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2013-01-09 at NOON

If Governor General won't be there Friday, neither will I: Attawapiskat chief

By The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA - Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says she won't attend Friday's meetings between First Nations leaders and the federal government because Gov. Gen. David Johnston has said he won't be there.

Spence — engaged in a protest since Dec. 11, subsisting solely on fish broth and tea in an effort to secure Friday's meeting with Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper — is insisting on the Queen's representative in Canada being present.

"We have sent a letter to Buckingham Palace, requesting that Queen Elizabeth II send forth her representative, which is the Governor General of Canada," Spence said in a statement.

"I will not be attending Friday's meeting with the prime minister, as the Governor General's attendance is integral when discussing Inherent and treaty rights."

A spokesperson for Johnston has said he would not attend the sessions on Friday because they are working meetings with government on policy issues.

Spence said Johnston needs to attend the meetings because the talks are supposed to focus on the treaty rights that were established by the Royal Proclamation of 1793.

Spence says Canada is "not acting in good faith," as evidenced by the federal government's release of an audit that shows a lack of documentation for tens of millions of dollars in spending by Spence's northern Ontario reserve.

"This is a time of crisis and this government of the day is not taking indigenous peoples concerns seriously," Spence's spokesman, Danny Metatawabin, said in the release.

"Canada should take notice and act honourably as their courts have directed the government on many occasions."

First Nations frustration has been manifesting across Canada for weeks in the form of the Idle No More protest movement, which seeks to push back against the Conservatives for threatening aboriginal treaty rights as set out in the Constitution.

The protests, ranging from temporary rail blockades and border closures to shopping-mall flash mobs, have drawn inspiration from Spence and her protest, which is playing out on a small island in the Ottawa River, not far from Parliament Hill.

When Harper agreed last week to hold a meeting, Spence said she would attend, but insisted she wouldn't decide whether to end her protest until after the meetings were concluded.

At a news conference Tuesday, Harper acknowledged the challenges facing many First Nations communities, but he said they also represent great opportunities.

"I know that in many aboriginal communities ... the challenges are very great, but the potential is very great as well," he said.

"We do have, for the first time in our history, economic development on a large scale occurring near where many aboriginal people live. We have a shortage of labour and lots of opportunity, and we want to make sure that those opportunities are available for aboriginal people and prosperity is available for them as we move forward."

The government will continue to push forward with "legislation and other means," he added.


The Canadian Press
© The Canadian Press, 2014

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yqtyqt says:
They should call in the rcmp to be there to start the investigation as to where hundreds of millions of dollars have gone.

If she isn't there for that, then arrest her for fraud.
1/9/2013 1:21:34 PM
buddyanon says:
well if she didn't look stupid before...

1/9/2013 1:37:32 PM
dozerman says:
I don't understand..She requested a mtg with the Prime Minister. Now when she gets it she doesn't want to show up!!! Looks rather childish to me.
1/9/2013 3:07:59 PM
ranma says:
Seriously, stop giving this fraud media coverage. She has already proved that she is not on a hunger strike by her lack of weight loss. One of the elders from Manitoba who is on a real hunger strike, that NO ONE IS COVERING, has lost over 30lbs since starting his.

Global sent a news crew to Attiwapiskat, and they were forcibly removed. Makes you wonder what they are hiding.

This woman should be arrested for her embezzlement of government funds. As a Metis, I am disgusted that she is the so called inspiration for "idle no more".
1/9/2013 3:59:11 PM
Fluffy says:
I'm sure she won't be missed. She's likely at her office giving her Oliver North approved heavy duty paper shredder a tune up.

1/9/2013 5:12:20 PM
young&concerned says:
I agree the RCMP should be called in as a direct result of the audit and the corruption and I am confident there is still more to come out!

Let's keep in mind this is only ONE reserve! Lets start looking at all of them!
1/9/2013 5:15:21 PM
Gone for good says:
Still like to know where 109 million went? No sympathy here. Suspission perhaps.
1/9/2013 6:13:17 PM
hadenough says:
This statement just in from Stephen Harper,

"Too bad Terry, there's gonna be cake and cookies served. Oh well, more for me"
1/9/2013 6:27:44 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Sadly, this case is the tip of the ice-berg. I have worked with several Bands and businesses owned by bands over the last 9 years and have yet to see one that was run on proper business lines with full accountibilities and proper recording of incomes and expenditures.

The issue seems to be that they get third-rate people in these positions of responsibility (whoever recruited them were usually second-rate). Any proper request for accountibility from outside is met with a hysterical claim that 'we have to manage our own affairs' and so the problem continues...

At one Band Office back in 2005/06, when the Chief and Council lost the election, the whole staff barricaded themselves into the Band Office for 3 days writing checks on the Band's funds. On another, the Chief personally sold heavy equipment owned by the Band's businesses for personal gain. To this day, when you go onto their website, the first thing you now see is their Fixed Asset Register(!!!)

1/10/2013 10:50:28 AM
issy says:
Sound like she is doing some back peddling to me.........and the plot thickens.Audit time Chief!!!
1/10/2013 12:07:46 PM
MD says:
Theresa Spence calls off the meeting. So in a effort to gain more media and attention for the Idle no More movement, Theresa Spence is now… idling.
1/10/2013 12:17:06 PM
Just sayin' says:
I read a report that said she won't attend the meeting unless Stephen Harper, the GG, and Dalton McGuilty are there... Even if the stars align and we get them in the same room, who would she ask for next Michael Bolton? There is nowhere to hide, you are wrong and a fraud. Second, Dalton has no authority on Aboriginal issues. If this is the best Attawapiskat has to represent them, it's time that town fold up and move elsewhere as she is starving her own people.
1/10/2013 12:29:41 PM
alrightythen says:
This whole situation is just getting really old and tiresome. If it's not one thing, it's another.
1/10/2013 1:51:11 PM
conker2012 says:
Now that the GG has said he will attend the meeting who else will Spence demand the attendence of?

Santa Claus?
1/10/2013 3:04:08 PM
jzahn says:
Quote from the National Post:

"Chief Louie of the Osoyoos band's #1 rule to his FN: You're either working or you're in school getting an education. No welfare allowed.
Perhaps that should be adopted as the new Indian Act."

I wish to add: drug testing for ALL Welfare Receipiants. If you test positive for controlled substances, you are not allowed welfare.

Come on fellow brothers and sisters, we are the leaders on this planet, and this is just bad.
1/10/2013 3:11:12 PM
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