The Right Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons,
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
We write with urgency to implore you to meet with Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence, as soon as possible. We are very concerned for her wellbeing in the second week of her hunger strike. We share her extreme frustration about the many recent cuts to social programs, and actions like the just-passed omnibus Bill C-45. As Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo said in his December 16 open letter, Chief Spence’s hunger strike calls attention to “the dire conditions which many First Nations communities and peoples face,” and protests “the disrespect and shameful treatment of First Nations by the Government of Canada.”
It’s the end of Day 19 of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s indefinite hunger strike, taking place here in Ottawa. Spence started her peaceful protest on December 11, 2012. She’s demanding a meeting involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a representative of the Queen and First Nations leaders. She wants to discuss treaty agreements between Canada and First Nations, and recent legislation that seeks disempower, exploit, control and marginalize First Nations.
So far Harper has maintained a stubborn wall of silence. One that seeks to overwhelm the peaceful protest. Spence’s supporters, thousands of them, are having non of it. Here’s a sample of what some of them had to say on the social media today:
This colorful video of the December 21, 2012, Idle No More protest on Parliament Hill, will always remain one of the highlights of my career as a progressive activist. The video includes speeches by supporters and helpers of hunger striker Chief Theresa Spence. The speakers also repeated Spence’s call for a meeting involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a representative of the Queen, First Nations leaders.