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An open letter from Chief Teresa Spence to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on day 8 of her hunger strike

Thursday December 20, 2012

I am calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor General to initiate immediate discussions and the development of action plans to address treaty issues with First Nations across Canada. There has been no progress in alleviating the state of poverty that exists with First Nations across Canada, especially in rural, isolated reserves, contrary to progress reported by the Conservative government.

Land and natural resources continue to be reaped by the federal and provincial governments through taxation of corporate resource companies with little compensation to First Nations for use of our traditional territories. Tri-lateral discussions and financial action plans must be committed to in order to alleviate the existing state of poverty.

The Government of Canada has not upheld nor fulfilled its responsibilities to First Nations, as committed to by the Crown including at the Crown-First Nations gathering in January 2012. Canada has not upheld the honour of the Crown in its dealings with First Nations, as evidenced in its inadequate and in inequitable funding relationships with our nations and its ongoing action in bringing forward legislative and policy changes that will directly impact on the inherent and treaty rights of First Nations. Treaties are international in nature and further Indigenous rights are human rights, both collective and individual, and must be honoured and respected.

There has been enough talk, enough politics, now is the time to develop action plans.
I seek an immediate commitment to a meeting with you as the representative of the Crown, together with Prime Minister of Canada, to demonstrate respect and attention to the priorities set by First Nations. All First Nations across Canada stand united and in solidarity in advancing this urgent call for action and attention.

Chief Teresa Spence,
Attawapiskat First Nation 

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my comments are for chief

my comments are for chief sad that you had to resort to a hunger strike to get your point across to the IDIOTS that run this country.
when i first saw the conditions that the people of your community(fellow canadians)were living in i was in can we give money away to help foriegners like in africa or haiti when our people are living in squaller?
now to think that the governer general is someone you have to talk with is a non issue,,,,there is NO QUEEN in canada the position is just set up to justify another fat paying government office,,,,total cost to taxpayers,,,,around 2 million a year?? i could see that money better spent
as for myself i offer you my pledge....if there is some way that this country can be given back to the natives then i want to be first on the list to offer up my small area....i would gladly direct my taxes to you,i think in all honesty the only ones fit to speak for the country canada is the native indian.....
im ashamed to call myself a canadian for the poor treatment of our native people one in government would have even cared if you died,im glad youre alive to continue to speak for those that cant be heard.....i dont mind if my voice is made public!!

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