Sunday, December 30, 2012

Idle No More Movement Gains Momentum

From The Globe and Mail: As Chief Spence starves, Canadians awaken from idleness and remember their roots

Pressure mounts on Harper as hunger-strike chief’s protest enters third week
OTTAWA — As the woman at the focal point for the “Idle No More” movement enters the third week of her hunger strike in a teepee nearly buried in snow, a former lieutenant governor of Ontario is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her.

Tyler Anderson/National PostFormer Ontario Lieutenant-Governor James Bartleman.“Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation has said she is prepared to fast until death. She should be taken at her word,” said James Bartleman, the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan “lacks the weight to deal with the crisis,” Bartleman wrote in a letter published Thursday in The Globe and Mail, adding that if Harper were to meet with Spence, it would be a sign of his compassion for all suffering aboriginal people.

“If he doesn’t, and Chief Spence dies, he will be forever remembered as someone too proud to do the right thing. Worst, he would never forgive himself,” Bartleman said.


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