Attwapiskat Chief Theresa Spence won’t attend First Nations meeting

OTTAWA – Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says she won’t attend Friday’s meetings between First Nations leaders and the federal government because Gov. Gen. David Johnston has said he won’t be there.

Spence — engaged in a protest since Dec. 11, subsisting solely on fish broth and tea in an effort to secure Friday’s meeting with Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper — is insisting on the Queen’s representative in Canada being present.

“We have sent a letter to Buckingham Palace, requesting that Queen Elizabeth II send forth her representative, which is the Governor General of Canada,” Spence said in a statement.

“I will not be attending Friday’s meeting with the prime minister, as the Governor General’s attendance is integral when discussing Inherent and treaty rights.”

A spokesperson for Johnston has said he would not attend the sessions on Friday because they are working meetings with government on policy issues.

Spence said Johnston needs to attend the meetings because the talks are supposed to focus on the treaty rights that were established by the Royal Proclamation of 1793.

Spence says Canada is “not acting in good faith,” as evidenced by the federal government’s release of an audit that shows a lack of documentation for tens of millions of dollars in spending by Spence’s northern Ontario reserve.

“This is a time of crisis and this government of the day is not taking indigenous peoples concerns seriously,” Spence’s spokesman, Danny Metatawabin, said in the release.

“Canada should take notice and act honourably as their courts have directed the government on many occasions.”

First Nations frustration has been manifesting across Canada for weeks in the form of the Idle No More protest movement, which seeks to push back against the Conservatives for threatening aboriginal treaty rights as set out in the Constitution.

The protests, ranging from temporary rail blockades and border closures to shopping-mall flash mobs, have drawn inspiration from Spence and her protest, which is playing out on a small island in the Ottawa River, not far from Parliament Hill.

When Harper agreed last week to hold a meeting, Spence said she would attend, but insisted she wouldn’t decide whether to end her protest until after the meetings were concluded.

At a news conference Tuesday, Harper acknowledged the challenges facing many First Nations communities, but he said they also represent great opportunities.

“I know that in many aboriginal communities … the challenges are very great, but the potential is very great as well,” he said.

“We do have, for the first time in our history, economic development on a large scale occurring near where many aboriginal people live. We have a shortage of labour and lots of opportunity, and we want to make sure that those opportunities are available for aboriginal people and prosperity is available for them as we move forward.”

The government will continue to push forward with “legislation and other means,” he added.




Browse

Attwapiskat Chief Theresa Spence won’t attend First Nations meeting

  1. None of the FNs people should attend if the GG isn’t there. Their relationship and treaties are with the Crown, not Harper.

      • Well put.

      • You are rude and a bully!!

    • sure looks good Emily – call a meeting then don’t show – meanwhile harper can address the media – saying soemthing along the line – here I am where are they – next thing you know he gets another majority next term _ this so called Chief and her bean counting boy friend have done more for harper support than any piano playing he ever did – you do realize that don’t you Emily – harper may need a personality transplant BUT when you play chess with him you better bring your best game !!!!!

      • Harp is having trouble mastering Tiddly-Winks I’m afraid. Bloc Alberta backs him, but that’s it.

    • You have no information, no knowledge!!!

  2. Is anyone really surprised? – I mean really … once you turn a light onto a fraud and the public realizes it has been hoodwinked into misplacing it’s sympathies the perpetrator is usuallly tar and feathered and run out of town! – now – here is where it gets interesting who will be first to throw this lady and her bean counter boy friend (who incidentally folks signed a affadavit a few months ago about everything being hunky dory : OUCH!!!) -> under the bus ? – that is the real question will it be Atleo – Palmeter :) – think about it – I can’t wait for the NDP and the Lib’s to come out first – note how quiet they have been the leat few days all they want to talk about is the Metis ruling hahahaha!!!!!!! – ther is nothing sadder than a politico who uses a media lady of the eveneing for a phot op and then get taken to the cleaners – the race is on folks watch who wins – my money is on Justin heaving her under da bus first ?

    • The RCMP and FINTRAC should be called in.

  3. Wow!!! The blatant racism and ignorance written here is disgusting. It always amuses me when ignorant people sound off on old news. Ah hello, it’s been proven there was no wrong doing in Attawapiskat. Can you say the same for Harper and his cronies??…..NOPE!! If you knew the history of Canada. You would also know when the Brits first came here and started their little settlement they wanted to use the natural resources and land in Canada. There was and still is a promise to split the profits 60% for the Crown and 40% for First Nations. The money allotted to FN was put in trust as they were thriving nations and didn’t need the money. That trust grew, until the Brits, who couldn’t manage their money decided to steal that money in trust. That money has steadily accumulated over the decades. First Nations are owed trillions of dollars. The fact of the matter is First Nations subsidize Canada. These are the facts you are too ignorant and racist to read about!!!

    • BS, read the treaties.

      • This transaction of the 60/40 was before the treaties. Learn you history!!

    • Asking for accountability and responsibilty from types like Spence is NOT racist

  4. If non-native Canadians share tax dollars from provice to provice, why shouldn’t the wealthy natives (like the native cigarette barons around Caledonia who I believe make $1 billion a year tax free) share their wealth with other natives? And why is it that many natives in Canada get along with the rest of us without any issues? We eat together, sing together, talk hockey together. At the end of the day we are all Canadians. I’ve worked side by side with native men from Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and would work with them at any opportunity again in the future doing hard manual labour. And they moved from contract to contract just like I did for work.
    Have meetings- have discussions. But everyone in this country of ours should have to work if they are able to. Should I go back and demand the land back in Europe my family lost because of wars and be compensated for their lose? Or should I park my car on the QEW in rush hour and stop traffic because my taxes are too high?
    I think there is some common sense missing with alot of people. And the economy is weak. So its tougher on most of us.

  5. Teresa Spense and Attiwapiskat deserves the public chastisement in their public relations nightmare. Their administration is unfit to lead and the First Nations Assembly should have a moral compass to question their credibility not point fingers at Ottawa and unite behind her in blinded solidarity. Her pathetic cheap tricks (craving media attention & the limelight) stunts of a hunger strike is a desperate attempt to generate global sympathy in “smoke & mirrors” to smother missing paper trails of portions of the $100million. She has the guts to put a gun to our heads with this nonsense of a hunger strike. What’s next, a human smuggler going on a hunger strike to embarrass Canada while attempting to extort refugee status? Or a convicted terrorist using a hunger strike as a mechanism to get a leaner sentence? Spense is arrogantly defiant and unrepentent in the visible absence of fiscal due diligence of our tax money. The RCMP, Federal Government, Provincial Governments and Canada Revenue Agency should forensically investigate them. That probably won’t happen because we are afraid of being labelled, racists – a phony trump card to get authorities to back off while minorities and frist nations scream blue murder. We don’t need a fool inquiry. Teresa Spense has the blatant audacity to write to the Queen demanding the Governor General attend the First Nations meetings, who the hell she thinks she is or her supporters who want to get money and favortism because of their historical entitlement? The old addage rears its ugly head, “when the cats are away, the mice will play”. Money does not grow on trees.

    While there has been no proof of criminal wrongdoings, something is extremely unsettling in this hellish fiasco and Paul Martin is a bozo claiming Spense is an “Inspiration to Canadians”. His comments are a political cheap shot from the opposition despite our Prime Minister’s insincere teflon betraying image that reminds me of a 2-bit dictator. Spense is not an “inspiration” she is an embarrassment to countless but a hero to her own kind and bleeding hearts. If given $100million to govern the same number of people, countless competent laypersons would show receipts, bills, accounting, record keeping, bookkeeping and much more to show transparency, ethics, integrity, credibility and accountability. How many other first nations bands are in the same boat who cannot account for the money we give them? Maybe we need to take a closer look, not a witch hunt but a valid concern! Yet there are good examples of first nations governship in many reserves and they need to teach their people about believability, trust and proper management than substandard headship that deserve intense scrutiny. Chief Zamboni and her folks should be relocated closer to denser populated areas instead of allowing them to suck us with astronomical costs while dentists, politicians, doctors, lawyers, pilots, truckers, accountant and trades people make a killing to prey off their isolated areas with high costs in doing business with distant communities. One first nations Senator recently interviewed said that the buck stops with those in power whether government, first nations or others! It’s not rocket science. blame? I suppose this northern band is uniformed about record keeping, bookkeeping, accounting or computers? No excuses, both sides are wrong and we cannot write out more blank cheques without direct supervision because, in this incident, it would be like allowing a kid to control millions of lottery winnings. Where is the money? What do you have to show for it? If they have nothing to hide there would be proper documentation which is not the case as reported in a recent audit. Predictable, they quickly do superficial damage control by deviating from the topic to quickly claim it is an attempt to discredit their leadership. Sad but predictable rather than booting her out of office and the council they support her with blinders over their eyes.

    We cannot be “held hostage” to the wrongdoings of the past like a noose over our heads that are centuries old. Centuries ago, european settlers came over and gave the indians diseases, unfair trade, reform schools and much more – go after them and the British not generations of Canadian to pay tens of billions for those historical injustices that need closure. Do you see Africans going after the Dutch, British or French and others for blood money or support payments or the Roman Empire repaying for their savage pillage of other lands? Like our idiotic foreign aid policies, we’ll throw more money at them, its time they stand on their own two feet. Now we see the recent court ruling about “metis and non-status” indians, we’ll probably get shafted for retroactive claims, where will it all end? I do commend first nations who served for their country in ww1 and ww2 but many did not and we give them token jobs in policing with the RCMP while many could not even meet the minimum hiring standard of a grade.12 and got discriminatory preferrential double standard treatment for jobs they were unworthy to catch! Don’t be angry – this is indisputably documented in the news and well known and historically entrenched in the RCMP history within the past 2 decades. So much for equality under the law. I feel sad for the Attiwapiskat people who were not properly represented by those they elect in power and I question their experiences, education and qualifications to lead. There are many good first nations people and they should distance themselves from those who tarnish their image. This is not about racism as some brainless bleeding hearts would claim, its about making your bed and lying in it and facing up to the consequences instead of accusing others for your misfortunes and bad publicity.

    Truth Hurts

  6. http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014597/1100100014637#chp1

    Above is a link to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Report. It is a government document. It is not an opinion piece, it is the FACTS. Anyone interested in learning the truth about our country. I suggest reading it. It is not in legal lingo, it is written in easy to understand plain english. I would hope everyone who sees this would take the time to read the report with open hearts and minds. BTW it is not the whole report, just the most important parts. The actual report is 5 books long.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *