view counter

Spence's resolve remains strong in hunger strike

Wednesday December 19, 2012
Theresa Spence, seen here before her hunger strike started with Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus, is strong in spirit as she enters day nine of the hunger strike.

On the eighth day of her hunger strike, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is still committed to her cause of fighting for First Nations rights.

“Theresa is feeling tired but her spirit is strong,” said Danny Metatawabin, Spence’s official spokesperson. “She’s thoroughly focused on what she needs to do: her hunger strike. She’s going to stay on Victoria Island for however long it takes to call a meeting with the prime minister and governor general.”

Spence began her hunger strike on Dec. 11 and said she would not end it until Stephen Harper and a representative of the Queen meets with her and First Nations leaders to discuss involving the First Nations in legislation affecting the communities. She stated she is willing to die in the process.

Chiefs and politicians have expressed concern for Spence’s health in her hunger strike. Metatawabin said other than tiredness, Spence is doing fine so far. She is coherent, mobile and sees a nurse practitioner every two days.

“Her mind is still strong” Metatwabin said. “We had a good chat this morning and she has high hopes for the people.”

During her hunger strike, Spence is staying in teepee on Victoria Island, just minutes away from Parliament Hill.

A spokesperson from the office of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of Canada Minister John Duncan said the minister has offered to meet with her and has proposed a Jan. 3 meeting but has received no reply.

Metatawabin said Spence will only meet with Harper and Governor General David Johnston, both of whom have not yet responded to the request.

Spence’s hunger strike coincides with Idle No More, a grassroots movement that has grown internationally. Rallies have been held in cities across Canada, both to inform citizens of the legislation that is being unilaterally passed by the Harper government and to raise awareness of the issues. There are rallies being planned for some U.S. cities and even one in London, England.

Many participants of the rallies have expressed support for Spence on her hunger strike, and there are some chiefs and community members who fasted or started a hunger strike of their own in support of Spence.

“There’s a lot of prayers coming from across Canada and across the world, and she’s praying for us as well,” Metatawabin said. “That’s what’s keeping her going.”

On Dec. 15, a group of jingle dress dancers led by Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) dancers, including Chief Joyce White, performed a special dance for Spence at Victoria Island.

“It was very spiritual and uplifting and we’d like acknowledge the Elder who led the group and the jingle dress dancers,” Metatawabin said.

Spence has refused to speak to media during her strike. Metatawabin said he and her supporters are even discouraging visitors to Victoria Island because it uses up her energy.

“They just keep coming so at this point we’re going to put up a poster and designate a person to stand in front of the teepee because she needs to rest” Metatawabin said.

A rally is planned for Parliament Hill on Dec. 21, but Metatawabin said Spence will likely not be there for it. But the Idle No More movement has her support.

“Because any change needs to happen at the grassroots level and we’re all asking for support from the chiefs across the nation,” Metatawabin said. “In order to be strong, we need to be unified and what we do for a good cause: to look after one another in the true spiritual intent of the Creator.”


Email to a Friend
qr code
add to del.icio.us

Stumble It!

Funny how Charlie jumps

Funny how Charlie jumps aboard and manages to get in the pictures after someone has initiated a cause. Charlie & Gilles Bisson are pretty good at that and rarely can do their own thing.
Our leaders (FN & MPP & MP's) have failed us for years and continue to do so. But someone has to vote them in, and we continue to put up with it.

Chiefs of Ontario =

Chiefs of Ontario = FAIL!

Time to elect some young healthy women and men who are not diluted by any religion, hooked on pop and chips or drugs, or love to drive new trucks. The repeated failure of Chiefs to look at the 'global picture' accounts for Atleo still being stevie boy's 'pen pal', whom he sends love letters to, every time our people face a crises. It is these useless cheifs and council members who fail us...the MP's and MPP's have no concern for us and we are unable to affect that, but we can get new leadership.

Post new comment

Comment policy

All comments submitted to Wawatay News Online must have a correct name, location and email address of the user. Wawatay will not approve comments without the required information.

The approval of comments will also be subjected to relevancy, laws of defamation and good taste.

Once posted, comments become the property of Wawatay News. Wawatay News reserves the right to publish or use this comment in any way in the future for online use, in print, and by any other media at the discretion of Wawatay News.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.