Elder Harry Bone is a member of Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation, where he served as a Chief and Director of Education. He also worked as a CEO at the West Region Tribal Council and as a Director of the Manitoba Indian Education Authority. While a graduate student in political studies at University of Manitoba he was a Student Advisor and Lecturer. Elder Bone was also a Director of Native Programs for the Federal Government and he served as a Vice-President of Aboriginal Cultural Centres of Canada. Elder Bone is currently a member of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Elders Council where he continues to be the Chairperson of his colleagues.
Elder Bone’s expertise in First Nations governance at the community level is well regarded. He has led delegations that have met with all levels of government and has been instrumental in furthering many projects for the benefit of all Manitobans, such as the Oral History Project and the Historical Atlas of First Nations in Manitoba. Elder Bone and Elder Doris Pratt co-authored Untuwe Pi Kin He – Who We are: Treaty Elders’ Teachings Volume, a book that documents the traditional laws and customs of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba in a way that is accessible to all interested readers; it is not a revision of history but rather a retelling of history from Indigenous historians, giving them an opportunity to reclaim words and inject new power into them. Like Elder Bone, the book aims to inspire people through compassion, reason, humility and human dignity.
His distinguished achievements in leadership, scholarship and public service have been widely recognized by the many individuals and communities who have touched by his work. The University of Manitoba honoured Elder Bone with an Honorary Doctor of Law degree for his tireless and trendsetting work that continues to advance Aboriginal education in Canada.
In December 2017, Elder Bone was announced as an appointee to the Order of Canada “for his contributions to advancing Indigenous education and preserving traditional laws, and for creating bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and communities.”
On January 29, Elder Bone provided several teachings to the First Nation Treaty 2 Territory staff. He shared the Pipe Teaching the Principles of Spiritual Laws. When handling the Pipe in circular motions starts with this first principle by pointing upwards is to acknowledge the Creator and all creation, pointing the pipe downward is acknowledge our Mother Earth, the Lands is our Natural Laws, (3) puffs to honour our connection to both Heaven and Earth, towards the East is to know who we are by our language, to the South with life around us, to the West is the Ancestors doorway, to the North is going home. Elder Bone talked about the 7 Principles of Nationhood: Creator, Land, People, Language, Culture, History and Governance. Elder Bone had great advise for FNT2T as we move forward to rebuilding our Nationhood. We appreciate Elder Bone and we will have him again soon.
We have a great relationship with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, we do appreciate the Speakers Bureau to share Elder Bone with us. Miigwech!
Waabshki Mazinazoot Michtaatim
Akiiwaigan, Lodge Keeper