Theresa Spence’s winning streak

Tease the day: Attawapiskat chief’s hunger strike gains allies and makes headlines

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

CP/Cole Burston

Theresa Spence’s hunger strike didn’t immediately capture Canada’s attention. Spence, the Attawapiskat First Nation’s chief, announced her strike on Dec. 10. She’s demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of the Crown, and she wants the government to respect her people’s treaty rights. At the time, when only a handful out newspapers gave Spence’s demands any ink, I called it a “lonely fight.” What a difference a few weeks makes.

Spence’s hunger strike, which is now in its third week, galvanized the larger Idle No More protests—or #idlenomore, if you’ve been watching Twitter—that have sprouted across Canada. No one’s dared dismiss the movement as fleeting. Spence was front-page news in this morning’s Globe and Mail, which predicted that the growing “attitude of defiance” on First Nations “suggests this could be a long year of conflict between the government and indigenous people.”

It’s now fashionable for ambitious politicians to defend Spence. Liberal leadership hopefuls have voiced support for the hunger strike—Justin Trudeau in person over the holidays, and Marc Garneau by way of a letter to the prime minister. Adam Beach, a Saulteaux actor who stars in CBC’s Arctic Air, also visited Spence on Victoria Island. The Globe described the mood around her as “celebratory,” even as she consumes only water, medicinal tea and fish broth.

A lonely fight? Not even close.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the continuing “fiscal cliff” stalemate in Washington, D.C. The National Post fronts a look back at the poisonous politics surrounding pipelines in 2012 (not online). The Toronto Star goes above the fold with federal Liberal efforts to use the ongoing leadership campaign as a data-gathering exercise. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a Syrian general’s defection to the rebel side. iPolitics fronts potential drug-supply issues posed by a voluntary federal “drug notice” policy. CBC.ca leads with the massive snowstorm that hit eastern Canada. National Newswatch showcases Lawrence Martin’s iPolitics column that looks back at each federal party’s successes in 2012.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Border dispute. Machias Seal Island, a rocky outcropping in the Bay of Fundy claimed by both Canada and the United States, is home to lobster fishermen from both countries. 2. Libyan fighters. Several men who were beaten and tortured fighting for the rebel side in the recent Libyan conflict, including Ayoub Badi, are in Toronto receiving medical care.
3. E. Coli. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was unable to find the source of E. Coli contamination in recalled meat distributed by an Ontario company that made five people sick. 4. Sesquicentennial. Planning for Canada’s 150th birthday has barely started at federal departments, a late start some critics say needs to turn around immediately.




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Theresa Spence’s winning streak

  1. combination weight lose diet and hunger rolled it to one..probably do her good

    • So much for being civilized.

      • Hi Emily… I don’t even bother arguing with these people. They don’t get it at all .. plain and simple. We could talk until we are blue in the face. I am an Algonquin descendant and have both lived and witnessed the pain and injustice. It is sad that the haters are so blind to any of the issues. I am focusing on the plight. I no longer choose to waste any energy on trying to enlighten hardened hearts. If they could only see that this is about the land too. Thank you for your passion here. I hear yah !!!

        • Well if we’d kicked these assholes to the curb over a century ago……! Grrr!

          Blinded by the greenbacks they don’t care about the land much less the people.

          But you’re not alone….here’s something I read from S Africa the other day….

          ‘When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land.

          They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.’

          Desmond Tutu

          Hang in there……

  2. There is more to life than looks Jonny Rotten, those who make negative comments on-line are cowards come to a rally or a flash mob round dance in the malls and make those same comments. Or better yet I challenge you to research history and see if you are not directly affected by bill c45 or #idlenomore. Ignorance only perpetuates ignorance I educated my self therefore I believe that I earned the right to have my voice published. That goes for all the un-educated opinions on the other sites. Taking one post secondary Native Studies class does not consider you educated enough to fathom this discussion. Please note that the Canadian Curriculum is biased towards the Canadian government you dont learn the events that really took place until you reached post secondary level of Native Studies. that is when you gain the isight and become aware of the issues at hand. Or you could attend a teach in perhaps. Just think about it I wouldn’t comment on issues that pertain to nuro surgens, I am not educated in that field!!

    • Oh, so the Canadian Curriculum is biased towards the Canadian government, but Native Studies courses are completely pure and untouched by any prejudice? LOL that’s a good one!!!!

      But it’s very enlightening to know that you don’t believe opposing opinions should be allowed to be voiced, because they’re not as “educated” as you.

      How many years of education does a person need, in your view, to realize that the current system has been horribly broken for a very very long time? What has the culture of dependency that’s been forced on FN’s accomplished? What reason does anybody have to think that more of the status quo will suddenly produce a different result?

      • Yes when It comes to Native Studies and dealing discussing or addressing the real issues in the classroom. It happens to be the only curriculum that has not been renewed in most provinces. Also in most schools Native Studies only goes to Grade 10, not to mention most schools hand the course to someone who has taken the course once but has not majored in it to teach the young minds. The thing with this type of discussion never get results it only creates more anger in both parties because the issues are not adressed on personal level. The level will depend on what you can offer in this type of discussions if you can bring a fact and support it with documentation then perhaps you have done your job.

        • Maybe the problem is that Native Studies is a course in the first place. I don’t recall ever having to have a complete class dedicated to understanding the Jews, or Chinese cultures, but we seem to get along just fine, because we all deal with each other as people, not people of a “certain” status.

          Your theory seems to be that people just haven’t been properly indoctrinated with the myth that Native’s are “different” and need to be treated “special”. Well that’s just plain BS. Yes, FNs have been through some terrible crap, but so have blacks in the US, Jews in Europe, Mennonite’s, Muslim’s, the list goes on.

          It’s only Native’s that WANT to be perpetual victims. That said, only in Canada are we stupid enough to entertain the idea that somehow because somebodies granddad was in a residential school, that’s the root cause that MADE that guy rob a gas station.

          Can you imagine a judge not laughing a Jewish criminal out of court for attributing his criminal behavior to the fact that his grand father was killed in the holocaust? It would be the dumbest defense ever, but in Canada if a Native uses the same excuse, it’s taken very seriously.

          The myth that Native’s can’t function in regular Canadian society is a myth that is passed along entirely by Native’s, not mainstream Canadians.

          It’s long, LONG past time that FN leaders start taking responsibility for their communities, and demanding the same of their residents. Until that day comes, no amount of money, sharing circles, conferences, or land will ever give your people what they want.

          • Well the thing is and what I find that the general population has a difficult time understanding that you are on First Nation Soil. This is our home land that was agreed to be shared with your ancestors. I can trace my ancestors prior to contact. My great great grand father request river to river land as he understood that the population would rise amongst our people again, which unfortunately our people were only given a third of his request. his request is written in history and not most curriculums cover First Nations perspectives. The thing was I use to allow society to make me believe that First Nations shouldn’t have the right to have a “voice to be heard”. It wasn’t until I started to research my history in my community then I realized how the government worked so hard to keep First Nations down still to this day they spend billions on education to educate their version of history when they have documentation in archives that contradict what is written in mainstream history. Not to mention billions are spent on law cases in regards to lands and resources. When the land was surrendered or stolen as it was in most of British Columbia the rights to resources were not surrendered. The genreal public is not allowed to see what the government profits from the resources but they make sure to educate mainstream society on how much they spent to aid “The Indian Problem” as sir Duncan Scott states I challenge you to research your history and see if bill C 45 does not affect you. The main point is this land is all I know being First Nations is not a problem, It hurts to see how so much will comment and write about First Nations being problems to society on a financial perspective. With the same breath disregard that they have played a role in oppressing First Nations people in Canada.

          • Native Studies programs for the most part just teach that we are all human beings and that we live in a contractual society. The Treaties are contracts. They are no different than a contract giving me a sum of money for my house and lot.I get the benefit of the money and the buyer gets the benefit of the house. Native Studies programs emphasize the fact that the sellers deserve the benefits of the contract just as much as the buyers do.

          • Its the interpretation of these contracts that’s at issue.

    • Kisakow:

      Actually it is neurosurgeons.

      Anyway, from what you have learned, what would you recommend?

    • that’s neuro surgeons

  3. Liberals pandering for votes………..quelle surprise!

    • Cons, on the other hand, don’t want any votes. They’ll be quite happy to be tossed out of office.

  4. How about “Parasite No More”? It has a catchy ring to it and would be overwhelmingly embraced by the majority of Canadians. Leave my kids to starve and be assaulted, no more. Selfishly continue my addiction to the detriment of my culture, no more. Use the victimization crutch instead of taking personal responsibility, no more.
    See, it’s easy if you try folks.

    • Or YOU could live up to your contractual obligations and not let people freeze and starve in an advanced wealthy country. The one you took from them.

      • $70k per family for that reserve is more than enough. What the council does with the money is where it falls apart. As for “took the land”, just because you chase deer from one lake to another does not mean you “own” the land. If you had a settlement or worked the land, that’s a different legal conversation.
        Your Native Studies course from the U of Uninformed is showing.

        • You have no idea how much it costs, or what they’re getting, or what they don’t have.

          It also doesn’t matter whether you like the deal, or you’re tripping over your racism……the treaties are legal contracts, and part of the constitution.

          And you wouldn’t have anything that you do without that land.

          So live up to your legal obligations, and watch your mouth.

          • Actually, it’s $34m/yr for the reserve with 2000 residents. Do the math. 3 Chiefs and 19 councillors. A bloody joke.

            Why is it that someone like yourself who has great difficulty with the basic arguments to support a position jump the the “racist” card right away? You and many like yourself need to brush up on the various signed treaties and understand what they actually say from a legal perspective, not what you interpret them to say 150 yrs later.

            Come back when you have an actual defense of your position instead of the rantings of a parrot from the Occupy movement.

          • We all know what you are.

            A Con would uphold contracts. And the law.

            A Christian would feed and house them.

            A Canadian would do all those things.

            So again, you have no idea….you are merely being racist.

          • Please bother someone else now.

          • I see you can dish out hate, but can’t handle the truth….like all racists.

          • The only haters are on the left, and on the take.

          • It was CHRISTIANS who started the down slide of Indian people by taking away their religion.

          • I should have been clearer….I meant real Christians who follow Jesus and love their neighbour and would feed and clothe them, not the fake christians of the Con party who are into the smiting and genocide of the old testament., and who just want to snoop into what everyone is doing in their bedroom.

          • A true Canadian would accept a 15 per cent tax hike on every household to improve reserve conditions. If not, he is merely being racist.

          • Whereas you’re racist without taxes.

          • What does this mean, exactly? I have never met you so I am not sure how you make this judgement. I am from Haiti but I do pay taxes.

          • You suggested that if Canadians didn’t want to accept a 15% tax hike, they should be considered racist.

            I said you were being racist even without the tax hike.

          • The racist card has been played so often it has no effect. Its simply become an ad hominem way to close down logical argument. If you want to convince someone of your point of view, calling them a racist on the basis of one statement online is not going to help. I had some sympathy for the movement, but it is fading fast.

          • Until the world is free of racism, there will be racists ….who are called racists…. the ‘meaninglessness’ of the ‘race card’ is a tired old gimmick you should be ashamed of.

          • WRONG – You should be ashamed of it. You pull it out every 5 minutes like every other leftoid lunatic in the country.

            The race card, it’s the filthiest left wing falsehood in the book.

          • Circular logic. Like I said, I support some activities of Idle No More, but supporters of the movement do Idle No More no favors by insulting anyone who disagrees with aspects of it or asks difficult questions. I am beginning to think maybe you are some online agent provocateur.

          • Idle No More doesn’t depend on, or care about your approval.

            And you do yourself and the Cons no favour by being racist.

            Hey, I’ve been called the anti-christ….an agent provocateur is piffle. LOL

          • Idle No More’s support from the general public will remain marginal and will decline if so called supporters like you continue to alienate potential support. If you are in fact a supporter, you betray your own cause by alienating potential allies because of your anger and rush to judgement.

          • How many times do you have to be told?

          • Wow. I rest my case. to paraphrase an old saying: if the movement has friends like these, who needs enemies?

          • Oh…are your feelings hurt?

            Gosh….that’s too bad.

            Yawn.

          • People like you will assure Idle No More remains a marginal movement if you continue to alienate potential supporters such as myself. What does Idle No More care about, if not public support, then do they actually court public alienation? I am beginning to think so.

          • I repeat….no one cares whether you approve or not.

            This isn’t some popularity contest ya know.

            FNs have treaties and constitutional protection.

          • EmilyOne:
            Are any of these treaties on the Internet? I would be interesting in reading one.

          • Our govt is still in the quill and parchment stage of communication, so I don’t know if they are or not. Wikipedia is more reliable.

          • Emily: OK, what is the link on wikipedia?

          • EmilyOne:

            Thanks for this.

            I found the first link the best in terms of explaining what was signed.

            It has a picture of the treaty document plus the actual text. Treaty 9 which includes Attiwapiskat was signed over a number of years (1905 to 1930) by different bands in the area.

            One thing I picked up was the Cree Chief (who was blind) was very interested in education and at the signing ceremony made quite a speech to the younger Indians to take advantage of this.

            These original treaties were useful for setting up the boundaries of the Reserves which were surveyed by the Crown. They did not begin to cover mineral rights, health care etc. because these were not issues at the time.

          • Yeah I remember one squabble over the old phrase ‘medicine bundle’….something guaranteed to each native in the treaty, but no one could decide what it meant today

            The whites said it meant a ‘first aid kit’….the natives said it meant healthcare

          • You remember it do you? What year was that?

          • In B. C., different first nations claim lands other first nations also claim. There’s many overlapping claims. First, these overlapping claims have to be sorted out. Then, the general claims. How do you decide which first nation owned which area of land when there are no written documents because there was no reading and writing at the time? Oral history? Also overlaps. These are some major problems with these contracts.

          • Well we’ve had a couple of centuries to do it.

          • Who is “we?” I am only 25 yrs. old

          • ‘We’ in this case means ‘Canadians.’ As you well know.

            I’m afraid history didn’t begin a week ago last Tuesday….or just in your lifetime.

            You inherit all the good and the bad things about Canada.

          • King Lear expressed it much more effectively, “When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools”

            Unfortunately Emily none of us are born figuring that you would be sitting here.

          • The lady I fear, protesteth too much (to quote hamlet)

          • The basic thing I am saying is that many first nations can’t agree with one another on their own land claims. That means there are major problems with these claims.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • The overlapping land claims have all been made within the past 25 years.

          • No, they haven’t.

            They’ve just changed the land claim process. I think 110% of BC has been claimed. LOL

        • Actually it does mean that. If your people have hunted and followed migrations for a thousand years or more, that is as convincing of ownership as any piece of paper it is “working the land”, One problem as I see it is that there is no real native leadership. The Federal government dictated the lives of Indian people for over a hundred years. They ran the reserves with a Colonial system an Indian Agent, an Education person, a financial person and so on. The Colonial bosses answered to no one.Then in the space of twenty years turned most matters over to local bands. This resulted in almost no change. A new class of Neo-Colonials took over the reserves. The Indian Agent was replaced by the Chief, the Education councilor by the Education administrator and so on. The Neo-colonials also answer to no one.

          • Ed:
            Yes, I would like to see a chain of command on the FN side. Lets say you have a FN Chief for all Canada, a Chief for each Province, Regional Chiefs and Chief’s of each Reserve.

            We agree on a budget and we give it to the various Reserves. There are targets for roads, houses, schools, utilities etc. But the reserves do not report to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, they report to their own chain of command who monitor their expenditures and progress. If a Reserve spends their budget but still has no housing or utilities, then they take up the problem with the respective Chiefs who may have to move money from one Reserve to another.

            I think this is what they want. Well we should give it to them.

          • Provide one instance where there has been a legal precedent for land which was not developed. Do not include where there was a settlement even part of the year, and do not include land that the natives were relocated to.
            You can’t.

      • When was the last time you read one of those treaties? And I mean an actual treaty, not some fantasy treaty posted up on Wikipedia.

        And on top of that have you ever had a look at the taxpayer paid house that Theresa Spence lives in? Probably not, the CBC doesn’t want you to see it.

        How come Theresa Spence has been all this time on a hunger strike and she hasn’t lost a pound? Has the band council been sneaking her a few orders of Lobster Flambe from the midnight take out at the Chateau Laurier?

        • Don’t even bother with this idiot. Obviously she’s one of those who stand on the sidewalk yelling at all the phantom racists that occupy her mind. A real product of her environment.

          • You can’t do math, you know nothing about costs, you know nothing about contracts or the law….you’re certainly not a christian, nor are you Canadian…..but you’re complaining that I called you racist?

            Ooooh poor baby

            LOL

          • EO is just your typical Leftard, gazing out of the window of her nicely upholstered accommodations in some psych ward typing away on her keyboard.

        • I continue to be amazed at what you expect from aboriginal leaders that you don’t expect from the white ones. There is poverty, homelessness, and sickness in every jurisdiction of this nation, yet you don’t expect the prime minister and premiers to live in a tent until all is fixed, do you? You don’t expect harper to stop guzzling Big Gulps until everyone in Canada has a full belly, do you? Chief Spence shows she is willing to suffer herself in order to make a point for her people — yet I cannot think of any premiers or the pm or cabinet who has done any such thing. Shame on you; hatred blinds you to reality.

          • But Theresa has been given almost $100 Million over the last 5 years to look after 350 families. I understand she has some limitations on how to spend the money but in the end we have substandard homes, schools, utilities and roads.
            Its not like the government has not been trying to help here.

          • What point is she making, that’s the question.

        • I must have missed her daily public weigh-ins. You do have documented proof to back up your accusations, right? Or are you just pulling derogatory slurs out of your ass?

          • Well I saw a picture of her sitting in her tent talking to Justine and she looks to me like a 300 pound Sumo Wrestler.

            So, if you think she’s wasting away why don’t you have some medicine man weigh her up and give us a report?

            But It looks to me as if they’ve been putting a ham bone or two in with her fish broth.

          • So you are just making unfounded accusations and derogatory insults. Thought as much.

            Ironically, you are singlehandedly increasing public support for Chief Spence and the Idle No More movement. Funny how trolling works.

      • Did you know that 70-80% of the residents of some reserves near where I exist are constantly PILLED OUT? $500 for an 80mg, Percocet.

        • If you lived there, you’d probably be on pills too.

          Lots of people are….all colours. Rush Limbaugh, movie stars, singers….lots of em.

          • I didn’t realize it was hip and trendy to snort percs.

          • Focus Hietapakka…. stop misquoting me.

          • What about your buddy Anderson Pooper, yesterday he had a girl after him?

        • Those are some specific numbers. Please provide your verifiable source.

      • Me? I took a country from somebody? I was born in 1964, in Kamloops and am one eighth native. So maybe the seven eighths that isn’t native is letting my one eighth freeze and starve??? I need bigger mittens.

        • Everybody is willing to accept the good things from the past, but nobody wants to accept the obligations.

          • What would you know about?
            Is that your lame-brain opinion of 7 billion people?

    • This seems unkind. I can see the “Vote Harper” sign on your lawn for the next election.

      • It might be unkind, but he’s saying that an overall judgement re”everybody” is a logical fallacy without evidence. He’s just saying it in an unkind way. Maybe he is a conservative. I don’t care. I just look at the argument, not the person.

  5. This is really sad. So many people with ignorant minds & attitudes. Yet they dont realize that this too will affect them, in what we call a ripple effect. All the protected lakes, rivers, are virtually unprotected now, so we have left ourselves open to all sorts of pollution to our drinking waters, food out of water & lands. & yet the ignorant are thinking this doesnt affect them?
    As for our lands being raped & pillaged, the government has being doing that for way too long. The diamond mines, potash mines, sand & gravel mines & any other mines that i am missing, belong to the natives, not the government, the forests are being levelled, before they are given back & people complain about natives & no taxes paid & such. But just to clear the air, I am native, I live on reserve, I pay taxes on employment earned, things being boughten & yes i cant take a loan out on my house to fix the roof, because the land is not worth any value. Wow, is all i can say, because the government finds tons of value in our resources, uses them, then wants to kick us out too? Doesnt work like that!
    If you leased your land to another farmer, you sure would expect him to take care of that land too, wouldnt you? If there was inappropriate actions being done, or taken on that land, would you not intervene? You sure would! I know you would.
    Thats what we are doing. Taking actions on his inappropriate actions. He is tearing up the lands, without any due care to the protected species, or waters, or lands.
    Perhaps we need to go to his backyard & start tearing it up? See how he feels. Sorry, i momently forgot that he doesnt have any feelings, maybe he doesnt even have a heart? & in all truth & honesty, i wouldnt be able to do that anyways, because it is against every bone in my body to hurt our mother. To her, we come from & in the end, we go into her.
    Next time you drink water, think about how it comes from her & how she is being abused.

    • CreeTinaFisher, I agree with all you say here.

      I totally support Theresa Spence, she is a true leader of men.

      It is so unfortunate that she has to attempt to kill herself to get heard, and I hope Harper sees her soon.

      I also support the “The Idle No More movement” against bill C-45. Bill C-45 is an attack on all Canadians, and will benefit the corporations who elect whichever party gets the Prime Ministers chair after the next and the next etc election, including Justin Trudeau.

      You say; “I wouldn’t be able to do that anyways, because it is against every bone in my body to hurt our mother. To her, we come from & in the end, we go into her.”

      That is a beautiful statement of respect and self-awareness.

      • More a true chief living in luxury on the backs of her own people

        • It’s tempting to generalize like that and say all Chiefs are corrupt. There will be some corruption in the leadership, but there “may” be some corruption in our Canadian politicians as well.
          Theirs is not an easy existence, and the concerns they raise are valid.

  6. Instead of listening to Chief Honey Boo Boo, try interviewing the THOUSANDS of young natives who have split from these wilderness paradises to flood into places like Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Blunder Bay(now 20% native). Ask them what they think of their Chiefies and Admins.

    • Who are you to talk down about native people? If you don’t like being surrounded by us, move to Germany or some other country that’s mainly Caucasian. Sorry we are trying to protect our land from being sold and destroyed. Your children (hoping you have none because I feel sorry for them already) will thank us for what we’re doing. They will have a chance to live in a healthy environment. We protect the treaty = we protect land and water where our reservations are and surroundings.

  7. Houses in the High Arctic, only last for 5 to 8 years. The heat from the houses melts the perma-frost. The under floorboards rot. Mold overtakes the entire house, because of the damp. It costs $200,000 to build a shack up there. Mike Holmes said. The houses were crap to begin with. The food costs, hydro, and heat, are ten times our cost. Food costs in the U.S. are going up 6%. That means Canada’s food costs will go up 10 to 12%. Canada has the highest cost of living. in all of the America’s. Guess what Harper says about that? NOTHING!!!

    Chief Spence did offer her books. Does Harper offer his? Did Harper really need a, stupid $1 billion fake lake? How about, $50 million to buy a riding with gazebos? How about, $3 million, for just one Ministers plane fares. $1 million, to fly Harper armored cars around the world. $1,300 for luxury hotel suites, enjoyed by all the Cons, including Flaherty and McKay. Bev Oda was far from the only one, abusing our tax dollars. Harper and his Cons thefts and waste of our tax dollars, is obscene. Harper gives billions of our tax dollars to, corrupt greedy banks, mines, big business and his favorite charity, big oil. He steals from us, to give to the wealthiest outfits in the world. The list of the abuse of our tax dollars is, three football fields long. Harper started out, with a $13 billion surplus. Harper has Canada in the worst debt, in the recorded history of this country.

    We did enough evil dirt to the F.N. people. They have been asking for changes in, the archaic Indian act, that came with the Ark. Their education system so crappy, their kids can’t even go on to a higher education. We need to help the F.N. with jobs and industry, so they can become more self sufficient. The F.N. deserve our help, not our hate.

    • Well, here’s a crazy thought … DON’T LIVE THERE!

      Nobody is forcing anyone to live in such an inhospitable environment. If you place a high priority on living on your ancestral land, thats cool, but you have to live off the land like your ancestors did. If you want the comfort and convenience of modern living – things like housing, electricity, plumbing, vehicles and cell phones – thats also cool, but you have to pick your ass up and move to where they’re readily available.

      You can’t have it both ways. Pick a side and stick to it.

      • Right. The F.N. could choose their reserves, as long as that land wasn’t needed, for our own settlements. The F.N. didn’t need reserves until we came along. We took their way if life away from them. We forced their children, into evil Residential Schools. They were denied their language, their culture and their beliefs. They were physically abused, emotionally abused, sexually abused, and even murdered. Those schools were like, a Nazi Concentration Camp. They never knew, when they would be next. Those kids came away with PTSD, from extreme abuse. I would drink and use drugs too, if I was forced to endure, what those poor F.N. kids endured.

        The land the F.N. had “picked”…perhaps had resource riches. The F.N. were cheated out of those resources as well as, not permitted to have the jobs, on their own g.d. lands. That is still true, to this day.

        People like you, make me sick. You had better pray, Canada isn’t in a takeover. Your kids could be taken away from you, forced into schools to dehumanize them. You may have the same Human rights, our F.N. people have.
        Why don’t you pick a better location, for Chief Spence and her people then.

        • Okay, that was a fairly incoherent rant.

          However, my point was perhaps not as clear as it could have been. I was not suggesting that a new location for the reserve should be found. My point was that, unlike a 100+ years ago, nobody is actually legally required to live on a reserve. There’s a whole big world out there and it’s full of opportunity to anyone who wants to step outside of their comfort zone and work hard to make a better life for themselves.

          I understand that many FN people are reluctant to leave their communities and their families to seek a better life. So are most other people! And yet for centuries, people of all backgrounds have been picking up and moving themselves (and in some cases their families) to where there are better opportunities. Whether that means jobs, education or better hunting grounds, it’s not a new concept.

          Today FN people have an enviable list of opportunities to do just that. No other ethnic group has a comparable list of scholarships, grants, bursaries, or preferential hiring policies. All they have to do is stop bitching and get going.

          If they’re not willing to do anything to help themselves – well, I’m afraid my sympathy is somewhat limited.

          • it takes more of your stupidity, to figure out? F.N. people are the last ones, to be hired for any jobs. The F.N. school program is so crappy, they can’t even go on to a higher education. They need change. How many years do they have to ask for this? That old Indian Act, came with the Ark. People like you do say they are bitching, which is expected. They need their kids to be educated, so they can help their own people.

            They don’t even get the jobs, on their own g.d. land. What part of that, don’t you get? They cannot pick up and move to better hunting grounds. Their reserves are where they stay, unless they are fortunate enough, to have a white mans job. They are treated like dirt, get it? They just don’t get our jobs.

            Some bands in BC are doing wonders for their people. They are fortunate to have land, they can turn into an industry. Their hurdles are a hell of a lot harder than ours. However, they are doing it band by band. This province supports the F.N. people. We are damned grateful, they watch out for this provinces eco systems. We owe them.

            Instead of insults and calling the F.N. no good Indians, among other vile names. Support them and help them to become more self sufficient. Fight for a better education for their kids.

            You are a total brain dead idiot. You help the F.N. to help themselves.

    • “Houses in the High Arctic, only last for 5 to 8 years.”

      Only if they’re not taken care of.

      Failure to do basic maintenance, not to mention deliberate trashing of the house, is the reason houses do not last.

      And if Holmes says they’re crap, the ‘first nations’ in question should convert themselves to municipalities under the jurisdiction of the provincial governments so that provincial regulations can be applied (eg- building codes).

      But instead the chiefs hop around trying to pretend that they’re sovereign leaders of real countries.

      • You absolute twit. Government idiots built those houses of crap. I doubt most of that money even went into houses. Mike Holmes said, those shacks were crap to begin with. He said. The houses sink into the perma-frost. Sink, get it? It was the brain dead idiots, who didn’t do the job properly. Probably didn’t give a damn if they didn’t do it right. G.D. idiots who set the houses on the perma-frost. You send the people a message in Attawapiskat, and tell them your brilliant idea, of how you maintain houses buried in perma-frost.

        Chief Spence offered her books. Has Harper ever done that? Not on your Nelly. What other P.M. would be stupid enough, to sell their country to Communist China. Not even another Communist country, would be stupid enough

        • The one Chiefy lives in is a double wide. Looks OK to me. Would run 60 or 70 thousand down here.
          Tell her not to put a pool in though. There won’t be any place to park the Zamboni

          • Even in deepest darkest Africa. The African people are being helped, to be able to help themselves. Canada just hasn’t figured that one out yet. You expect the F.N. to become more self sufficient, without the tools to do so. Their education program is so crappy, their kids can’t even go on to a higher education. How in the hell can they compete for jobs, with an education program, that is as old as the Ark? Chief Spence is asking for changes, in the old Indian Act. She can do nothing for the kids, the way things are. They do want their kids, to have a better life than they had. Their kids want to get out of there, so they can have a better life with a future.

            We support our F.N. in this province. They are doing wonders for their people, band by band. They help us too.

            Don’t you dare even mention, about the F.N. having better housing. A double wide trailer?? Whoopeee. Why can’t Chief Spence put in a, $1 billion dollar stupid fake lake, as Harper did?

            Did Harper need, a $1 billion dollar fake lake, do you rally think? How about his $1 million wasted, to fly his armored cars around with him? Is he really hated that badly? Yes he is, pretty much anywhere he goes. He gets booed in Canada every time he goes out in the public. That’s why he doesn’t go out among the people. How about, $3 million in one year, for just one ministers plane fare? How about the, $1,300 hotel luxury suites, enjoyed by all of the Ministers, including Flaherty? Bev Oda is far from the only Minister that pulled that stunt. How about, $50 million to buy a riding with gazebos? The list of the tax abuses of Harper and his Cons, is three football fields long. The Harper government, has the most obscene waste of our tax dollars, in the recorded history of this Nation.

            The F.N. people are Canadians too. They sent their sons to war, right alongside my own brothers. Canada didn’t even have the decency, to recognize the F.N. for their war service. We don’t have one damned thing to be proud of. We did enough dirt to those people.

    • Hinotes:
      I wonder if the FNs should continue living on Reserves where the ground is breaking up under them. Would they not be better off moving to a Reserve with more substantial ground?

      • And? What land would that be? As I said. The F.N. could pick their reserves, unless, we wanted it for our own settlements. They were cheated out of their resources, for absolute decades.

        On the Canadian Prairies. Many immigrant family’s would have perished, if not for the F.N. people. Many came, with just their lives. They had no clue, how bitterly cold the Prairies are in winter. The F.N. hunted, Moose, Deer and Elk for them. They gave them smoked fish and dried berries. Instead of those immigrants, wearing gunny sacks for winter boots. The F.N. made them fur lined moccasins, fur jackets and mitts. Made them fur robes for blankets. Made them sleighs and cut firewood for them.

        We righteous s.o.b’s, have the utter audacity, to call F.N. people down and treat them like dirt? I really feel sorry for people like you. F.N. people were not disrespected, in those old Prairie homes. F.N. were always welcome for a meal.
        They would be loaded down with vegetables, chickens, eggs, and what ever they could load on their, dog team sleighs. Those F.N. people were, good, decent and kind people. Shame on all of you.

        • I as not sure whose side you are on.

          Do you think the people at Attiwapiskat should be forced to live on melting tundra or do you think we should help them move somewhere else ?

          • I mean? If the Attawapiskat people wanted to move, that’s fine with me. I just don’t know where they could be moved to? We know there is still crown land. F.N. people are very attached to their lands. Chief Spence and her people, would have to make such a decision. Harper would have to approve of that too. Of course. I wouldn’t want them forced off their land. I would like to see Chief Spence and her people, having options and choices.

            I want Chief Spence and her people, to be respected and listened to. I want their children, to have the same breaks our kids have. In a country such as Canada? No-one should be treated as the F.N. are. We are the intruders. This country, rightfully belongs to the F.N. people.

          • Hinotes:

            I think the Dept of Indian Affairs should be taking a leadership role in making proposals for moving people living on dysfunctional reserves.

            Probably the first choice for them is to move to another Reserve that is functioning well. Here’s one that sounds pretty good http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/01/24/sk-whitecap-dakota-120124.html

            Anyway, the government would do all the leg work to see if the other Reserve would be interested and prepare a deal where the government would pay their moving costs etc. The tribe would still retain their mineral rights with DeBeers etc. Some people may want to stay, and that would be fine too.

            The other deal would be to set them up with more land that is closer to social services and jobs and help them relocate there. Again the government would do all the leg work

            I think we must consider the young people and look 20 years out. I think there is no future for young people at Attiwapiskat even if we fix the utilities and housing. It seems like good money after bad, if all the young people have after graduation is inhaling gas out in the woods.

          • I agree with what you say. However, Harper refuses to even speak with Chief Spence. Whether they want to move to another reserve or not? I don’t know? Their cost of living is outrageous. I don’t really see a future for the people living in Attawapiskat. I don’t see a better life for their children either. I just don’t see any way, to generate any industry for Chief Spence and her people, way up there? But, what do I know? I don’t live there.

            I have no right to say, what Chief Spence and her people should do? They certainly want some changes. However, Harper refuses to hear Chief Spence out. She does deserve that courtesy and respect.

          • I think a lot of the people at Attiwapiskat think like you and I (see http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1308471–attawapiskat-it-hasn-t-changed-in-decades-i-don-t-think-it-ever-will ) but it is really hard to get out of the place if young people try it on their own.

            I am simply suggesting that the government generate some options for them to give the transition a better probability of success. I don’t think the government is doing that, they are just sitting there making the reserves beg for more money.

    • Hinotes:
      I totally agree. We can probably deliver education to Attiwapiskat but the only jobs seem to be at the Diamond Mine. I think the young people after they get educated have to be prepared to move out to get regular jobs.

  8. Well Ive been to and seen these reserves, actually lived on one til I was 10 but we were told to leave or our house would be burnt down…love the 70′s. I have friends who have Worked in them when the only request was for them to pick up the stoned 9 & 10 year olds and put them in jail overnight so they dont freeze to death. Yards look like the city dump, homes are spray painted with graffitte and the 5 gallon pails they use for a bathroom are dumped out the back door… “KEEPERS OF THE LAND” ?

    When their land was flooding Ive worked where they were brought to help them and found children who were 4&5, still in diapers cause their fetal alcohol symptoms were so bad and had been sent without parents to a strange city to be taken care of by strangers because Mom was drunk and pregnant and didnt want to leave the reserve. The lord helps those that help themselves…..

  9. Theresa Spence’s hunger strike didn’t immediately capture Canada’s attention BECAUSE THE BILLIONAIRE OWNED MEDIA IN CANADA REFUSED TO GIVE IT INK, GOD, DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Who Killed Canada

    Media Ownership and the Radical Right in Canada

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8D67YiLcOM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiurWhmOIgk&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRnZ43wxGvY&NR=1

    Part 1, 2 & 3. Note: each video about 10 minutes long

    No time for video?
    Read review instead:

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-stephen-harper-we-are-no-longer.html

    Mr. Hurtig begins by discussing the Canadian media and how
    we now have the greatest concentration of media in the western world. In fact, he states this would simply not be
    allowed in any other western democracy.

    And since these same media outlets control newspaper,
    television and radio news; we are essentially only being given one voice. There are few or no alternative views. As stated in the video, a healthy democracy
    should foster a healthy and independent news media.

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-stephen-harper-we-are-no-longer.html

    • I agree the media has shifted to the Right. But the real problem with neo-con government is that the left is divided. The Liberals and NDP must merge. Or, if the Liberals cannot get a leadership candidate with their head screwed on straight, the Liberal Party may simply implode eliminating the division of the Left.

  10. Chief Spence should get the “Politician of the Year” award. She is beating Harper at his own game.

  11. Is Theresa Spence one of the millionaire chiefs?

  12. Is that Clayton Kennedy in the photo? You know, the guy that gets the $400k from Spence, and lives with her. Talk about a wining streak!

  13. If you look at the band accounts, they show $11 million in salaries. For a town that size? The woman isn’t a hero. She should be in the slammer.

  14. “water, medicinal tea and fish broth.”

    Ain’t gonna die on that, ma’am.

  15. Probably the only person in history who has benefited from a hunger strike. Looks like Chief Tubby is down to two chins

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