Spence’s protest nears an end


Theresa Spence’s protest will end tomorrow morning—a news conference has been called for 11am—with the signing of a declaration. Here is the statement from Chief Spence.

Chief Theresa Spence’s Official Spokesperson Danny Metatawabin has confirmed this afternoon that Chief Theresa Spence and Elder Raymond Robinson have agreed to end their hunger strikes based on the commitments outlined and endorsed in a Declaration of Commitment supported by the Assembly of First Nations National Executive Committee, Native Women’s Association of Canada, NDP National Caucus and Liberal Party of Canada Parliamentary Caucus.

I’ve confirmed that the Liberals are planning to sign the declaration. The Canadian Press and the CBC agree that the New Democrats and the Assembly of First Nations will do likewise.

Here is the declaration.

First Nations: Working Towards Fundamental Change

In the true spirit of commitment to initiate dialogue to discuss both Treaty and non-Treaty Indigenous issues on behalf of our First Nations Peoples of Canada, Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation and Mr. Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake, Manitoba will continue their Hunger Strike, pending outcome of this written Declaration. We also like to acknowledge Mr. Jean Sock of Elsipogtog, New Brunswick and all other Fasters who have shown their deep dedication and courage in support of protecting and honouring both Treaty and non-Treaty obligations as written, entered into or understood by all Peoples, with the Federal Government of Canada including each Provincial/Territorial signatory.

Further, we agree the self-sacrifice and the spiritual courage of Chief Theresa Spence, along with Elder Raymond Robinson and all other fasters have made clear the need for fundamental change in the relationship of First Nations and the Crown. We fully commit to carry forward the urgent and coordinated action required until concrete and tangible results are achieved in order to allow First Nations to forge their own destiny.

Therefore, we solemnly commit to undertake political, spiritual and all other advocacy efforts to implement a renewed First Nations – Crown relationship where inherent Treaty and non-Treaty Rights are recognized, honoured and fully implemented as they should be, within the next five years.

This Declaration include, but is not limited to, ensuring commitments made by the Prime Minister of Canada on January 11th, 2013 are followed through and implemented as quickly as possible as led by First Nation on a high-level priority with open transparency and trust.

Furthermore, immediate steps are taken working together to achieve the below priorities:

1. An immediate meeting to be arranged between the Crown, Federal Governments, Provincial Governments and all First Nations to discuss outstanding issues regarding the Treaty Relationship, as well as for non-Treaty area relationships.

2. Clear work-plans that shall include deliverables and timelines that outline how commitments will be achieved, including immediate action for short, medium and longterm goals. Addressing the housing crisis within our First Nation communities shall be considered as a short-term immediate action.

3. Frameworks and mandates for the implementation and enforcement of Treaties between Treaty parties on a Nation-to-Nation basis.

4. Reforming and modifying the comprehensive claims policy based on inherent rights of First Nations.

5. A commitment towards resource revenue sharing, requiring the participation and involvement of provinces and territories currently benefiting from resource development from traditional lands.

6. Commitment towards ensuring a greater collective oversight and action towards ensuring the sustainability of the land through a sustained environmental oversight.

7. A comprehensive review and meaningful consultation in regards to Bill C-38 and C-45 to ensure it is consistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982).

8. Ensure that all federal legislation has the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations where inherent and Treaty rights are affected or impacted.

9. A revised fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada that is equitable, sustainable and includes indexing and the removal of arbitrary funding caps.

10. A National Public Commission of Inquiry on Violence Against Indigenous Women of all ages.

11. Equity in capital construction of First Nation schools, including funding parity with Provincial funding formulas with additional funding support for First Nation languages.

12. A change in how government operates that would include direct oversight, a dedicated Cabinet Committee and Secretariat within the Privy Council Office with specific responsibility for the First Nation-Crown relationship to ensure implementation.

13. The full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – UNDRIP.

As expressed from time to time by Chief Theresa Spence, “Our Treaty Rights continue to be violated and ignored”. Elder Raymond Robinson says, “Treaties were entered into on a Nation to Nation basis and we need to do our best to re-bridge that balance to walk and work together as was the original intent of the treaties”. Far too long, we have been denied an equitable stature within Canadian Society. The time is ours and no longer will we be silenced and idle. We will continue to call upon the insistence of truth, justice, fairness for all our First Nation Peoples.


Spence’s protest nears an end

  1. Well now they have an ‘action plan’ of their own.

    I hope Chief Spence is okay. Helluva thing to have to do to get some housing!

    • There’s also this thing called a chainsaw. You know, if you live in the middle of infinite forest.

      • Except it’s crown land and you aren’t allowed to cut trees down for log cabins.

        • Yes, but they aren’t demanding commercial logging rights, commercial hunting and fishing rights, and private property. No property, no equity. No equity, no money to build houses and no incentive to maintain them. No equity, no financing to build businesses.

          All they seem to want is poverty, corruption and dependence to be better funded.

          • They didn’t ask for factories and trains either. Not everyone wants to live the way you do.

            None of that stuff is useful in Northern Manitoba anyway.

          • Well they’ve all got a 75 inch plasma TV and free HBO, I suppose they didn’t ask for that either.

          • Interesting…..I was told the very same thing about blacks in the American south over half a century ago.

            Big TV and antenna back then of course …..oh and a cadillac in every driveway.

            Hate doesn’t change.

          • Emily, you scream “hate” and “racism” wherever you go and at everyone you see. It’s preposterous. It’s sick! You’re a wacko.
            What does a big TV have to do with “hate” in your confused mind.
            Emily, have you ever even been to the “American south” or to chez Chief Spence for that matter?

          • I took the train from Winnipeg to Churchill one time and it was packed with Indians. Best way to get there actually. Especially if your were loaded with “stuff,”
            There’s not a word out that pie hole of yours that means anything. you’re useless Emily.

        • The reserve isn’t crown land, they can do what they please on it; and Attawapiskat is 104.4 square miles for 1500 people.

          That’s about 44 acres for each band member , out in the bush.

          We once logged enough off 3 acres to build a 900 square foot hunting cabin.

          So I figure your full of it, as usual, and that each band member up there has
          enough trees to build himself 14 log cabins. And it’s about bloody time they
          got started on it.

          • The Crown owns all the land, the natives do not.

            No log cabins, sorry.

          • Show us where in that treaty it says “no log cabins.”
            It doesn’t. You’re full of it as usual.

          • No mention of log cabins Emily, you’re full of it.

            But do what you like with the posts Emily. I have a skunk out in the ravine that eats yours. You should smell the skunk skat from that. WOOF!

          • I’m not Warren Kinsella Emily, I’m GG.

            I need your help. I need to speak with Chief Spence and she said “Ciao.”

            You know what that means Emily, so please help me.

            I’ll fix you up with an Order of Canada. I’ve already checked and you’ll be the only one your street who has one.

        • I guarantee you no one on God’s green earth, much less the Canadian government, is going to interfere with remote FN communities cutting down trees to build houses. Guaranteed.

          • Reserves are Crown land…..and you can’t cut down trees on crown land.

            People are arrested for doing so. ‘Guarantee’ or not

    • Well good news Emily, she’s Ok but she’s pregnant.
      Apparently it wasn’t all sleep time when she sneeked off every afternoon to the Gitchi suite at the Chateau Laurier.

  2. EXTORTION seems to be the new FN ‘negotiation’ in Canada today. We need accountability!

  3. When did we start using titles in Canada? “Minister Baird,” “Chief Spence,” “Elder Whoeverheis,” “Police Chief Blair.” What happened to Mr. and Ms.?

    • You use the title people have….have always done so. Then the reader knows who you’re talking about.

      • Oh like when you say “Harp”?

    • It started when you demanded to be addressed as Sir, Sonny.

  4. This list of demands now involves provincial commitments as much as it does federal. It’s unbelievable that the NDP and Liberals would actually sign onto this document. Do these idiots have such short memories that they can’t remember the last time the NDP and Liberals publicly got together and signed a document for political expedience? The CPC will remind people about this every single day for the next decade.

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