Hunger striker Chief Spence urges supporters to maintain pressure on Stephen Harper

Theresa Spence (Image via Montreal Gazette) In the press release below, issued on Friday, December 28, hunger striker Chief Theresa Spence invites MPs and Senators to visit her at her teepee on Victoria Island, a short walking distance from Parliament Hill, on Sunday, December 30th, 2012. Chief Spence, who is now on Day 19 of her hunger strike, also urges supporters to maintain pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper through solidarity ceremonies, events and rallies. Chief Spence is demanding a meeting involving Harper, a representative of the Queen, and First Nations leaders. So far Harper has maintained a stubborn wall of silence that seeks overwhelm Chief Spence and her supporters.

The press release:

Attawapiskat Chief Spence heading into day 19 of hunger strike and seeking Canadians, Members of Parliament and politicians to urge Prime Minister Harper to meet and commit to Nation to Nation relations with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.

Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, Ontario

Chief Theresa Spence is heading into day nineteen of a hunger strike and concern for her health has been expressed by community members worldwide. Her resolve is unwavering to continue her hunger strike until the Prime Minister and his government agree to a meeting to discuss a commitment and a way forward to begin Nation to Nation treaty based relationship and a path forward for reconciliation with First Nations and Canada.

Her condition continues to weaken every hour and the time has come for increased efforts to gain the support of Canadians and governments in forging this new relationship. Therefore two events will be planned for Sunday December 30th, 2012.

i) Open house invitation to all Members of Parliament and Senators to visit with Chief Spence at her teepee at Victoria Island, Ottawa. Chief Spence will be receiving MPs and Senators on Sunday December 30th, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Media will be welcome for a brief statement and comments.

ii) Chief Spence is requesting all Canadians and Indigenous People worldwide join in solidarity for ceremonies, events and rallies to call on Prime Minister Harper to answer the call of Aboriginal Nations to meet with Chief Spence and commit to a path of recognition and implementation of the treaty commitments and forging a new First Nations crown relationship. National and International Coordinated events will be planned for Sunday December 30, 2012 at 2 pm Eastern time.

For more information contact:
Cheryl Maloney
Phone: (902) 751-0077
Email: [email protected]

Download the press release in PDF here.


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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad
    • ON December 4, 2011, the National Post published a “special report” on the $90 million in question. The report tackles the “simple math” behind the figure, the issue of “lack of accountability”, carries links to financial statements, going back to 2005, etc.


      Let’s start with some simple math.

      First, $90 million is a deceptive number. It refers to federal funding received since Harper’s government came into power in 2006. In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Attawapiskat received $17.6 million in federal funds (PDF). The document linked to shows the breakdown of federal funds in case you wanted to know how much is allocated to things like medical transportation, education, maternal health care and so on.

      Thus, $90 million refers to the total; the average is about $18 million per year in federal funding since 2006.

      The report is available here:

      I hope this helps.

      Obert Madondo, Editor