PM to meet First Nations leaders next Friday, but hunger strikes to continue

by Stephanie Levitz

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has acquiesced to demands from First Nations leadership for a meeting amid ongoing protests by aboriginal activists.

Harper said the meeting will take place next Friday, about 10 days earlier than the date the Assembly of First Nations had proposed in a bid to both calm protests and put an end to one aboriginal chief’s nearly month-long hunger strike.

But Chief Theresa Spence has so far given no indication that the setting of a date for a meeting will see her close up her encampment on Victoria Island, where she has been since Dec. 11 without solid food.

“We want certainty,” Grand Chief Stan Louttit said Friday in explaining why the hunger strike would continue at least until the meeting takes place.

In the past, other promised meetings fell through, he said.

The meeting next Friday, to be co-ordinated by the Assembly of First Nations, will focus on treaty relationships and aboriginal rights and economic development, the prime minister’s office said.

It is being billed as a follow-through on talks in January 2012 when the government and First Nations committed to an ongoing dialogue.

“While some progress has been made, there is more that must be done to improve outcomes for First Nations communities across Canada,” Harper said in a statement.

“The government of Canada and First Nations have an enduring historic relationship based on mutual respect, friendship and support. The government of Canada is committed to strengthening this relationship.”

Harper did not acknowledge Spence’s ongoing hunger strike when asked about the meetings at an event Friday in Oakville, Ont. And with regards to the broader Idle No More movement, he remained vague.

“In this country, people have the right in our country to demonstrate and express their points of view peacefully as long as they obey the law,” he said.

“I think the Canadian population expects everyone will obey the law in holding such protests.”

Protesters have threatened to shut down parts of the Canada-U.S. border on Saturday as part of ongoing protests.

The Idle No More movement has brought aboriginal communities together, suggested Alvin Fiddler, deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a regional advocacy network.

But there is a lot of work to do to repair the government’s relationship with First Nations, though he called Harper’s overture a “good first step.”

“It will not take just one meeting to fix that relationship that is broken,” he said.

“We will continue to hold the prime minister’s feet to the fire to ensure that meeting, if it does happen next Friday, will begin to establish that process.”

Louttit said the one-day meeting between the two sides last year accomplished little in the long run. Next week’s summit has to move things forward, he said.

“We’re looking for better results this time around.”

A key issue for First Nations leadership is revenue sharing from natural resources development.

For example, Spence’s remote community of Attawapiskat, which is in northern Ontario, sits near a diamond mine.

While some band members as well as several new businesses are making decent money from the mine, the community remains impoverished.

Spence has been subsisting mainly on fish broth since Dec. 11, living in a tent on frigid Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, just upstream from Parliament Hill.

“She’s well, but you can tell her body is weak,” her spokesman, Danny Metatawabin, said Friday.




Browse

PM to meet First Nations leaders next Friday, but hunger strikes to continue

  1. Harper cracked….not that he had a choice…..

    • Harper didn’t crack. The chiefs did an end run around both Spence and Idle No More by asking for a meeting with Harper. Their leadership is being threatened by an insignificant chief and a mad marxist prof.

      • Harp is meeting the Chiefs …..and Spence. She got them all to move.

        I have no idea who the ‘mad marxist prof’ is supposed to be, but then Cons see Marxists even under their beds.

        • You watch, Spence will be dumped by the chiefs.

          • Well since you’re claiming to be on the ‘inside’ here, then get it solved.

        • Well look, this meeting is a week away and Fat Chiefy has been telling everyone she won’t live that long.

          So does this mean she can start loading up the carbs.

          She’s probably over at the Chateau Laurier right now using up some of that $90 million on a double order of Lobster Thermador and a case of Dom Perignon.

          Fatso and her Governing Attiwapiskats will be lucky if they get out of the drunk tank in time for a look at Harper at the end of next week.

          • The only thing fat is your mouth, and by the way 90 million? thats b.s a federal judge even said so…..bye hate some ……or better yet……put a cloth on your head like you in your home or i should say in your room in your parents house….lol ignorant stupid fat head

          • Go have another Bushmills Paddy, take a wash cloth to your leprechaun and come back when you’re hungry. I’ll throw you a dry potato.

        • we don’t know for sure if she will be at the meeting

          • Noop…we don’t. She could even be dead by then.

            But she got what she wanted, and she will always be regarded as a hero.

      • It is too bad that the four women who started the Idle No More won’t be in on the summit. Given reports that they wanted to distance themselves from the chiefs, it seems that they have input that might be vital to sorting everything out.

        • Actually no. This has been an aboriginal power play. One of the ladies concerned ran against Atleo for the headship of the Assembly of First Nations and lost. I guess she figured if she couldn’t take over the Assembly, she would form her own group and call the Assembly illegitimate. Typical.

          • nothing like a woman scorned

          • like you even know how to treat a woman much less talk to one…..It was harper that broke the law, and it is people like Ezra Larent who keep promoting hate through so called concerned….An example being his continued use of the word “Indian” in his segment last night and his calling the chief fat and other awful comments…..He later claimed that all other media in canada were presenting false information and that only he speaks the truth….which is a load of crap……He is so mis informed and ignores the facts……

    • Harper didn’t give in to any of “Chief” Spence’s demands. She demanded a meeting with the PM and GG within 72 hours (yesterday). Harper agreed to meeting with Shawn Atleo and a delegation of his choosing on Jan. 11th.

      • And the FN leaders made it even bigger….I know you’re a nervous white guy, but she won this round.

        • She’s starving out in the cold while Harper has the support of 90% of Canadians. If you call that winning, I suggest you join her.

          • She’s in a tipi Rick….and Harp only has the Ku Klux Kons for support

          • Yeah she’s in a Tipi, and the only reason they didn’t build her a Wigwam, a much more solid and homey and roomy structure, is because they’re too lazy.

            The same inadequate housing problem they have up on the Reserve and the same reason behind it.

          • Like most Reform Cons you just say whatever pops into your head that supports your case. 90% of this country will never support anything Harper does or says, he’ll be lucky to get to 50% and that’s be a stretch and hasn’t happened yet. You could of course come up with an actual citation to back up your claim, but I guess I’ll see Satan skating to work before that happens.

          • she is not starving and has a very nice wood stove inside her tent and there are the daily trips to a hotel so she can have a shower or whatever she does there…as for the 90%…dead on

    • Ah you’re full of it. Harper has no need or obligation whatsoever to meet with that fat nutcase and has in fact met with Atleo at least once since this fiasco started.

      All they’ve done here is move up an earlier planned meeting by 10 days.

      Life must be a true uphill battle for a pathetic wretch as full of lies and confusion as you are. The only thing “cracked” is you. Not that you had a choice … you’re bonged up old mother probably dropped you on your head trying to get you to the toilet.

      • Wow!!!
        Sure sounds like you were the one dropped on your head?!?!
        Or is it true, I heard that you have a “mental disability”?
        I am sorry that life is very confusing & hard for you to grasp. But there is medical help available. Also too, maybe try some extra vitamins, Jamieson is pretty good, so is Centrum, they are afterall saying that vitamin deficiency’s are to blame for most mental health problems.
        Well, I hope you get better :-)

        • Well Dr. Peaceful, one thing for sure, you’re not very good at punctuation, are you?

          Nevertheless, I’m not sure about your advice. I would have thought if you got dropped on your head, the first thing you would try would be an aspirin. Vitamins don’t really have much to do with it. With Emily his mother didn’t give him an aspirin and the now grown man is in terrible pain.

          But I take it you must be the Medicine Man at Attawapiskat – salary at probably $375 thousand a year?

          So, have you ever tried an Attiwapiskat Luau to treat band depression?

          And “what’s that,” you ask.

          Well, an Attawapiskat Luau, and I’m sure you’ve tried it, is basically 4 cases of Moosehead and a muskrat.

          And you could probably treat a depressed Zamboni driver for a lot less Moosehead than that.

  2. Its funny, the law society of canada whose members are some of the top lawyers in canada even issued a letter of support and that the prime minister broke several constituitional, international law and ignored supreme court decisions yet many commenters still say show me proof of this,……..its crazy…and the whole tax paying citizen arguement is kind of weak now since 60% of aboriginals live off reserve and the only taxes that they do not pay is land tax and employment tax……..I am also going to point out that they still pay taxes for various items they purchase, on their insurance, and all other various forms of taxes. I would also like to point out that first nations are not the only ones who get subsidized services, for example the province of saskatechewan spends 60 million on first nation tax exemption but spends 250 million on exemptions for the provinces farmers. Also, all off reserve aboriginals pay the same sort of taxes as all other canadians…and canadians from all provinces get subsidized health care, social services and a myriad of other services in different programs subsidized…..The reason the aboriginals on reserve do not get taxed for land and employment is because it is recognized as their own communal land.
    They also say well there should be more accountability on reserves…many do not realize it but all spending on a reserve has to get INAC’s approval and that their is more red tape that they have to go through to get approval then say a municipal office. So the bureacracy of INAC knows exactly what is spent and what is not.
    University and college professors have started a petition demanding the canadian government honor the treaty’s and stop breaking the country’s laws by passing bills that directly affect first nations rights. These academic teachers are from both canada and the U.S and have more than 500 signatures as of today.
    Professors, lawyers, church groups and many other organizaitons both domestic and international have wrote letters in support of aboriginal rights and they all recognized that it was the government that broke international law, ignored rulings of canada’s supreme court and ignored the canadian constituition by passing several of laws contained in the omnibus bill…..yet this is not good enough for some people who continue to post ignorant and sometimes hateful comments…….if the highest academic institutions in the land agree with the first nations and issued letters of support, and if the lawyers( who are the country’s experts in canadian laws) of the law society of canada also point out that the government broke the law with their recent actions then what will it take to get through to these people to get them to realize that the harper government broke several laws and to have them actually realize that the lawyers, professors who are experts in highest order are speaking the truth?
    I sincerly hope my comment is posted, and I also sincerely hope that all treaty people( meaning all canadians) realize that our waterways across our country must be protected as all of us depend on the over 2 million bodies of water for drinking and should have the environmental laws that were protecting them left alone instead of changed.
    As a result of the current bills in the omnibus bill there are only 177 waterways that still have environmental laws protecting them….its sad, we cannot eat and drink money….but we can drink water and all of our food, from the plants and animals we have depend on fresh un polluted water…something to think about…

    • I meant 60% of the aboriginal population lives off reserve and the only taxes that the aboriginals on reserve are exempted from is the land tax and employment tax, off reserve First nation people pay the same taxes as every one else….And even in cases of using status cards for purchase exemptions, they still have to pay the provincial portion and also this exemption is only honored in Ontario.
      The example that I used for the province of Saskatchewan in terms of money spent on tax exemptions shows that the farmers there(240million) and the first nations(60 million) have been exempted 180 million more than the first nations in the province.

    • Shocking that one group of lawyers would disagree with another group of lawyers!

      • these lawyers u talk about, who are they? the law society of canada have no connection to the first nations other then recognizing that harper ignored the rule of law….the lawyers u talk about are probably government lawyers…..you should read the statements that all these professors from over 200 institutions have made in support of the first nations position, even they have stated the harper government broke various laws….and these university’s and colleges are from across Canada and the united states….what is your excuse for their stance rick?

        • Lawyers, any lawyers, will take up whatever stance is most profitable for them, not which they believe is right and true. There’s no shortage of lawyers who specialize in “native” issues.

    • Len, while i agree with you on most of your comment. I need to inform you & everyone else that they have this whole tax thing totally distorted!!!!
      First of all, me & my husband live on reserve.
      2nd of all, we PAY INCOME TAX ON EARNED INCOME!!!! I want everyone to implant this info into their thick skulls!!!
      3rd of all, if you dont live on reserve, you have property taxes & employment taxes & every other tax you get, you get, just like any other John Doe in this country!
      4th of all!!! THE MOST IMPORTANT!!! Is, if you WORK ON RESERVE & LIVE ON RESERVE, THEN YOU CAN GET TAX EXEMPTION!
      I am so sick & tired of people who think its a free for all for natives, WHICH IS TOTALLY NOT TRUE!!!!!
      Maybe if some people get their head out of their arses,& do some reading into the tax exemption rules, they would learn a thing or two. Or even a better idea!!!! if they have some friends, who happen to be native, they can even ask them! But heck, compared to alot of the comments by some people, I would even wonder if they do have friends?!?!

  3. Poor Spence…so weak..that happens when you sit on your butt all day…or maybe it’s those long car rides to a hotel to have her shower…and maybe a little elk stew? This woman is a pathetic joke…now she has changed her mind yet again.

    • read my comment mavri before u cast a stone………….she stated on dec 20th that she wanted a meeting between harper and first nations leaders…..she is not pathetic….she is doing this for all first nations people…..the head of the critical care unit in ottawa even stated on CBC yesterday that fish broth and water can barely meets the requirements that the human body needs to survive……he stated that the muscles of the body are the first thing to start going on a body due to lack of nutrition. Which is evident in her case he states………So no , her demands have not been changing, she has been consistent in what she wanted which was to set up a meeting about the relationship of the crown and first nations…..It amazes me how certain people are quick to call her down for doing this, atleast she is standing up for what she believes in, which is to have the current government abide by its own laws.
      Another action i am shocked to see is the action of sun news network, they a poll going asking people to describe chief spence in one word, and ezra larent keeps calling her down on his segment on her calling her fat and other awful words…….These despictable actions are on their facebook page and I cannot believe that this type of behavior by a media body is tolerated… would this same sort of antics, derogatory comments and other actions be tolerated if it was another minority group or ethnic group? I sincerly doubt it, and sun news own ombudsman is letting this go on and on. The canadian broadcasting association board should be fining sun news for these hateful actions. The behavior and actions should be looked into and see if is a violation of the criminal code of canada for inciting hate

      • Haters gotta hate….even when they have no knowledge of the topic.

      • If she does not take in better nutrition, she may end up in the hospital and not make it to the meeting at all. It would seem her reasoning would be sluggish as well by the time the meeting takes place if she does not start to supplement her diet somewhat.

        • she’s taking vitamins and minerals with her “medicinal” tea, fish and moose “broth” and apparently a little Boost…seriously, does she look like she is starving…not one pound lost in 3 weeks…wake up

          • so let me guess?!?!
            Your there to weigh her & watch her eat?!?!
            People like you disgust me.

      • So she started her “Hunger” strike on Dec 11th, and only managed to come up with her demands on Dec 20th? I guess that’s what the “protest movement” in Canada has come to: start a protest, and figure out what it’s supposed to be about after you’ve gotten media attention? Pathetic.

        • actually from day one of her strike…..she made it clear she wanted a meeting with the Prime Minister, the governor general and first nation leaders……she never said just between him and her……you should read the statement and at-least find out what she wanted and it has not changed since day one…..as for the movement it’s about getting the government to follow the law and consult with first nations before he makes bills that will affect or change their rights….
          They are about proper consultation and having the government honor treaty agreements…..which have to do with resource sharing, healthcare, education and other areas……..the acts of the current government are what instigated the movement……..it seems no matter how much information you present or mention…..there will always be ignorant misinformed comments……

          • And now she’s demanding McGuinty get involved, and that she receive a cut of all resource development. It’s a constantly moving target with these types, which is why she and her ilk are never engaged on any issues of meaning.

          • you obviously are not listening to her daily demands and as Rick points out, she wants McLiar in on it too…maybe tomorrow she will have new demands

      • She initially said she wanted a face to face meeting with Harper and the GG and insisted she would starve until she got it. Later she claimed she would be satisfied if Harper met with the chiefs and said she did not need to be there. Then she demanded a meeting with Harper in 72 hours…that was yesterday. Today, after Harper said he would meet with the chiefs, she said she still wanted a face to face with Harper and the GG…it was on CBC.
        As for Sun TV, Ezra simply calls a spade a spade…this is not being hateful…this woman has been “starving” for 3 weeks…does she look like she’s lost any weight? Even Greg Weston, on CBC today refused to call whatever she is doing a hunger strike…why…because this woman is as fat now as she was before all this crap started…and I’m not being hateful…it’s called being honest. There has been one other person to question this so called “starvation”…read the Nation Post..unless that’s too right wing for you…and read all the comments from the past week…no one is falling for her attention-seeking gimick.

      • You should see what Emily calls white men – stick your filthy hate crap up your yahoo ….. LEN

        By the way did you know she’s put on 15 pounds while starving away up there.

        Now she wants Harper to kick in $28,000 up front so she can order up from Jenny Craig.

        • actually the only one being hateful is you there The SotSays…..lol your the only one leaving hateful comments not me…..Im just pointing out the truth….so your the one who should sit on something and judging from your comments u might still be……

          • You should go somewhere LEN and take a reading comprehension course.

            It’s like this LEN, you persistently take on anyone who disagrees with you by calling them a hater; both you and that effed up screwball Emily try to pull this. Well up yours LEN, that is a well known leftoid tactic and it’s becoming laughable.

            So while that fat troglodyte Chief tries to take over the Indian agenda with a power play that effectively makes sucker fools of all of us, she’s not going to do it to me without noisy resistance againsty her and her supporters. So get used to it Skeeziks because many people are sick and tired of left wing lunacy and being run over by a drugged up gang of socialist pick pockets screaming “hater” and “racist.”

            The days of shutting down the discussion with politically correct bullsh*t are over.

  4. “A key issue for First Nations leadership is revenue sharing from natural resources development.”

    So, once again the truth comes out: it’s all about money. All the histrionics about “environmental protection”, “First Nations rights” and “consultation” really are just code for demanding a bigger slice of the pie while contributing nothing.

    • thats only one aspect of it……the crown was suppose to share revenues with first nations when the treaties were signed and not just for one year but annually since the crown recognized the land as belonging to aboriginals…1% of the revenues made from the land were to be given to first nations……currently it has been more like 1/32 of a percent of that…….but again that is just one of the issues…Environmental protection is huge as all of the over 600 first nation communities are found in and around the water ways of canada…..they are literally fighting to protect their livelihood….tourism and angling associations should also be worried as their livelihood is threatened by these illegal bills also……A very complex issue……

  5. This comment was deleted.

    • aww brian mouland……did u know your hateful comments means you are in the white pages? lol………anyhow …..in that context i mean the white paper supporter…..it is a paper that happened in 1969 and was defeated by first nations people after the government tried to pass it without consent……..I say your in the white pages because that approach is what you obviously support even though you probably never read it or heard of it……..grow up boy……there is still hope for you….The white paper was all about assimilation and genocide of the first people….an obvious dream that people like you would support…..disgusting…….

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