Vern Harper

June 3, 2014  |  Posted by admin

Cree Elder

Vern Harper is a Cree spiritual Elder and Medicine Man who currently resides in Toronto. The “Urban Elder” as he has been called, is a fifth generation grandson of Mistawasis, “Big Child” – a hereditary Chief – and the sixth generation grandson of Big Bear, who fought the last battle between the Cree and the Canadian government in 1885. His Cree name, Asin, means Stone. Among his many diverse roles, Vern Harper is one of only a few Elders in Canada with Chaplain status. He’s worked with Correctional Service Canada, conducting Native spiritual services at federal prisons helping inmates to rehabilitate themselves through teachings, counselling and traditional ceremonies. He also counsels Native young offenders and their families on behalf of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, where he works as a Native Youth Courtworker. A traditional oral storyteller, Vern Harper’s messages are simple, timely and universal.

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