Attawapiskat chief to begin what could be her last protest

first_imgBy Annette FrancisAPTN National NewsOttawa – Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence arrived on the steps of Parliament Hill Monday to begin what could be her final protest.“I’m willing to die for my people because the pain is too much and it’s time for (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) to realize what he’s doing to us,” said Spence.Spence said she intends to stay in Ottawa until a meeting is held with Harper or Queen Elizabeth to discuss treaty rights.News of the horrific living conditions in Attawapiskat made international news last year.After making headlines the federal government stepped in and appointed a third-party manager.Spence says the crisis in her community is still unresolved.“It’s still the same people are still living in trailers and more are asking for sheds because they have no materials,” she said on the steps of Parliament Hill.The inspiration for Spence’s hunger strike comes after attending last week’s Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Que.“How many times do we have to write a letter to the prime minister concerning our land and our people?” she said.She has the support of Cliff Summers, a former resident of Onieda of the Thames who now resides in Ottawa.Summers said the frustrations are growing over broken trust and imposed legislation.“There’s a peoples movement across Canada and we have to make it clear that we cannot accept the only future for our young people is suicide because we lead the statistics in Canada,” he said.She also has the support of NDP MP Charlie Angus who said Harper needs to understand the colonialist ways need to change.“We’ve lost basic sense of respect because when it comes to First Nations and the Crown, there is no honour of the Crown right now in terms of any First Nations so I don’t know what will happen, how far this will go, but I’m sensing a real anger. This could be the match on dry grass, I don’t know,” said Angus.But when prodded during Question Period if Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan will meet with Spence, the government avoided the question.Spence will be staying on Victoria Island that sits below Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada. She began her strike Tuesday morning.last_img read more

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