Honouring the contributions of Mihskakwan James Harper
Clean energy visionary and Indigenous mentor
National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month celebrate the history, culture, traditions and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across all of Turtle Island. One of the extraordinary young alumni we are honouring for his contributions and successes is Mihskakwan James Harper, who will receive UM’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Young Alumni for 2023.
A proud citizen of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 8 territory, Mihskakwan James Harper [BSc(ME)/17] is passionate about creating a world that future generations can enjoy.
While studying engineering at the University of Manitoba, Harper served on the student council for the Engineering Access Program (ENGAP), which supports Indigenous engineering students, and built an energy-efficient car that competed in the International Shell Eco-marathon Americas.
Since graduating, Harper has shared his knowledge about clean energy at international conferences, including the United Nations Climate Conferences COP 26 and COP 27. He credits his innate drive to protect the earth to his cultural values.
Harper further honours his Indigenous identity by giving back. He has lectured on decolonizing engineering, mentored Indigenous youth relocating to Winnipeg for education, and presented a national policy resolution addressing the Indigenous youth suicide crisis.
Read more about Mihskakwan James Harper and his story here.
Looking for more stories about exceptional Indigenous community members? Meet Two-Spirit Métis Elder Charlotte Nolin, and learn about the Indigenous women empowering each other through traditional birth support.