12 more thoughts on Idle No More

The latest punditry on Chief Theresa Spence’s protest

by Maclean's

From earlier on the site, 12 ways of thinking about Idle No More.  

For more on Idle No More, click here. 

Now a sampling of the latest commentary on Chief Theresa Spence, the hunger strike and Idle No More:

Stephen Maher, Postmedia News

“Spence is among a very small group of people who have won a staring contest with Harper, whose cussedness is normally a source of strength. In this case, though, he met his match.”

Barbara Kay, The National Post

“Although it is a bit awkward to point out, the photos I have seen of Chief Spence do not show her looking quite so gaunt and sickly, the shadow of her former self that three weeks on water alone would have produced.

“In fact, I distinctly remember how impressed I was when I read — in one of the many low-carb books I’ve digested over the years in the service of my own (admittedly less well-publicized and politically oriented) dietary experiments — that a couple of scientists went way up north to live for a year, determined to eat nothing but a traditional aboriginal diet (absolutely no carbs, only fish, seal and caribou or whatever) so they could assess their health on their return. When they came back, lean and fit and vigorous, they had tests that showed their cholesterol and blood pressure were at optimum levels.

“In other words: What Chief Spence seems to be on is more like a detox ‘diet’ than a fast.”

David Moscrop, The Globe and Mail 

“During Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, many Canadians have taken to online forums, message boards and dinner tables to wonder what she and her people are after. In response to her actions, Canadians have taken up the classic liberal narrative to challenge her attempt to bring the plight of her people to the public’s attention and to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to find a solution to their suffering. And while some of the commentary has simply been racist, the dominant narrative overtone remains philosophically liberal. No surprise.”

Yoni Goldstein, The Huffington Post

“First thing’s first: I don’t think Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is going to starve to death. That will not be how this story ends — the end will be a meeting between Stephen Harper and Spence, just as she has requested. The Prime Minister is certainly stubborn — that can be the only reason he hasn’t responded to her yet — but he surely knows a dead First Nations chief would not make for good PR. He will accede to her demands. He has no other choice.”

 L. Ian Macdonald, The Ottawa Citizen

“Whatever the fate of the Idle No More movement, there’s every reason for Harper to engage with Atleo, the AFN and other aboriginal representatives. The prime minister isn’t going to achieve meaningful reforms to the Indian Act, the reserve system, and other issues such as First Nations’ health and education, without the stakeholders in the room.”

Sue Nielsen, letter to the National Post

“I disagree that we are now a ‘Swagger nation’ and I agree with Conrad Black that ‘Canada can do better.’ For Canada can’t possibly have its swagger on when a First Nations woman leader is entering her third week of a hunger strike and is sleeping in a teepee just a short distance from our Prime Minster, who refuses to speak with her. Canada can’t possibly feel good about the Third World-living conditions of aboriginal youth and of a government that provides First Nations child welfare agencies 22 per cent less than provincial governments supply to Children’s Aid Societies. And Canadians surely can’t feel a swagger coming on when Ottawa provides at least $3,500 less a year for each First Nation student who attends a reserve school than the per-student norm paid by provinces.”

Barbara Yaffe, Postmedia News

“The Assembly of First Nations, which so often speaks for the entire community, in fact is an organization elected by and representing interests of the elected chiefs more than those of grassroots natives, who are without voting rights for the head of the organization. As B.C.-based Ojibway author Richard Wagamese has written: ‘To be a First Nations person in Canada is to be rendered voiceless by the very organization that purports to represent you.’ For the government’s part, it should be doing a more professional job of managing an obviously troubled relationship with this historically and politically important constituency in Canada.”

John Ivison, National Post

“The Idle No More movement has the potential to radicalize a generation, in part because no one in the Harper government is making the case that it is not engaged in a ‘termination plan’ — the allegation made in a video released by veteran native policy advisor Russell Diabo. He claims the government’s legislative agenda is designed to assimilate native Canadians through the imposition of nefarious laws like the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act.

“Yet the status quo isn’t working. Everyone is agreed on that.”

Peter Foster, the Financial Post

“Chief Theresa Spence, who was previously best known for declaring states of emergency — arguably rooted in her own mismanagement — at her Attawapiskat reserve, is suddenly being treated as some combination of Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi. Celebrity moths, bleeding hearts and clamberers up the greasy political pole have sought to invest her ‘hunger strike,’ which is now into its fourth week, with noble purpose.

“In fact, her initial threat to starve herself to death failing a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston suggested either a bizarre degree of narcissism, or revealed her as a witless puppet. Perhaps both.”

Chander Grover, leter to the Ottawa Citizen

“Spence’s hunger strike and the Idle No More movement concern all Canadians. They signify demands for the government’s accountability, the clarity and fairness of the laws and the efficiency and independence of the process by which justice is delivered. Attempts should be made to resolve the outstanding aboriginal issues and other high-profile human rights cases through negotiated settlements by staying away from courtrooms and pricey government lawyers controlled by Canada’s rampant bureaucracy.”

Calgary Herald, editorial

“Apart from Spence’s inexcusable blackmailing of the prime minister, it’s evident she’s unreasonable. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has expressed a willingness to meet with Spence, but he’s been rebuffed. Surely, a personal meeting with the senior member of cabinet tasked with managing the Crown’s relationship with First Nations would have been a good place for Spence to start. Spence could have added detail to her demands and concerns.”

Chantal Hebert, the Toronto Star

“The Idle No More movement — if left unattended — could snowball into the biggest challenge Harper has encountered since he was first elected as prime minister seven years ago this month.”

 




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12 more thoughts on Idle No More

  1. This comment was deleted.

    • Actually what’s been disgusting is the amount of outright racism masquerading as neo con libertarianism,

        • No I don’t think calling out a faker is racist, but I’ll leave you to figure out what is. Shouldn’t take a sharp guy like you too long.

  2. She should go to Uganda or Zambia, that would be a true hunger strike, and show her how hard life can be when you’re not given $90 million!

    • She doesn’t need to go there…..we have the Third World right here in Canada.

      • Yeah Spences reserve but she dont look like she misses too many meals. Oh well maybe they can eat the $96,000 Zamboni

        • Sorry guys….she won.

          You can stop lying now.

  3. Perhaps other government officials, who are willing to talk to her & deal with first nation issues already have & gotten no where.
    Harpers a jerk & doesnt care what laws are in effect, he just goes around changing them as he see fits, so it can make lots of profits for him & his rich buddies.

    • There was already a meeting scheduled with the chiefs it was moved up a week. All Chief Tubby Spence did was make an ass out of herself for three weeks while the little partisan doggies from the MSM lapped it up

      • You ignorant piece of dog poo! You have no idea of the government envolvement on these issues. He has been advised from many other government heads & has choose to do nothing, or pretend nothing is going on. He & you are just a bunch of racist jack.sses

        • envolvement???????

          BM is correct.

          • Must be one of those kids who didnt get zeros in school

        • so much class

        • Think a cheap insult from a troll upsets me. I am going to cry NOT! Now roll over and play dead

          • Luv it when trolls complain about other trolls trolling.

          • What makes you think that was a complaint. It looks to me like a simple statement of fact, plus an instruction.

            Maybe you should pop over to NDP HQ and see if theyll spot you for a little ESL.

            By the way Chiefy doesn’t seem to want to show anyone her financials. What’s that all about?

          • Might if i were a dipper. And as far as i know all the band financials are all hiding in plain sight over @attawapiskat.org Can’t be bothered to check it out myself. It’ll make no difference anyway since you guys can’t be arsed to look any further than Levant’s lovable and informative blog.
            Crap in crap out.

          • Been eating a lot of it today Sport

        • Wow that’s quite a rant from someone who calls himself peaceful solver!

          • Took him five years to solve Grade One

      • No meeting until he agreed to the one on the 24th…try to keep outright lying out of this ok.

          • You’re free to check Wells’ twitter feed. I’m sure by now the info is widely available elsewhere. Not that a moron like you would accept facts you can’t stomach.

          • And Spence actually had a hunger strike you are buying that sh-t aint you tool

          • Not entirely, no. Obviously it isn’t a classic hunger strike in the bread and water sense, but that’s pretty well beside the point. And it doesn’t justify the vile things that pr*cks like you continue to say about her…it is a political statement even if she says it isn’t, just live with it.

          • Truth hurts dont it boy have another bowl of sh-t! A hunger strike is when you dont eat dont think Chief Fatty missed any meals

          • Well you’re right about it not being a hunger strike in the “bread and water” sense. By the looks of her, it was more like a hunger strike in the “lobster thermador” sense. The Chateau Laurier had to put on a fourth shift in take-out.

            The old biddy is trying to make a Hollywood name for herself so she can become Chief Indian Chief at the UN. Get the big bucks and live at the Trump Manhattan.

          • Yuk it up. I’m sure you lead an utterly unimpeachable life.

          • Yes, and who set it?…i’ll give you a clue…it wasn’t the PM.

          • The Grand Chief. The fact there was a meeting set what makes you an Effing liar!

  4. Yes, Harper cracked……and gave up the tough guy nonsense. The ole days of ‘cowboys and Indians’ are over with…..and one woman in a tent did it.

    Kudos to Chief Spence

    • EOtard is wrong too.

      • Yawn.

        • LOL

    • Yup forced him to move up a scheduled meeting a week . Looking pretty fat for someone on a hunger strike but from five chins to four

      • Discard the talking points from HQ, guys.

        They’ve been overtaken by events.

        She won.

        • Yup fooled the dupes at CBC and leftie sheep like yourself that you can actually gain weight on a hunger strike

          • Yawn

          • Reading your posts again sorry not speaking your language Baa Baa!

          • Yawn

            (Rolls Eyes)

            Sigh

            That’s an interesting story about the Swiss Army Knife that Kevin gave you for Christmas ….. I’ve never seen one with an ear piercing tool and a toke holder.

            Anyway that fat old Chief is up 15 pounds. She had to send out to Hercules of the Glebe for a new set of silk undies.

      • That’s simply not true bud.[check Wells' twitter feed] There was nothing on Harper’s itinerary for a january meeting with FNs. Whatever you think of Spence and #idlenomore it has definitely forced Harper’s hand.

        • I guess you haven’t been reading the papers Sparky. They’ve been talking about this January powwow for weeks.

          Chief Fatty has put on a few pounds – are you interested in any of her old underwear? It won’t fit her any more

          By the way, she’s holding up the financial statements for that band they’re months overdue. No information from April 2011 on. I wonder what that’s all about. So dream on chunky.

          • Really, link me to one story that’s more than a week old.

          • http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/04/spence-hunger-strike-working-to-a-crescendo/
            Actually i turned this up on the other blog,you lazy fat arse [ don't see why you guys should have all the fun of name calling]
            You’ll notice the chronology[ big word meaning time line[ little word meaning what happened and when]
            No mention of a meeting on the 24th until the chiefs [ AFN] called for one. Spence put out a 72 hour ultimatum and Harper suggested the 11th.
            I have no problem granting that Harper made a generous concession. But there was no scheduled meeting…AND he did cave, no matter how you spin it.

          • Lying again mad little man! Have a bowl of crow fool!

          • The Chiefs and Harper are likely to meet early next year to discuss native issues. Gloria Galaway.Globe and Mail,June,2012

          • I’ll tell you what Sparky, you go to your little racist screaming chum Emily and ask him to tell me where in the Constitution for Canada that he sees a section or sections that get the Attiwapiskat band from the 4 dollars a year promised to band members under Treaty No 9 to the $90 million plus Zambonis that they’re reportedly getting now. I want to see it.

            Once you do that I will give you you’re little links, but not until.

            A year ago on Jan 24 2011 the government and Atleo and other Assembly Chiefs agreed to meet regularly for ongoing discussions and progress reports on Indian housing. No rogue Chief representing 1800 people, a Chief who won’t produce financial statements and is trying a spectacular Hollywood induced political end run to become the Chief Indian of the World, will have any influence on Harper.

          • There’s an audit going on right now…right.

            Who do you think you’re impressing with your vulgar humour? You sound pretty intelligent but you’re putting a big far racist label on your forehead. I guess you must like it?

          • Little Liar is Mad!

          • I’m getting worried about you Brian. Either you’re way past your bedtime, or overdue your meds.

          • Looky cheap insults have another bowl of sh-t

          • Yeah and they must be having big trouble with the audit because the year end March 31, 2011 was completed and signed by July 2011. It took 3 1/2 months to complete.

            This one for March 31, 2012 has now taken 9 1/2 months and no sign of it. So tell me this spanky WTF is going on and what is it they don’t want anyone to know?

          • I don’t know any more than you do what is or isn’t going on. But i can tell you this – you wont find out anythingof real value by paying any attention to EL.

  5. On Being Stephen Harper Or How Listening to His Speeches is Like Committing Intellectual Suicide #IdleNoMore

  6. Except Idle No More is not Spence’s “movement”. She hijacked it. Now INM is divorcing itself from the chiefs. Next it will be divorcing itself from the First Nations and it will be come what it always was – Occupy.

  7. Good to see Foster is as deranged as ever…who the hell is interested in his opinion of FNs issues anyway? At least he’s made Wente’s job easier now…but don’t look for the attribution.

  8. The meeting is with the true Chief of the Aboriginal people, Shawn Atleo, not Theresa Spence. Harper has met with the Chiefs before (last year) and is now doing it again. He’s not meeting with Spence. So Yoni Goldstein, you can stop the fantasizing.

  9. Ezra Levant of sunnewsnetwork.ca did a very good job of explaining
    Treaty 9 between the Government of Canada and First Nations in 1905.
    Except Ezra forgot one little detail. The diaries of Daniel G.
    MacMartin
    You can watch Ezras video here….

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2013/01/20130103-070104.html

    Here is a youtube video about the diaries…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrdMsyV7jaM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_9
    2011
    Diaries kept by Daniel D. MacMartin, treaty commissioner for the
    Government of Ontario when the agreement was signed in 1905, were
    discovered by historians at Queen’s University archives. Legal Council
    Murray Klippenstien, claimed that in MacMartin’s diaries oral promises
    had been made that contradicted the written Treaties and supports
    Elders’ claims. He quoted from Commissioner MacMarten’s diary, “it was
    explained to them that they could hunt and fish as of old” and “they
    were not restricted as of territory” and “they could hunt wherever they
    pleased.” Klippenstien argued that oral promises that are part of the
    Treaty should override legislation like the Far North Act. [1]

  10. How’s that abandoning the First Nations, with a minimal welfare allowance, workin’ for us? Social media seems to be giving a voice to the First Nations majority in the grassroots. The Chiefs, in part, are an aboriginal 1%, and they’ve always gotten theirs. Reserve life, is a family feud of haves, and have nots, as the “warlords” keep themselves in the game, with the government of the moment. Keeping any semblance of control, out of the hands of the First Nations, has always been the (private Crown?)/Canadian governments agenda. Without a separate, unifying First Nations parliament, and courts, Canadians are blinded by opportunism, exploitation, and falsehoods. Business as usual. The chance of poverty bred, uneducated aboriginals, rising above the glass ceiling, is virtually nonexistent.
    The phrase, sustainable development, has been hijacked by industry, and the local multicultural chamber of commerce. The story of, the government, business, and church collusion in land and Identity theft, will be rewritten for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, and Chief Theresa Spence will fade away into history, painted by the MSM (those false hoods again), as a blackmailing hijacker. The system, has always been “broken” by design, and the powers that be, seem to prefer it that way. Canada always was, just the new Africa. So sad, too bad eh! Once upon a time, I was proud to wear a Canadian uniform overseas. Forked tongue, and lip service, only translates in an unending supply of premature grave markers. And we’re not even at, insurrection by design yet. Uninformed, and/or prejudiced commentaries, are to be expected.

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