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Author to speak on man who 'moved a mountain'
The Museum at Campbell River kicks off a Fall Lecture Series with author Joan Harper on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 1-2:30 p.m.
Harper will present her book “He Moved a Mountain: The Life of Frank Calder and The Nisga’a Land Claims Accord’.
This biography of Dr. Frank Arthur Calder begins with his birth into the Nisga’a Nation, on the Nass River in northern British Columbia.
Before an assembly of the Nisga’a, Calder’s father declared that the young boy would be educated “to move the mountain” preventing the Nisga’a from obtaining their land title.
Growing up, Calder attended residential school until Grade 10, then completed high school and went on to graduate from the University of B.C.
It took him two years longer than usual to complete university as he had to return home during the fishing season to earn the money for his tuition.
From there, he went on to become the first aboriginal person to be elected to any Canadian governing body.
For twenty-six years he served as an MLA in the legislature of British Columbia.
He became the driving force behind Canada’s decision to grant recognition of aboriginal land title to First Nations people (the Calder case in Canada’s Supreme Court).
Since that time, Canada has served as a resource for aboriginal populations in countries where similar accommodations for aboriginal people have not yet been made.
Calder received many honours in his lifetime, including the Order of Canada.
The one he most cherished, however, was one rarely bestowed by the Nisga’a Nation: “Chief of Chiefs.”
Joan Harper’s career began in library education at the Vancouver School Board and the University of B.C.
A long-time admirer of the work of Calder, Harper met Calder’s wife shortly after Calder’s death and gained access to much private material, augmenting it with extensive research through interviews and in the archives.
Currently, Harper resides in Sechelt, B.C, with her husband.
The cost for the lecture is $6. Call the Museum at 250-287-3103 to reserve a seat or for more information on the Lecture Series.