the grounds that First Nations had not been consulted or recognized in the constitutional discussions around the Meech Lake Accord.


When the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba adjourned on 22 June, it had not voted on the accord. Clyde Wells, in response to Harper's initiative, refused to take a vote in Newfoundland, arguing that the situation in Manitoba made it irrelevant. As a result, the deadline passed and the accord collapsed (see Constitutional History). Elijah made news stories across the country, and the Canadian Press voted him Newsmaker of the Year for 1990.


Elijah Harper entered federal politics in 1993 when he was elected as the Liberal candidate for the riding of Churchill; he served as MP for that riding until 1997. In 1999 he was appointed a commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission. He continued to support initiatives to improve the lives of First Nations peoples and was involved in humanitarian and charitable causes abroad.


On May 17th 2013 in Ottawa, ON Elijah passed away from heart failure caused by complications from diabetes. His body lay in state at the Manitoba legislature, and hundreds lined up to pay their respects to the man who said, “No.




HER LIFE IN 4 PAWS

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