TV & Movies

30 Under 30: Rinelle Harper, Activist

Meet the Canadian women who are changing the world. Prepare to be hella inspired by Rinelle Harper

Rinelle Harper

(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Activist / 16

Just a month after suffering a violent assault that nearly killed her, a composed but privately terrified (“I was scared!”) Rinelle Harper stood before the Assembly of First Nations in Winnipeg. She thanked those who had supported her in her time of need and then made her own gesture of support for victims of violence, adding her voice to the call for a national inquiry into the 1,200-plus missing or murdered aboriginal women in Canada. When asked what prompted her to speak out publicly so soon after her own assault, the painfully shy teen’s voice gains sudden strength. “Because there are far too many young women who’ve lost their lives,” she says on the phone from her home in Winnipeg. “For me, the call for an inquiry would help others come forward to report assaults that happen to them, and help them and their families to heal from the past.” Harper’s own healing is a work in progress. Her mother says she gets regular counselling and is excited to be back in school. The Grade 11 student (favourite subject: math) isn’t sure what she plans to do with the rest of her life, but she’s certain of one thing. Does she feel brave? “Yeah!”

Go back to the FLARE 30 Under 30 gallery