Tag Archives: Chief Spence

United First Nation leaders vow to ‘seize the moment’ in fight for rights

By Lauren McCauley, January 25, 2013.  Source: Common Dreams

Photo: Dave Chidley/Canadian Press

Photo: Dave Chidley/Canadian Press

First Nations leaders vowed Thursday to keep up the pressure on the federal government as they declared that the grassroots indigenous-rights Idle No More campaign was both unified and hear to stay.

“Make no mistake, the energy that’s coming from our people is not going anywhere,” said national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo, who just returned from a medical leave, in a press conference Thursday.

Referring to the increased pressure on the Canadian government to recognize the universal issues of individual sovereignty and environmental protections which have underscored the movement’s focus, Atleo continued:

It’s not only a single person in the prime minister. It’s the fact that this country is now recognizing that we need to address the issues and the relationship between First Nations and Canada, and there’s some shared objectives.

[The status quo is] not working not only for First Nations, it’s not working for Canadians and it’s not working for governments. And so we need to with great haste seize on this moment and say that we’re not going to let it go by.

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Filed under Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Idle No More: Chief Spence ends hunger strike

January 24, 2013.  Source: NY Times

attawapiskat-chief-theresa-spence-12-26Canadian native leaders vowed Thursday to carry on the fight for better living conditions as a chief at the center of an aboriginal protest movement ended her six-week hunger strike. Chief Theresa Spence, from a remote northern Ontario reserve, ended her hunger strike after holding negotiations with other aboriginal leaders and opposition members of Parliament. Canada spends about $11.1 billion a year on its aboriginal population of 1.2 million. But living conditions for many are poor, and some reserves have high rates of poverty, addiction, joblessness and suicide. Aboriginal leaders also say legislation by the Conservative government promotes resource development while reducing environmental protection for lakes and rivers on their lands.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Politics, Women

Chief Spence in talks to end hunger strike protest

By Gloria Galloway, January 23, 2013.  Source: The Globe and Mail

Photo: Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail

Photo: Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail

Theresa Spence, the chief of a remote Ontario first nation who has been on a hunger strike since early December, is in talks to end her protest on Thursday in exchange for continued political pressure from federal and native leaders, sources have told The Globe and Mail.

Ms. Spence has indicated she will resume eating solid foods after the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo, and opposition leaders Thomas Mulcair of the New Democrats and Bob Rae of the Liberals agree to press the Harper government to move on an eight-point action plan crafted by the AFN, the sources said.

She also wants a commitment from the opposition leaders to continue fighting omnibus budget legislation that has prompted country-wide protests under the Idle No More movement and which many native people say will negatively affect their communities because it reduces federal environmental oversight.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Politics

Weakening Attawapiskat Chief Spence issues ‘call to arms’

By Jorge Barrera, December 30, 2012.  Source: APTN News

Theresa SpenceA weakening Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, now into day 20 of her hunger strike, issued a “call to arms” Sunday during a rare press conference outside her snow-covered teepee on Victoria Island.

Spence, who began her hunger-strike on Dec. 11 with the aim of forcing a treaty meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the governor-general and First Nations leaders, said she was feeling weak and tired.

“I am feeling a little bit weak and I get tired easily,” said Spence, while surrounded by TV cameras and reporters shivering from the -21 C temperatures with the wind chill.

APTN National News was told that Spence suffered through a rough day on Saturday and Sunday’s press conference and meeting with MPs during a two hour open-house at the log fence-lined compound was expected to exhaust her.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Tar Sands, Women