Chief Theresa Spence

CP

Spence's Partner Charged With Fraud

The former co-manager of Attawapiskat First Nation is facing fraud and theft charges, CBC News has learned. Clayton Kennedy was co-manager of the northern Ontario band’s finances from July 2010 until...
CP

Harper Foes Group Up

OTTAWA - Imagine if the people who rankle you the most decided to hold a party on the same day as yours, and just down the street.That will be the case for the Conservatives next month as some of Cana...
CP

'It's Absolutely Ridiculous'

OTTAWA - The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has urged the Attawapiskat First Nation to postpone band council elections until all members living off-reserve have a chance to vote.The group, which repre...
CP

Attawapiskat Residents Want Answers

From declaring a housing emergency last year, to a hunger protest in Ottawa, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has fought very publicly with the federal government — but some say she also needs to dea...
AP

Idle No More: An Open Letter to My Non-Aboriginal Neighbours

These Idle No More drums are not just for us: they beat for you because the legislation we are protesting does not just harm us -- it hurts you and your children and your grandchildren. I cannot tell you what path to follow. I cannot tell you to join our protest. But I can tell you the story of what we know of these legislative changes and how they will forever change our relationship with the land and water. The circle of those dances is not complete until you join us. I know that it is up to you to know your own journey. I know, however, that many of you have hearts open to hear this call.

Talking Points No More: Harper's Duty to First Nations Is Far From Done

To suggest Harper has consulted with First Nations leaders because of the meeting on Friday is simply ridiculous. First Nations know the realities of what they are facing and the Conservatives' dishonest talking points, aimed at convincing average Canadians they are making progress, are further undermining what little credibility they have with Canada's indigenous population.
CP

Theresa Spence: Stop the Hunger Strike and Hold Harper to Account

Today's "National Day of Action" gives Chief Theresa Spence another opportunity to declare a victory over holding the government to account and another opportunity to call off her "hunger" strike. By not doing so she risks further polarizing and dividing the movement and First Nations leadership. The government is left with few options. It must still negotiate with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and National Chief Shawn Atleo, as it has to be seen to be engaged and working to make change possible, sooner rather than later.
CP

Media Bites: Chief Spence, Your 15 Minutes Are Up

What makes this sideshow all the more embarrassing is that there's been a complete breakdown in the Chief's relationship with the one independent agency whose power actually does matter -- the press. The indifferent contempt in which she has so consistently held the press is beginning to return in kind. You can almost hear her 15 minutes ticking away. To put it bluntly, you can't just do this.
CP

It's Time to Stand Together and Share This Land

We must offer support by sharing First Nations perspectives, and remembering that some truths are simple: we have to share this land together in a fair way that reflects a real understanding of its history. This Friday, a global day of action provides an opportunity for us all to stand together.
CP

What is the Strategy Behind Idle No More?

If the million or so aboriginal Canadians together realized their joint power, they could change Canada into a totally different society. And there are indications that a strategy is there. Idle No More need not be a confrontational force -- it can be the catalyst to bring about real justice and fairness for all the nations of Canada.
CP

Idle No More: First Nations Governance Coded To Fail

The Deloitte & Touche audit of Attawapiskat is a textbook outcome of the fatal weakness in Canada's current model of First Nations governance, which is coded to fail. There could be hundreds of Attawapiskats. Does anyone know what the average First Nations chief's level of training and management experience is? Or the average training and experience of band councillors? How many building inspectors live within 50 miles of Attawapiskat? How about CAs, CGAs or project managers capable of supervising and maintaining records on multiple construction sites?
CP

What Idle No More Should Really Be Protesting

In the wake of the Idle No More protests that have blocked railway lines and have hinted at more mischief, multiple grievances have been advanced in place of clear-headed analyses. But none of the slogans, clichés and guilt-tripping get to the bottom of why some aboriginals, especially on reserves, are in a sorry state. Fundamental problems with how reserves are run — and the unsustainable nature of some of those rural collectives — is what protesters should ponder.
CP

Don't Be Fooled By Chief Spence's Circus

What we have here is a woman who bemoans the impoverished nature of her reserve while she is partly to blame for it; a woman who has the ability to make things better, but won't because not everyone has RSVP'd to her invitation. What was once a justified pursuit to better the pitiful lives of the disenfranchised in First Nations communities has become a circus in which there is no possibility of dialogue unless every single demand is met. Spence is not a symbol to be admired. She is but one of the myriad reasons why First Nation communities exist in the sad way that they do, and it's time for her to go.

Harper and Spence Take the First Step

By Harper agreeing to meet Spence, the first step has been taken. Whatever the outcome, the movement will not fade away. By seizing the moment, the AFN and the government have been handed an opportunity where they can make common cause to affect positive change for First Nations communities. It is in everyone's best interest that they succeed.
PC

The Idle No More Movement Is More of a Stand-Still

As we enter the new year, it is time for Chief Spence and Prime Minister Harper to pause and reflect about their on-going standoff. Both sides need to feel that they have won and both sides need to find a way to declare victory. Only then can the two sides proceed to the next step which should be fresh dialogue and agreed to solutions for key First Nations issues.
CP

Support Rolling In From The Maritimes

A group of 50 Maritime activists is heading to Ottawa to support a hunger-striking First Nations leader. The First Nations protesters left Fredericton Monday on a bus bound for the nation's capital....
CP

End Hunger Strike, B.C. Chief Urges

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A First Nations leader from British Columbia is urging a northern Ontario chief to end her hunger strike aimed at winning a meeting with the prime minister and drawing attention to ab...
CP

Media Bites: #IdleNoMore Is Low on Specifics

You've been following #IdleNoMore, right? Basically, they're another one of those virulent First Nations protest movements that tend to pop up in this country whenever aboriginal-Canadians have reason to be outraged with their lot in life (i.e.: constantly). But this one has a hashtag!
CP

Idle No More: What It Truly Means to Be Canadian

Chief Theresa Spence will continue her hunger strike until the Prime Minister meets with her to discuss her concerns. While the government that represents me is shameful, I'm very proud to be Canadian today as I see so many people speaking out. But nobody more than Spence who is showing the world right now what it is to truly care about the country you call home.
CP

Harper: Act Now Before Chief Theresa Spence Dies

Chief Theresa Spence hasn't eaten in over 11 days. The weather has taken a big turn for the worse and her tent home on Victoria Island is far from ideal. This was a serious business and she told me she wasn't backing down. I knew then I was watching the beginning of a revolution. Chief Spence has put her life on the line. This is not a game. This is not a stunt. Every day that Mr. Harper tries to wait out the crisis, the stakes rise higher. Mr. Harper has a very short window to show leadership. He needs to come the table and begin to address the issues that have driven so many First Nation communities into poverty and despair.
Blaire Russell

Native Canadians Must be Idle No More on Election Day

During the Arab Spring,Tunisians and Egyptians awoke from the fog of fear, stood up and spoke out on the streets of Cairo and took their movement to the polls. In contrast, voter turnout for First Nations has been dismal at best. Like many oppressed Canadians, Aboriginals have diluted their own strength via their collective electoral idleness. Here's hoping for an Aboriginal Autumn that lasts through the 2015 Spring election.

Behind the Headlines: Why Chief Theresa Spence Is Hunger Striking

The story behind the headline is that Chief Spence's hunger strike is not simply about the appalling conditions her people continue to face. Spence is one of many aboriginal leaders looking for a way to express her frustration with the Government of Canada passing laws that affect their lives and land, as well as violating treaty rights without involving them in any of the decision making.

The Truth Is, Attawapiskat Was Never Financially Mismanaged

On August 1, the Federal Court released its judicial review of the appointment of a Third Party Manager in Attawapiskat. Over and over again, the Federal Court states that financial mismanagement was not the issue, and never had been. The fact that the public dialogue about Attawapiskat was almost wholly concerned with allegations of such mismanagement, demonstrates just how intensely events can become hijacked by misunderstandings.