Harper and Idle No More: The choice to co-operate or confront

Paul Wells on Spence’s hunger strike and two ways forward


Fred Chartrand/CP

For a few hours on Jan. 11, several Aboriginal leaders, including Grand Chief Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Matthew Coon Come, the long-time Quebec Cree leader, were in the Langevin Block meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Across the street, a succession of other figures in Aboriginal politics, some wearing Mohawk Warrior Society insignia, took turns speaking to an outdoor protest rally.

If nothing else, it was an efficient distribution of labour. Leaders who want to make concrete progress this year were inside the building, talking to the Prime Minister. Leaders who don’t were outside, doing what they do best.

It’s not that the people at the protest microphone don’t want First Nations’ lives to improve. It’s just that their preferred solutions—a fundamental rethink of Canada’s treaty obligations, a royal commission, an intervention from the Queen—are not on offer. And when I say “not on offer,” I don’t only mean not from the Conservatives. The extent to which NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has aligned himself with Atleo and the other leaders who are still talking with Harper is striking. So is the silence of the provincial premiers, who will have to share their resource revenues with First Nations if revenue-sharing is to be part of a solution. So the crowd outside was, in a very real sense, making best the enemy of the good.

The Jan. 11 meeting follows all the attention Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat attracted when she swore off solid food. Her publicity campaign probably sped up a meeting that was going to happen anyway. Atleo had met with Harper at the Prime Minister’s office on Nov. 28 to discuss some kind of follow-up to last year’s Crown-First Nations gathering. Atleo was in frequent contact with Nigel Wright, Harper’s chief of staff; I’m told the two met on New Year’s Eve, among other occasions. But “because of Spence,” a government source tells me, the AFN “asked for the meeting to be a bit earlier, which was fine with us.”

Independent audits raise serious questions about Spence’s management of money from the federal government in Attawapiskat, questions she has refused to address. Her diet of broth, tea and vitamins stretches the term “hunger strike.” But the publicity she drew probably also moved the Jan. 11 meeting closer to the top of Harper’s political agenda. Everything about the meeting—venue, locale, agenda—was decided by political staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office, not by bureaucrats in the Privy Council or at Aboriginal Affairs. The first word out of the meeting was that there will be more, and soon. Together these suggest Harper plans to spend much of 2013 taking Aboriginal issues more seriously.

Spence deserves some credit for that. But ever since she skipped the Langevin Block meeting—and then left a reception that evening at Rideau Hall in protest over some unexplained failure of protocol that none of her fellow visitors noticed—Spence has been running out of supporters. Mulcair, Coon Come and former governor general Michaëlle Jean have called on her to return to a normal diet. If she continues, she risks permanent damage to at least one of two things: her health and her credibility.

Harper put some dents in his own credibility in 2012, which the Aboriginal protest movement was smart to exploit. When he was an opposition politician, he had no patience for omnibus legislation that makes serious consideration of a nest of unrelated initiatives impossible. Just because he’s changed his mind doesn’t mean his critics are required to leave his own overstuffed omnibus bills alone. And he spent the year getting lectured about Aboriginal relations by people who are usually allies. Jim Prentice, his own former Indian affairs minister, wrote last July that “the constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations is not a corporate obligation. It is the federal government’s responsibility.” Conflicts with local Aboriginal populations over resource projects “cannot be resolved by regulatory fiat,” Prentice added. “They require negotiation.”

This should have been obvious to the Prime Minister sooner. In retrospect, a lot of his behaviour a year ago seems out of character. He boasted about big results before he had delivered them. He named his enemies—environmental groups and the environmental-review process—before moving against them, a display of bravado that let his opponents know where to build up defences. He announced a televised meeting with hundreds of Aboriginal leaders and was surprised when they all wanted to talk.

He has returned to methods that have more chance of success. No more TV cameras covering his meetings. No more boasting. His goal, the government source I spoke to said, is to match “an obvious need”—atrocious living conditions in too many First Nations communities—with “a whole lot of economic activity out in the hinterland.”

Treating Aboriginal populations as though they were opponents in his game of resource development worked about as well as Harper should have expected it would. Treating them as allies may work better. He now knows that if co-operation fails, he will strengthen the hand of other leaders who prefer confrontation.


Harper and Idle No More: The choice to co-operate or confront

  1. I see the white establishment is in full harumph mode ……but the scent of panic is in the air.

    • what a surprise. I think it’s called a one trick pony.

    • Panic?

      Meanwhile back in fantasyland…………………………..

      • Yup….seen it before when MLK spoke, when The Feminine Mystique became a best-seller, whan Multiculti became the law of the land….

        The white patriarchy….it’s dead Jim

        • The race baiting by the PC/Lib/NDP is getting very old.

          Taxpayers of all colours and orientations are fed up with unaccountable chiefs and band councils.

          • It’s called ‘projection’ Billy….don’t do it here.

          • Mooooooooo

          • Another of the crazies on here…..

          • Yes you are EI EI O, no shortage of Leftist Mental Disorder on this thread and many others.

          • I am not, and have never been, leftist….in this or any other lifetime.

            PS….if you want to be taken seriously on here, not name-calling or moooing would be a good start.

          • You profess to be a Mulroney “Progressive” Conservative, left of center.

          • Mulroney is a conservative, PC was the name of his party, and I personally have always been ‘socially progressive, financially conservative’….like most Canadians. Not left of center, not left, not leftist, not NDP…etc

          • Bla bla bla………sure EO

          • Mulroney was a Liberal in a blue suit;

            his term in office, Mr. Mulroney executed his liberal plan to undermine
            the basic morals of Canada. In 1988, he passed Bill C-15 that amended
            the Criminal Code of Canada, Sections 151 and 152, to allow adults to
            have sex with children as young as 14 years old. In 1992, he introduced
            Bill C-108 which attempted to add “sexual orientation” to the Canadian
            Human Rights Act. Even his own Conservative members voted against this
            radical change, so Mr. Mulroney turned to plan “B”. He started a new era
            of appointing activist judges to write new laws that supersede
            Parliament. Mr. Mulroney was responsible for appointing most of Canada’s
            Judges who changed the nation’s laws in favour of same-sex adoption,
            spousal benefits, and same-sex marriage. The very Judge who redefined
            marriage, Chief Justice of Ontario Roy McMurtry, was a Brian Mulroney
            appointee. During his time as Prime Minister, Mulroney appointed 10
            Supreme Court Judges. The most controversial was Chief Justice Beverley
            McLachlin. She is infamous for stating that Judges should feel
            “emboldened” to trump the written word of the Constitution when
            protecting fundamental, unwritten principles and rights.

          • Load of horseshit, Billy.

          • You sure don’t know the history or are willfully blind to it.

          • I lived it Billy. But if you’ll believe Charles McVety, an uneducated crackpot evangelist…..you’ll believe anything.

            In 1988 Bill C‑15 made it an offence to obtain or attempt to obtain
            the sexual services of a minor, increasing the maximum penalty to 14
            years for anyone convicted of living on the avails of a prostitute under
            the age of 18 years


          • Mulroney’s bill had to do with prostitution, it failed protect persons under the age of 18 and over 14 from sexual exploitation by an adult, after that bill was implemented.

          • No, Billy that’s not true. I just told you what it was.

            Your religious ‘shepherd’ is fleecing you, son.

          • And you are full of it, try reading the content of C15.

          • Billy, it’s right there on the Wiki url I gave you.

            None of that stuff McEvety wrote is true…..the man is a liar and a scam artist. Pull away before you end up drinking kool-aid in a suicide ritual.

          • It is right there too, the bill amended the criminal code concerning procurement.

            Open your eyes.

          • Try again Billy

            ‘made it an offence to obtain or attempt to obtain
            the sexual services of a minor, increasing the maximum penalty to 14
            years for anyone convicted of living on the avails of a prostitute under
            the age of 18 years’

          • And that is procurement.

            If clue were shoes………….

          • And it was made illegal. Fercrissakes Billy, wake up.

          • You’re a moron.

          • LOL this from a man who believes McEvety! AHAHAHAHA

          • You said you’d vote for Mulroney again in a second.

            Case closed.

          • No….yup, McEvety is a liar….as are you.

          • First, the chin denied even knowing Schrieber and also denied having
            any dealings with him.. Later, our pal Brian declares the $300 grand on
            his taxes. Maybe he just forgot about that money he had lying around
            collecting dust. A crook? Yeah, I would say Brian was/is a crook….

          • You follow McEvety….no doubt you believe in a flat earth as well

          • Follow?


            I thought it would piss you off since you worship Lyin Brian, apparently it worked.

          • Billy-Bob….I’m an atheist. I don’t worship anyone or any thing.

            Take your flat earth nonsense elsewhere.

          • The earth is more of an oblate spheroid than anything, it is far from flat or round.

          • Off to the psych ward with you.

  2. Interesting article–very accurate, especially the second paragraph.

    But, if it agreed that Spence is a detriment to the Native community then the quicker she stops this distraction the better.
    I have said before that the moment that she realizes people are not paying attention to her then she will quit holding her breath.

    • If the MSM turned off the cameras Chief Zamboni would go away

      • The Zamboni was a purchase made from fundraising. NOT the money allocated to the band for other reasons. This is a red herring to shore up the negative responses of peole who are negatively disposed tolook down on the FN
        peoples. PS. Their money is not from general revenue. It’s trust money from the sale or lease of their lands and resources. So as a Canadian taxpayer you have nothing to worry about from the FN disbursements. Check it out. “The Manual for the Administration of Band Moneys” http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100032353/1100100032355#chap8

        • That has only to do with reserve lands that are leased, logged, etc.

          It is separate and distinct from the money that Indian bands get via Indian and Northern Affairs from the taxpayers pocket.

    • Andrew, she is not a detriment. And if you don’t think people are paying attention to her, why are you?

      • Probably the same reason you are shooting your mouth off!

  3. There is nothing sadder than someone who refuses to acccept victory ! Had Chief Receipts No More gone to the meeting with Harper and or the GG come out and gave a press conference declaring ‘ productive meeting ‘ changes to be made in furture everyuone happy !!!!! – she could actually have done something productive, made an impact and done some good for her people. Instead she fell prey to her vanity and is now heading down the invariable path that so many others have travelled and she now is part of the problem and not the solution. The Chiefs who are using this as their own tool to run through their own political agendas too have become part of the problem and not the solution. Chief Atleo and Harper came to an agreement on all 8 items submitted to him and now there is action towards meeting the needs of the FN peoples BUT instead what do we see – malcontents, poltical backstabbbers, corrupt litlle chieftanships and your general rabble get more media coverage – sad but true !!!!! these are the facts and the sooner FN people start trying to focus on sitting down at the table and getting something done the sooner their goals will be met! However if this current situation continues they willl be seen as the problem and sabotage their own agenda – so all in all the only people that willl actually pay the consequences are the FN peoples themselves and that is just sad!

  4. The changes to the Navigable Water Act included in C45 have been in the works and discussed in all party committees since 2008. Including them in C45 was an efficient method of making changes to navigation rules. The changes had nothing to do with the environment and the idlenomore protesters and their leaders are barking up the wrong tree.

    • here in BC it will allow several bands and private property owners to setup run of the river smalll hydro projects that will benefit everyone – and right now it is impossible to forge through all the red tape and duplicate submissions to ever get authorization. This change to the act makes sense is extremely appropriate, good for the environment and has nothing to do with damaging our precious resource and is only used by those who propogate false information such as certain activists who simply refuse to investaigate reality instead see conspiarcy behind every attempt to make things more efficient – sad but true !!!

      • How would a series of small hydro projects be good for the enviroment? It could be disasterous for the fish habitat. Searching to find out where this was tried before…vaguely remember there being alot of tension between communities up and downstream from each other especially in flood season or in times of drought.

        • Even if it was all to the good [ no projects are perfect, or risk free] it would not require unravelling the NWA or repealing the the environment act.
          It is just a blatant end run on responsible environmental stewardship.

    • Continuing to peddle the no environmental consequences are we? Time for new TPS isn’t it? Has it ever occurred to you that if all the changes entailed was a tweak because it is all about canoes access really, this iissue could have indeed been dealt with at committee level and not required the omnibus hammer? Just how stupid do you think Canadians are![ rhetorical of course]

      • For all the CPC half wits who seem to be inhabiting this thread right now. Do take the time to look at all the links wont you. And if you continue to believe that the NWA was absolutely not about the environment i would appreciate an authoritative source. Even a decent quote from Coyne, Selley or Kay will do. Er…quotes from Ezra don’t count as authoritative ok.
        I wont wait up


          • Was that the old or new act?

            Since you can’t be arsed to read the link, here’s what i think is relevant.

            Here’s perhaps the key point Saxe walked me through: four provisions in the Navigable Waters Protection Act automatically required an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
            Among them is the key federal power to approve building on navigable
            waters—structures like bridges, booms, dams and causeways. So approving
            or rejecting any of these sorts of projects required an environmental
            assessment under the CEAA regulations.
            Or, at least, such assessments were required under the old CEAA. The Tories replaced that law earlier
            this year with a much-revised statute, which will mean fewer federal
            assessments in a more limited range of circumstances. But under the
            previous CEAA— passed in 1992 and in force until its repeal last
            summer—the Navigable Waters Protection Act was named in regulations as a law that triggered assessments. (You can search here for
            those regulations.) To claim then, as Fletcher did, that the act was
            only about navigation and never the environment, is, in Saxe’s words,
            “just wrong.”

          • “named in regulations” does not mean that the NWPA was about the environment.

            Environmental assessments are a different set of regulations most of which are now shunted to the authority with jurisdiction, the provinces.

            This avoids unneeded duplication and consequent waste of time, money, energy, and other resources covering the same ground twice or three times.

          • That’s a load of twaddle. Look at the links in the piece. The author even cites examples of the NWA triggering reviews, as in the Old man dam…which they tried to dodge but the court ordered. Read the bloody article fer chrissake will you. You guys have won anyway since the act was gutted last summer.

          • He wasn’t “imagining” anything billy boy. Geddes was conducting an interview with one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers – you know an EXPERT. And the question that started this off was the assertion that the NWA never was about the environment. Clearly that was a lie then, it is a lie now.

          • An “expert” with an agenda.

            Try reading the actual legislation, that is if you’re capable.

          • Denial…you guys really think it’s just a river somewhere, probably in Africa.

          • The “actual” legislation was changed…that was the point of Gedde’s article…dimwit.

          • The link I provided is to the changes made………read it yet?

            Apparently not.

          • No i haven’t. Why don’t you summarize it for me if you think it makes such a difference? I’ve already noted it has been changed…obviously it isn’t the same site as even last year. All the references to the environment have been removed fr one thing.

          • “boy”, leave to a leftist to use a slang derogatory racist slur.

  5. This is probably a hand that the CPC can’t lose because they don’t have to play. The last few weeks have shown there is an alarming amount of “damn drunk injuns takin’ my tax dollars”, and frankly, these are Harper’s ‘people’ and a good chunk of his voters. The reality of the situation simply won’t matter to them, it’s an easy image to exploit, and the faithful will lap it up and regurgitate it back out in their own noise machine. If native issues are a big thing for you, there’s a good chance you tend not to vote CPC and aren’t likely to do so anyway. Heck, it’s even possible it can HURT him to act responsibly on this file and while many might appreciate it, would it translate into new votes?

    And sure the Prentice thing was criticism but it came from a unique place. Remember harper doesn’t have the legal framework most PM’s have, and a lot of his political science stuff is “Calgary School” based – political extreme and a lot of legal bunk. In that respect, he’s uniquely underqualified for the job (Thomas Mulcair would be the star in this area, and he’s also head and shoulders above the two lIberal frontrunners). Prentice wasn’t advocating pro-native action, he was reminding the government of a real obligation that was necessary for Prentice’s business friends to get what they need from reserve communities.

    • Thank God Harper “doesn`t have the legal framework most PM`s have “.
      Lawyers and consultants are one of the main reasons why there has been a stalemate in Indian Affairs for the past few decades.
      Harper will get things done while others will just talk.

      Your choice of Mulcair as a ” star ” tells one everything he needs to know about your lack of judgement about the attributes of ” Harper`s people “.

      • and on the dumbassery goes, I see.

        • Notice he doesn’t actually address Mulcair’ qualifications, he just likes to indulge his passion for judging others while crying if someone returns the favour. Infants to a man conbots.

          • Tommy the Commie will never be PM.

          • Billy the bozo never has anything original to say – ever!

          • Foul mouthed Brian is back, what a surprise. How have i trolled then Brian, do tell? I’m the only one among you conbots providing any kind of evidence for my opinions here.

          • Evidence……..that you’re an idiot.

          • No, billy boy. If you can’t be bothered to read what someone has posted to try and make a point then what does it say about you guys?

          • There you go again using “boy”, leave to a leftist to use a slang derogatory racist slur.

          • Don’t know what happened to my longer post but to repeat, it never occurred to me. Just having a bit of childish fun with alliteration.
            This is the core of my problem with you “righties”…you seem to be unable to self assess and irony is a foreign word to you. You can run all over the net making sometimes overtly racist taunts about Aboriginals [or anyone you don’t like really] but as soon as someone calls you on it, or uses a harmless bit of alliteration you’re all offended. Or maybe it’s all a game to you? I blame myself for feeding the trolls.

          • What utter BS………typical lefty.

          • Are you God? You seem to be all knowing there Billy?

          • The evidence i’m referring to was Gedde’s article…

          • Cheap insults because you cant debate sorry for the lack of respect Mr.Troll

          • Says Mr insult. Go look in the mirror and see if you recognize anyone there.

          • Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

            creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

            satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

            augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

            rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

            “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be
            clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to
            adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs
            of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines
            about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks
            above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own
            lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

          • Debate Coward or leave

          • Until you accept that the aim of Leftists is to hurt, not help, none of their actions makes sense

            Leftism, Liberalism, Progressivism are all words for the politics of hate. They hate the world about them.

            And with motivations like that behind them, principles pass them by like a fart in a breeze

          • Frankly Billy you’re a first rate bore. Your views are predictable enough to set your watch by.

          • Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

            creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

            satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

            augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

            rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

            “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be
            clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to
            adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs
            of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines
            about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks
            above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own
            lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

          • That sounds like a balanced opinion. I stopped trying to look for a review once i read the bilge wasn’t even peer reviewed.

          • Peer reviewed- fraud supported by more fraud.

          • Cry some more lefty.

          • I’m shaking boss, i’m shaking!

  6. I think Harper has as much as told Atleo that there has never been a better time for Natives to negotiate a quick and fair deal..Continued resource exploration in the North along with pipelines that will be built means Indian Affairs will be very active the next few years.

    If the Native community allows itself to get sidetracked by protesting circuses, this window of opportunity will be lost forever.

    Those who are sincere about a better deal for aboriginals should hope Atleo gets better and has the full support of the community.

    • Have to agree : although I don’t see it as a forever thing just a it is now going to take more eyars before anything of value is improved ! sad but true

  7. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/11/15/pol-cp-first-nations-atleo-harper-letter.html

    Interesting take, but i don’t think you give enough weight to other stuff – this for instance. Atleo had been firing off increasingly desperate pleas for the govt to listen, tensions were mounting. Meanwhile it looked[at last from the chief’s perspective] that Duncan had a agenda that was wildly at variance from their own, mushy as theirs may sometimes appear – understandable when you are not as structured or homogeneous a group as many Canadians might like them to be.

    Not enough weight either to the effects that provisions within bills C38/45 clearly had on FN’s pubiic opinion.[ an already distrustful swath of the public as it is as far as govt is concerned.] You do mention the role of the omnibus bills, but again i think they were/are critical to understanding the underlying distrust. I’m not confident that Harper going behind the curtain so to speak, working in the corners out of sight as he likes to, is going to solve this either.

    “. Jim Prentice, his own former Indian affairs minister, wrote last July
    that “the constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations is not
    a corporate obligation. It is the federal government’s responsibility.”
    Conflicts with local Aboriginal populations over resource projects
    “cannot be resolved by regulatory fiat,” Prentice added. “They require

    I’m not confident Prentice has Harper’s ear at all, and as the last sentence of the cbc story boldly states..”The government is just going to press on with its agenda,” he said “You work with the coalitions of the willing.”…it is all about working with those who are willing to bend to Harper’s law. Which leaves all those other guys still out there drumming in the cold. They aren’t going anywhere as FNs like to say.

  8. “To cooperate or confront:” but what if he does neither? What if he just ignores Chief Spence?

  9. you chief spence are an embaressment to this whole stupid movement. hunger strike . i hardly think not . your still eating. besides you could stand to lose weight. you and your husband make a lot of money. do you share your wealth? NO. you should be kicked out of

    office, and quick. your a disgace. plus pay back the millions . you cannot acount for

    • wen on a rant spall chekc is a grate ide… espesally if u sthnk thy r ebarrassed.

      • He’s a free style dude.Grammer ‘n Spell checks are for wosses. Live large.

    • Go to School! Learn! What grade are you in? 3 ?

  10. Most miss the point on this. If you accept the two equal nations negotiating premise then the GG should have been @ the table ( the treaties predate Canada).

    If on the other hand, you believe aboriginal Canadians are first & foremost Canadians; then the onus is on Harper. Canadian citizens are not expected to identify the policy solutions required, we just point out the problems and elect those that claim to have some ideas. If Harper was really the genius policy wonk some say, he should have leveraged his goodwill following the apology to work towards a solution.

    In many respect, the long-term relationship with native people was Harper’s to claim and he blew it.

    • As long as the band chiefs insist on this chimera of being ‘equal’ in some sense to the government of all of Canada, they’re going to be perennially disappointed by its absence. Not even the cumulative totality of all the indians, in the form of the AFN perhaps or some similar body, would or should be deemed equal, much less each little village of a few hundred to a few thousand souls.

      • Do you know what symbolic means, or sociological? It is no different than awarding QC nation within a nation status.Only in this case there is zero chance of them really separating from anyone.Yet we can’t go there for some reason. I truly doubt many FNs are adamant that it means…borders, passports, separate armed forces you know. So please stop with the ridiculous strawman stuff.

        • Quebec was never granted a ‘nation’ status.

          The franco-quebecois were, but that’s not the same thing.

          • I stand corrected. But my point still holds true.

          • What point?

            My point stands, that all this ‘nation to nation’ BS is just that, and unattainable. It’s simply ridiculous.

          • You’re entitled to your opinion. If you can’t follow my argument that’s your problem…the post is still there…try reading it again.

        • And the issue is not borders, but power and authority for each and every chief to be able to block the governance of Canada.

          • Another straw man. They already have that capability.

          • Now you’re just being silly. The chiefs have no such authority and aren’t likely to get such authority.

          • Authority…capability. Different word, see! Words and their meanings are important, right!

    • Yes…or never really cared for the premise and all that “relationship” …. a truly loaded word for FNs…. entails. A simpler answer might be that Wells is wrong on this point. Harper just can’t or wont do long term; cutting the legs out from under his opponents is his only measurable political accomplishment in more than 7 years in office as far as i can see.

      • Don’t worry Prime Minister Harper will be Prime Minister for a very long time!
        Theresa Spence will be in a mental institution and those crazy greedy Chiefs will be greedy crazy Chiefs for the rest of their Life’s!

        • No doubt you got this right from the throne of the almighty himself. I love when you guys get all omniscient in an age where we still can’t be sure of next weeks weather.

      • It’s time the Indians did a little long term.

        Millions of people have immigrated to Canada and done enormously
        well. personally and financially. And they’ve made a large contribution to
        the national fabric

        These bums on the picket line with chicken feathers hanging from them are
        nothing but useless overhead.

        • Go tell them that to their face…you haven’t the balls…chucky.

          • Well when I passed a bunch on them down on Mill Street and gave them the finger nothing happened so do you have any other brilliant suggestions?

          • Sure, were you running for the bus at the time?

        • Yeah, and all those millions had the indian act anchor around there necks now, didn’t they!

          • What is it, specifically, in this Indian Act that has caused these chicken feathered bums to be useless as compared with everyone else?

          • Read it yourself. Though i doubt someone as thoughtful and respectful as you appear to be can be bothered.

          • I’ve already read the thing, it resembles the Ontario Municipal Act.

            There’s nothing in it “anchoring” your chicken feathered bums to the ground and my observation stands.

            Millions of people have immigrated to Canada and done enormously
            well. personally and financially. And they’ve made a large contribution to
            the national fabric

          • If you can’t see how the indian act held natives back in this country it’s you who have the problem, not them. Sounds like you’re a tolerant individual at the best of times.

          • I have no problem I’m doing OK and if you and Mr. Chicken Feathers can point to a single sentence in the Indian Act holding people down I’ll argue to fix it. But there is nothing and you’re full of it.

            You and that goop Emily make up about 65% of the comments on these threads and every word twitter-tweeted by either of you is brainless garbage.

            The two of you belong to a new mouthy class who will elect a bag of Justin Trudeaus and who in due course will even welcome some old Justin as he gives you the sh*t kicking you deserve.

          • Don’t get your knickers in a twist there granny hardball. You love to dish out the snide semi racist taunts, but it seems you don’t like getting called on it. Can’t say i’m surprised. Bullies essentially being mostly cowards or hurt little kids underneath the bluster and theatricality

  11. I thought Chief Spence WAS Paul Wells.

  12. When you have an aboriginal population of now just over a 1 million, and your supporters (the ones who participate in protests) is perhaps 5000 people at best, then what’s the point of continuing on with this circus? Why drum up animosity within the nation when the obvious has spoken? This Country Native and Non Natives are sick and tired of these whining chiefs.

    • Depends on just who that nobody might be?

      • Whatever that’s suppose too mean

        • More to the point,What did you mean by it – nobody’s listening?

          • Judging by the near ghost town turnouts, with the exception of the Windsor&Detroit border, It’s obvious the way larger majority of aboriginals have no interest, and when I say interest, I mean participating in blockades, that will ” Bring this economy to it’s knees.”

            In other words, people care, but there’s a hell of a more people that don’t.

          • I don’t know what the numbers are but from what i can see on APTN it still has the attention of the whole Aboriginal community. Even where i live in the north its attracting lots of attention. I don’t think we’ve seen the whole iceberg yet. It’ll depend on the Harper/Atleo follow up.

  13. I believe the hands off approach is to prevent sparking a Civil War !!! The Natives have the ability to do this and it would be hard to defend against !!! These days you cannot tell by looking at people and recognizing who is Native !!! You cannot win fighting a invisible enemy and Civil War Leaders fate is not a favorable one !!! Plus you have Injured Canadian Soldiers Fighting the Government of Canada in Court because they feel the Governments $278,000 for being Severely injured or Dead is not adequate !!! This is a lot of people who Know how to use guns very dissatisfied with having to fight battles in court rooms against the Government of Canada !!! I would not want to be in the governments shoe’s but they created this mess and know one death or shot could be that spark !!! Plus Thousands of Veterans still denied their Medical injury Claims for no real reason !!! As federal court showed 60% denied unjustly but it is higher because most Vets cannot afford lawyers because of their injuries they cannot work !!! Veterans Affair said they fixed things to be more fair to Vet but all the Vet’s have used up all their appeals and cannot reapply !!! So they just got screwed again by the Government do you think these trained killers would like to have a real battle with this Government or would they help protect them ???

  14. Forget about Theresa Spence. The main issue here is that Harper has created ANOTHER reason why his grand plan to create prosperity through rapid development of the oil sands and facilities to export production offshore is NOT going to happen anytime soon. He started out by alienating anyone with any concern for the environment by calling them terrorists and fraudsters. That included the President of the USA when he labelled the Keystone decision a “no brainer” right before an election. Then he lost all support in BC by wiping out environmental protection of a million rivers and lakes and making it clear the National Energy Board hearings on Northern Gateway would end up with a recommendation he dictated. That is AFTER he set the terms for the NEB hearings so that they are not allowed to even consider tanker operations. Then he starts major cutbacks in Coast Guard services on the West Coast. Then he created the perfect conditions for all aboriginals across the country to oppose any development that is even remotely connected with their lands; this includes the oil sands. With Harper at the helm, opponents to oil sands development and export facilities don’t need to do anything; they simply sit by and watch the Harper train wreck. Albertans should not expect to see Harper’s promise of any ore prosperity for at least a decade, probably more.

  15. Admittedly many of the first nations are suffering (among many other problems) from what stems from antiquated laws, uneven sharing of wealth and assets by the self serving band politicians and their friends, families and unqualified appointees.that results in poverty and contributes to social decay. The losers…the poor the sick the abused and the Canadian taxpayer. The system is broken, drug and alcohol abuse rampant, Canadians need to support the government in overhauling the entire system so that we can all be treated as Canadians equally. Everybody should pay their taxes and those who misappropriate funds should be held accountable and punished , Canadians who choose to live a more rural existence should be allowed to hunt for food for personal and family consumption but not for commercial wealth development. By creating this welfare state, we have driven the initiative and personal drive from those who could otherwise prosper.

    Sorry, it’s time to resolve the Quebec issues, the native issues, and the unfairness that is rampant. Time to make all politicians accountable for how they spend and that includes our first nations.Time for a Canadian rebirth where we are all equals and common sense dictates. Sometimes you have to help those who have lost their way. We have an obligation to address the abuses of some of the native elders (politicians) on their own people and in turn protect the average taxpayer.

    Times are changing, we are in a global economy, do we really want to have the tribal environment that is currently destroying so many other parts of the world.

  16. From Bears Rant;

    Chief Spence clearly was never on a
    hunger strike and even if she wishes to call it a sacred fast now, it is
    equally clear that this was a grandstanding attempt to distract
    attention from her own failed management on her reserve. It hasn’t
    worked. All it has accomplished is to further undermine her own
    credibility and that of the Idle No More movement.

    In fact, Idle No More has done a very
    poor job of protecting its credibility. Too many speak for it and while
    the founders of the movement have attempted to delicately distance themselves from people like Theresa Spence and some of the other chiefs and extremists, they haven’t been very successful.

    Instead, the movement has only served to
    bring into sharp focus just how divided the First Nations are on the
    issues and on their own leadership. Some now are even demonizing AFN Grand Chief Sean Atleo at a time when a united leadership was never more important.

    Despite having been told by the office
    of the Queen that her majesty does not involve herself in the
    negotiations of these issues, Theresa Spence continues to demand a
    meeting with her representative, the Governor General. It isn’t going to
    happen. The Governor General is not empowered to negotiate on behalf of
    the people of Canada. That was changed in the 1800s by constitutional
    amendment. Only the Prime Minister and his cabinet can represent Canada
    in any negotiations with First Nations.

    There is an arrogance to the expectation
    that Chief Spence has the right to decide who will speak for Canada. It
    would be as if Canada dictated to the First Nations who could only
    speak for them.

    I believe Idle No More would have been
    far more successful with Canadians and for aboriginal peoples if it had
    focused its anger on its own leadership with demands for change and
    accountability. There is no doubt in my mind that the movement would
    have found many allies among Canadians and in that way would have seen
    increasing pressure on both the Canadian Government and First Nations
    leadership to negotiate concrete agreements that would benefit people
    living on reserves.

    Instead, the movement fell back on the
    same tired blame game and pointless protest actions that have driven
    away much of the support they could have had. Along with the usual and
    predictable accusations of racism because there is a growing backlash
    against the pointless illegal blockades, it chose grandstanding instead
    of working to create a broad consensus of the issues being faced by
    indigenous people. In the end, Idle No More allowed others to hijack
    their agenda and to fall back on the same, shopworn disruptive but
    unsuccessful demonstration and protest tactics of the past.

    Canadians have had enough and are
    becoming increasingly frustrated by continual rounds of demonstration
    and accusation that never accomplish anything..

    They are angry at being accused of
    racism and with the constant demands for more funding without
    accountability for the billions and other free benefits already being
    provided by taxpayers. Now Canadians want answers for the money that has
    been spent by the leadership of the First Nations. They want their laws
    enforced on their highways and at border crossings and they their
    government to hold First Nations accountable for the living conditions
    and mismanagement on too many reserves.

    It isn’t, I think, what Idle No More was hoping to accomplish.

  17. In “The Queen sends her regards” Macleans article, one poster commented that if Theresa Spence dies, she will be hailed a legend like Rosa Parks. The poster almost sounded gleeful, Quite disconcerting the disconnect with some of these supporters, if not delusional. To correlate the purity of Rosa Parks’ action that one day on a Montgomery bus in 1955 to the manipulation and scripted hunger strike of a reserve village mayor is like comparing apples (no pun intended) to oranges. With all the behavioural inconsistencies surrounding Spence and certain chiefs proclaiming her courage…is this really what she and INM are after…..creating a pseudo martyr? Gotta wonder

  18. MR SMITH.
    Y know what meant in my comment regarding chief spence. so what is the point of mocking
    my spelling? like really? anyway i know i am right. she is a loooooser.

  19. Shame on her and the 21 Pigs at the trough steeling from their own people. Their ancestors would bow their heads in shame if they saw what has come of these people.

  20. Tell me what is it the Indians want that every poor Canadian in Canada doesnt want,i have done a lot of front line work,there are a lot of destitute non indian people in Canada,please give them some attenion,but like always the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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