Idle no more! Delegation from Saint Mary’s First Nations on road to meet and give support to chief Spence

Idle no more
Photo Credit:
Judie Acquin-Miksovsky

By André Faust

On this last day of the year Members from Saint Mary’s First Nations (Fredericton) have left for Ottawa to join with chief Spence, who has now been on a 21+days hunger strike. Her hunger strike is a response to the Harpers Omnibus c-45. According to sources from within Saint Mary’s First Nations, chief Spence as of date seems to be in good health. The sacrifice that she is making is not only for the aboriginals but for all Canadians. The Impact of this bill will affect all Canadians and future generations.

The bus is expected to arrive sometimes tomorrow in the New Year. New information as it becomes available will be posted on this site.

Aboriginal leader meets with Justin Trudeau, refuses to meet with Harpers Crony Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan

Reprint: Eye on the hill

Chief Spence and Justine Trudeau
Chief Spence and Justine Trudeau

OTTAWA – Since she agreed to meet with Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau, Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan is hoping hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence will reconsider his offer to meet with him.

Duncan’s first offer on Christmas was instead met with silence. A day later, Spence welcomed Trudeau to her Victoria Island teepee for a 45-minute meeting.

This prompted Duncan to write another letter to Spence.

“It is my understanding that you met today with a member of Parliament,” he wrote. “Given your willingness to accept meetings now I am hoping that you will reconsider my offer, as minister of the Crown, to meet or speak with you by phone to discuss the issues you have raised publicly.”

Spence is now in the third week of her protest, which includes restricting her food intake to tea and fish broth. On Christmas Eve, Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, himself an Aboriginal, tried to pay a visit to Chief Spence but was turned down.

Asked why she’d agree to meet with Trudeau but not with Duncan or Brazeau, Chief Spence said:

“Trudeau is a person who’s there for the youth, and he’s seen by the youth as a leader today.”

She said she was not asking for a private meeting with the prime minister. “I want the [First Nations] leaders to sit at a table with the prime minister, and the Crown, both levels of government,” she told QMI Agency in an exclusive interview after her meeting with Trudeau.

Idle no more Turtle Island houlton border crossing blockade has been suspended for now.

Update: Chief Candice Paul of Saint Mary’s First Nations have confirm the Blockade for Jan 5th has been cancelled.

Unofficially, sources say that out of respect for Chief Spence’s wishes, the blockade at the international borders will be suspended, details will be provided when they become available.

Locally the blockade was to take place at Woodstock/Houlton Border Crossing 1403 Route 95 starting at 11:00 on January 5, 2012.