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The Attawapiskat Natives of Canada keep on suffering

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08 January 2013

The Attwapiskat First Nation reserve is by this time at the edge of survival and, besides the international protests, the canadian government is still not taking measures

Today I want to talk about a subject that I hold dear: Aboriginal rights.

Roughly a year ago, I reported the case of a Native reserve, Attawapiskat, that was in terrible shape and I am afraid to say, not much has changed.

The situation of this reserve was brought to the attention of the UN, which sent a special reporter to monitor the reserve. After high criticism worldwide, the Government dispatched 22 mobile homes to Attawapiskat to ease the situation.

However, this is still not enough because at least 300 more mobile homes are needed.

This whole situation, despair and frustration pushed the inhabitants of Attawapiskat to ask for the resignation of the leader of the reserve, Chief Teresa Spence.

I find it outrageous that in a country where we preach equal rights and freedom, such disparities still exist. The First Nations people are living in sub-par conditions while our dear PM Stephen Harper is busy with more important matters such as golf, holidays and his Christmas tree.

The condition of the First Nations people living in Attawapiskat are so bad that in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of the media, and of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on the reserve and on "Bill C-45", Chief Teresa Spence started a hunger strike.

The infamous "Bill C-45" is designed to bypass the requirements of consulting with the local Elders and Chiefs on anything concerning the First Nations lands; hence, giving more power to the Government to decide in any matters regarding First Nations Territories without having to consult them, going against the treaties in place for almost 150 years, if not more.

Chief Teresa Spence requested a meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Around Canada, more Chiefs are on hunger strikes, like Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake First Nations and worldwide, others are following Chief Teresa Spence's example.

Chief Teresa Spence, with this courageous decision, wants to attract the attention of Government and media alike on the treaties that were signed so many years ago and are still in place, but are being shamelessly ignored in the name of the God Money.

The total "who cares" way of thinking of the Government and major companies who couldn't care less of the damages, could cause the complete destruction of lands and rivers which could compromise the survival of First Nations people.

So far, Prime Minister Stephen Harper only offered to send the Minister of Indian Affairs Duncan to talk to Chief Spence, but she declined, as she wants to speak to Stephen Harper himself and not to one of his minions. Chief Teresa Spence is living on Victoria Island, just across Parliament Hill, in a log cabin monitored by Elders and for now, her diet consists in water and broth.

The latest news tell that she is visibly weak, but she is still in good spirits. Support for her and her cause attracted the sympathy and solidarity of people across the world: from Australia to England and Europe.

Chief Teresa Spence has declared that the living conditions of her people are so bad, that she will find a way to change it or die in the process. Chief Teresa Spence is now on her 15th hunger strike day.


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