The Governor General and Theresa Spence

by Aaron Wherry

The Governor General’s remarks to First Nations leaders this evening at Rideau Hall.

Without a doubt, there remains much hard work to be done. In a country as vast and diverse as Canada, our differences are many, and sometimes they can overshadow all that we have in commonas people. As mothers and fathers, as Elders and grandparents, sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles. As children.  

Our differences can also make it easy to forget that diversity is one of our country’s true strengths. I have always believed that our greatest potential lies in what we have yet to learn from each other, and I am confident that by working together in a spirit of respect, we can create the conditions in which Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can thrive equally, according to their hopes and dreams. And we know that we learn best with open minds. As I am fond of saying: minds, like parachutes, work best when open.

Mr. Johnston offered a “special welcome” to Chief Theresa Spence and expressed concern for the health of her, Raymond Robinson and Jean Sock. Chief Spence though apparently came away feeling disrespected and plans to continue her hunger strike.




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The Governor General and Theresa Spence

  1. It is a shame the GG didn’t quote from Mr. Macfarlane’s article about his actual powers being ALL symbolic and remind the chiefs that he will not interfere in any negotiations between FN and the government of Canada and neither will the Queen of England…but perhaps he told Ms. Spence that in private conversation and that is why she felt ‘disrespected’.

  2. And the Dormouse yelled TREACLE!

    • Dormouse Treacle ?????
      Elmo, you better slip over to Hertz and pick yourself up a new Time Machine.
      Both you and Big Chief No FN Invoices seem to be stuck at 6.00 o’clock.

    • Well, I think there are times when you have to take yes for an answer, although imperfect, declare victory and retire from the field of battle.

      • They’ve been listening to fine words for two centuries….and losing their kids.

        • How can you know what they’ve been “listening” to for two centuries?

          • Are you new here? Emily is omnipotent.

          • Skipped history class eh? Don’t follow the news? Never talked to a native?

            It’s not hard to sound omnipotent when you’re dealing with the ignorant.

          • Just a thought. With thousands of INM supporters on the streets protesting for better living conditions on reserves, it should be easy to find folks taking up residence in reserves and help out with the building of schools, teaching children and adults, growing their own food, go help chopping wood for winter etc. Sounds like the protesters are well schooled and know how to make it work. it`s one thing to talk, another to do. By the looks of the housing conditions, carpenters, drywallers,roofers, plumbers etc. wouldbe a great help to teach the native home owners how to repair their dwellings.

          • maybe the brand new vacant houses. Bring all materials up there on the winter roads. Get the skilled protesters hired for summer. Put up a few tents. 20 trades people should have that place in shape in no time. With over 1000 able bodied locals pitching in. There can be houses, schools, sweating lodge, all kinds of stuff built. Ready for teachers to arrange books, pencils, gym equipment, etc. Maybe even a recycling facility, green house, filtered water….endless opportunity.

          • The houses were for people already on the list. The winter road lasts for 2 months and everything brought in is very expensive.

            Then you have to pay the ‘builders’….and it will be a high wage as the place is isolated and northern. [HIring teachers is difficult for the same reason.] If you think 20 people can do it, you’re unaware of the special housing requirements…..place is muskeg. Sometimes frozen, sometimes not.

            You also need electricity, and running water and a sewage plant,

            And when all is said and done…..there are no jobs. There is no money. There is no future.

          • “The houses were for people already on the list’. The houses were vacant for two years waiting to be finished on the inside. Meanwhile the chief bought a zamboni worth $100K for a rec centre that wasn’t in operation and the people were in tents in winter.

          • The houses were moved up there last Jan on the winter road.

            The rest is about your refusal to acknowledge the situation…and so of no interest to me.

          • Huh????? These houses were built on the reserve. Did you never watch Adrienne Arsenault’s interview? If you aren’t going to educate yourself with the whole picture, then please stop correcting people. You don’t even know who the players are. All you are interested in is defending Ms. Spence. It is getting irritating.

          • It was on the news, doofus.

            And you’re not ‘irritated’, you’re nervous. All you Con white folks are.

          • Now you are saying your not a “white folk”?

          • I’ve said repeatedly there are no ‘races’. There is just one human race. We all have the same DNA.

          • So then WHY would you point out the distinctions whenever you get the opportunity and then later cry racism? Further, WHY do you mock people who are in professions that you don’t understand or apparently approve of. I personally don’t wear a cowboy hat but their are people who do wear one and they do ride a horse….on the job. Some are even FN people. So what? Why do you have to be so disapproving?

          • Because I’m talking to bunch of boneheads who think skin colour matters.

            People who think skin colour determines IQ and character.

            Hell there are people on here who insist on calling FN ‘Indians’ when they are not from India.

            In fact many of the racists on here claim to be ‘christian’.

          • Sorry Emily but even the thought of having the same DNA as you would turn the Celtic aura of my blood, to effluent.

            You might be related to Chief No FN Invoices and you might be related to Jack Layton and George Smitherman and to the entire Monkey Island at the Metro Zoo, but you’re not related to me Stinky.

          • Blog, thmp thmp thmp; blog, thmp thmp thmp

            It’s too bad your pal, Chief No FN Invoices, is so stubborn. The Lobster Thermador at Rideau Hall (Home of GG) is “fabulous.”

          • Yes, and I noticed it right away. He’s come to the conclusion in his own mind that he’s one of those eminent divines who diffuse profundity in all subjects of human or celestial science.

            I figure If he wasn’t an atheist and could only learn to leave himself alone, he’d likely go a long way.

          • Still fun to engage with her, seeing how far she’s willing to go. Not too far yet today. EmilyOne is better known for going off the deep end before she calls it quits. Not unlike Chief Spence.

        • Sorry I was only referring to Chief Spence, who got big summit with the PM. and a meeting with the GG, both big concessions, and should end the hunger strike, leave the island and go back to work at home. She won! She’s had a big impact on history. Great work.

          • That wouldn’t change anything though.

          • See, J.W.: some are just never satisfied.

        • So scrap the Indian Act, get government out of the oppressive micro management of their lives.

          • Good idea….Harper wants to keep it

          • BS!

          • If you’re determined to get into fights about something HI….make sure you’re armed first.

            ‘No plan to repeal Indian Act

            The chiefs and the federal government disagreed Tuesday over what should be done with the Indian Act, the law that governs their relationship.

            Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the gathering that the act is too
            entrenched to get rid of entirely, and the government won’t repeal or
            unilaterally rewrite the act.’

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/01/24/pol-crown-first-nations-tuesday.html

          • Just because it is “to entrenched to get rid of entirely and the government won’t repeal it or unilaterally rewrite the act”, doesn’t mean that Harper WANTS to keep it. He is already proposing changes so that all the bands have more freedom over their lands and resources….the ability to lease their lands without any government approval. The traditionalists don’t want the changes, the modernists FN’S do. People are saying the PM is shoving this changes down the FN’S throats. Do you honestly believe he could ‘unilaterally scrap the act’ and get consensus from the FN’s chiefs to do so? Maybe you should write a letter to the Queen if you think she has that power and the willingness to exercise it and she would jump into the fray and scrap the act on your say so. Let the fun begin!

          • Oh well lets get into Harper’s secret thoughts, about whether he ‘really really wants’ to keep it or whether he’s using it as a cudgel. LOL

            Do you honestly believe you make any sense?

            Yer just talking through your cowboy hat.

          • I believe the change in FN land use was part of the omnibus bill…not exactly the PM’s “secret thoughts” if you table it in Parliament. Are you having a hard time distinguishing between reality and “secret thoughts”?

          • LOL it’s you claiming to know his ‘secret thoughts’ not me.

            I don’t know what he thinks….I doubt he does.

  3. Aw the poor stunned thing felt disrespected; isn’t that a biotch?

    So she’s going around telling everyone she was pesonally dissed by the Governor General. Why the goofy muddled woman has no perspective. Even if it is true.

    From my own male point of view it would be like having Heidi Klum kick me out the door at 4 in the morning, screaming that I’m no good in bed.

  4. Maybe the GG should have read her the book on hunger strikes instead, you know the one which outlines what not to eat……………..

  5. You can actually dilute the quality of a movement when a weak, incompetent and unstable character like Spence seizes control of the story. And to make matters worse many of the the publicity-seekers within the aborginal community have chosen this ill-fitting character as their new hero. The fact that many of the moderate, and useful voices like Atleo and Matthew CC are not the voices that the media want to cover means that the public now have a lower opinion of the Native community than they did a month ago.

    There are many clear thinking anti- Conservatives on these pages who have chosen to say nothing about this spectacle, for whatever reason. The problem is that when you leave an unstable character like the regular troll on this blog to constantly spout her bizarre comments then your silence gives her some undeserved credibility.
    To a larger extent the relative silence from the likes of Mulcair and Rae and Trudeau seems to encourage the behavior of Spence and her extreme followers and will destroy any goodwill the public feels toward the moderates like Atleo and Matthew in the Native community.

  6. It’s quite clear in my mind that the plight of Chief Spence must remain in the spotlight. Her unreasonable demands added to her unreasonable behaviour do make a good match for the unreasonable demands and unreasonable behaviour of the INM movement.

    This struggle is one in the becoming between the reasonable versus the unreasonable people living within our societies. Looking in from such perspective I cannot reasonably assume that the reasonable people will win in the end since unreasonable people tend to follow more blindly than do the reasonable ones.

    So far I have seen a lot of blind following.

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