Maclean's Live: Press conference on Theresa Spence

Attawapiskat chief in hospital after ending hunger protest

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence in hospital after ending hunger protest

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence remains in hospital on an intravenous line as she recovers following six weeks without solid food.

Her spokesman Danny Metatawabin says Spence went to the hospital Wednesday evening for a checkup after agreeing to end her 44-day hunger protest.

She had been scheduled to attend a news conference this morning in Ottawa, but now Metatawabin says she won’t be released until later today or on Friday.

Meanwhile, events marking the end of her protest are going ahead without her.

Chiefs and politicians are preparing for a gathering at midday at a downtown hotel.

Spence ended her protest after other chiefs and federal opposition parties promised to take up her cause of treaty implementation and improving conditions on reserves.

Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Chief Theresa Spence:

“I am encouraged that Chief Theresa Spence has decided to end her hunger strike. Chief Spence and those who have joined her fast have helped bring about substantial change, but their cause – however just – should not endanger their lives or their health. Liberals join with Canadians across the country who are deeply committed to carrying on the fight for justice, dignity and reconciliation, and we salute Chief Spence’s courage.

The commitments we are making flow logically from the work of the Charlottetown and Kelowna Accords, numerous Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and our commitments as a country made when we signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They represent the strongly held values of the Liberal Party of Canada.

On behalf of our Parliamentary Caucus, I would like to express our party’s continued resolve to work inside and outside Parliament – on a nation-to-nation basis – to address the gross inequalities facing First Nations, from the disparity in education outcomes and poor health to the lack of clean running water and safe housing.”