Getting to Friday

by Aaron Wherry

Global News journalists were told to leave Attawapiskat yesterday, apparently at the behest of Chief Theresa Spence, which brings about the following two paragraphs in this Globe story.

It was the audit that led to the media ban, said Ms. Kataquapit. “We are just going to wait for the results of Chief Spence’s meeting with the Prime Minister and government officials on Friday,” before deciding if media will be allowed back into Attawapiskat, she said.

It could be a long wait. Mr. Johnston’s office said Tuesday that he will not be at the meeting and Ms. Spence’s spokesman said that means she may also decide not to show up.

Rideau Hall announced yesterday that the Governor General won’t be attending Friday’s meeting. And Chief Spence’s spokesman says she won’t be there if Mr. Johnston isn’t.

Spence’s spokesman Danny Metatawabin said the chief, who has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11 consuming only fish broth, medicine tea and water, wouldn’t attend the meeting if Johnston didn’t show. “If he is not going to be there Theresa is not going to the meeting,” said Metatawabin. “We are going to take it day by day.”

Metatawabin said they’ve relayed their position to Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo. “We are going to have to take it day by day at this point to see if somehow he could be there,” he said.

Rideau Hall’s explanation is that Mr. Johnston won’t attend Friday’s meeting “because it consists of a working meeting with government on public policy issues.” Ultimately, his attendance depends on what the role of the governor general is supposed to be and what he is supposed to be involved. Here is how Philippe Lagasse explained matters last night.

As is often the case, the debate over the GG attending the meeting is coming down to how we define/understand the Crown.

If your looking at the Crown as the concept of the state and you want to emphasize equal sovereignties, you’ll go for GG attending.

If your defining the Crown as the executive here and want to stress that we’re all part of a united Canada, then you want GG away from it.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, I don’t see how the Crown could be there as the state, so it must be there as the executive power, so no GG.

A statement from AFN Chief Shawn Atleo on Monday described Friday’s meeting as follows.

The January 11 meeting between First Nation leaders and the Prime Minister is not a gathering or summit, rather a focused working meeting that must lead to a tangible plan for change. We all know that the hard work of First Nations does not start or end with one meeting, and that one meeting will not produce immediate results; however First Nation leaders will seek clear and concrete commitments to advancing existing priorities and ongoing work.  This includes the implementation of Treaties on a Treaty by Treaty basis, respect for the nation-to-nation relationship, First Nations inherent rights, title and the responsibilities of First Nations to the lands and resources.  Grounded firmly in our rights, we must achieve fair, sustainable financial relations and First Nation driven solutions on key priorities including ensuring safety, security and opportunity for all First Nation citizens.

Update 10:03am. The CBC talks to Chief Spence’s spokesman this morning and reports that she will attend. But CTV’s Robert Fife now tweets that Chief Spence wants the AFN to cancel the meeting if the Governor General and Ontario Premier Dalton  McGuinty don’t attend.

Update 10:48am. Global is told Chief Spence won’t attend if the Governor General isn’t there.




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Getting to Friday

  1. The fish-broth drama queen is playing you journalists. The minders already kicked out a group of reporters almost as fast they got into the hotel, to the bemusement of even the Huffington post. Find some honourable First Nations chiefs to interview. There are many of them.

  2. FNs have declared a breach of treaty….and they want a meeting with the other signer of the treaties….that would be the crown. That would be the GG.

    • I’m still waiting for you to show us explicitly how we got from Treaty No 9 where band members receive 4 dollars a year forever to $90 million plus Zambonis.

      By the way, have you looked at the CBC coverage; we’re feeding more dogs than people on that reserve and in addition to the Zambonis, everyone in town has a brand new snowmobile and a new car. I didn’t see any mention of those in the Treaty.

  3. He could show up, welcome everyone, wish them well on behalf of the Queen, and leave them to their important work.
    Harper thinks he is above the Queen and issues all the orders to GG. But in UK, PM’s never make that mistake; in UK the Queen would welcome the delegations if she wanted to, but not interfere in real politics.

  4. Those of you who want to understand the motive of Spence should compare her actions to the old regular who constantly trolls this blog just looking for attention.
    That`s all these women-children want—-attention.
    They will always say and do what is necessary for their own benefit—never take responsibility for previous actions or words—constantly change the subject or the goal as it suits their wants—use the suffering of others to rationalize their own immature behavior.

    If Spence got a meeting with Johnson, then she would say she also wants the Queen there—and if the Queen came, she would want the Pope there, etc.

    Any successful parent knows the best way to teach children that this type of immature behavior is to ignore it—The child holding it`s breath in the corner will pull in some oxygen as soon as you walk away. It`s unfortunate that those who don`t know any better are reinforcing the irresponsible behavior of these women.

    • Several in depth media reports on Idle No More say it is primarily a youth/women’s movement propelled by social media. What is THAT going to mean Andrew?

      • I`m not sure what an ” in depth media report” means anymore, but I suppose this movement will fizzle out like most other movements whose membership consists mostly of those who demand to be given more of the Nation`s wealth rather than actually getting up at 5 in the morning and working for it.
        The fact that it is possible to sustain yourself in reasonable comfort in this country without working very hard has meant that protest movements often lack the drive to get further than the type of —social media. sign an on-line petition, show up at one or two local protests—.
        The same lack of work ethic that doesn`t encourage them to show up for work for 40 years of their life seems to be missing in these movements and soon it`s easier to just sleep in.

        • Hmmm whites said the same thing about blacks in the US before the civil rights movement.

          • The Civil Rights movement; was your mouth involved in that too?

    • Fascinating, today we get a combo attack!….the old ‘blame-the-messenger,
      ignore-the-message’ for starters. Doesn’t solve anything of course.

      Then there is the ‘buzzword bomb’….Cons think some words terrify
      Canadians….’bigot’, ‘intolerant’, ‘troll’ of course, ‘looney left, lefttard’
      etc…..and today’s choice is ‘wanting attention’. Oh. the. horror.

      In some cultures it is socially unacceptable to look someone in the eyes, or
      to speak up….to ‘mark yourself out’…..you are supposed to remain part of
      the background. Unnoticeable. Pretty well always for women, but for men
      as well. Mexicans are like that, so are natives.

      Cons seem to think that’s the cultural norm in the ROC….or maybe they just
      confuse it with how they think WOMEN should behave [and I assume your attack is directed towards women, since you mention child-like behavior, and the need for parental discipline...male of course....naughty girl needs a spank! ]…..but I assure you that’s not going to happen. ALL Canadians speak up….as they should.

      So stop whining, and get your ass in gear to actually solve problems instead
      of sulking about who told you.

  5. Big Chief No Invoices, wrote a letter to the Queen and I understand that along with the Governor General, the Queen also won’t be at the meeting.

    • Maybe she’ll tell the GG to get his ass over there and do his job.

  6. http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2013/01/09/pms-stay-at-january-11-meeting-a-short-one/

    This story is prominent on the APTN website, along with some speculation the chiefs are thinking of not attending if the GG isn’t there, and probably because of this story. Their twitter feed also notes there seems to be a fair amount of confusion due to conflicting timelines of different news stories.
    It is an interesting site for this news story. There seems to be quite a bit of more indepth coverage or detailed info over the affairs of Attawapiskat and #idlenomore that isn’t all making it into the MSM.

    • Yup. APTN provides coverage not available elsewhere.
      It’s always helpful to “know the beat”.

      • I wonder how extensive their coverage is? Certainly it is a mainstay here up north, and judging by the breath of their coverage[pretty much all of Canada] of FN’s stories, they must have a pretty sizable audience.
        If you go to thier home page you can see much more in depth stuff on the financial and political stuff in Attawapiskat – some of it making the conbot crowd seem even more moronic than they really are, if that is possible?

    • Thanks, kcm2, and happy new year to you. I am trying to find out about Chief Spence’s own education — do you have any idea about where she went to post secondary, or if she did? And remember: it was APTN that got the Bruce Carson corruption story — the one where his hooker girlfriend was going to be paid to sell water filters to First Nations with unpotable water. I believe he used to work closely with the current pm.

      • Happy new year…no, sorry i don’t. But i bet you can get it on APTN somewhere.

  7. She’s going, she’s not going, she’s going, she’s not going.

    She wants to meet Harper, then she wants to meet the GG, then she wants to meet McGuinty (after she realized that what she’s demanding isn’t even the federal governments responsibility).

    Why does the media continue to take her “demands” seriously? Who in their right mind would take this woman even remotely seriously?

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