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Grand Chief of Canadian First Nations Visits Israeli Parliament

The heads of the largest native tribe in Canada, the First Nations, visited Israel’s Knesset and met with Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara.
By Elad Benari & Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 2/22/2012, 5:12 AM

Grand Chief David Harper and Deputy Minister Kara
Grand Chief David Harper and Deputy Minister Kara
Hezki Ezra

The heads of the largest native tribe in Canada, the First Nations, visited Israel’s Knesset on Tuesday. They were led by Grand Chief David Harper from the province of Manitoba, who personally heads the Cree tribal nation, and the purpose of the group’s visit was to express support for Israel.

First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada. There are currently over 630 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The total population of First Nations is nearly 700,000.

Among the First Nations delegation who visited Israel's parliament were representatives from the indigenous peoples of Australia, the Fiji Islands, Samoa and Greenland, as well as Inuit natives, a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples who live in the Arctic regions of Canada,  spokeswoman from the group told Arutz Sheva.

Their visit to Israel was organized by a Knesset lobby which strives to promote relations with Christian communities around the world. The natives toured the Knesset and met with the Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, Ayoob Kara.

“I’m here to say that we support Israel and that we personally invite the Deputy Minister to northern Canada when he comes there, and we’ll show our full support with other chiefs,” Grand Chief Harper told the cameras after the tour.

“I’ve come here before and I’ve been blessed, and I know I’ll be more blessed this time,” Harper added.

Deputy Minister Kara stressed the importance of the relations with Canada’s native population.

“They know how important Israel is for the liberal side of the world,” he said. “Israel is at the front of the fighting against the Islamization led by Iran. It is important that the entire world come to Jerusalem and be part of Israel for a few days. G-d will bless everyone who supports Israel.”

Other visitors to the Knesset were deeply impressed by the presence of the delegation. A number of security personnel in the building, noted with a smile, however, "Israel is at the center of the world, and Jerusalem is the beating heart of Israel. It is not really a surprise that the peoples of the world can recognize this, and would want to come to visit and gain the blessing of being here."

Chana Ya'ar contributed to this report.