THE BLOG
01/13/2013 12:56 EST | Updated 03/14/2013 05:12 EDT

The Week in Review: What to Make of Theresa Spence's No-Show?

This week Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's wish and met with First Nations Chiefs. But the still-hunger-striking Spence was one of many chiefs who chose to boycott the three-hour talks, in part because the Governor General would not be in attendance. So what to make of a leader who's willing to forego solid food for weeks to further her goal of meeting with the nation's leadership -- but who doesn't consider a conversation with merely the PM good enough? Apparently she's not an incrementalist.

CP

This week Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's wish and met with First Nations Chiefs. But while the gathering was long requested, the details -- no Governor General in attendance and Harper's own working office as a venue -- apparently didn't meet everyone's standard. The still-hunger-striking Spence was one of many chiefs who chose to boycott the three-hour talks. So what to make of a leader who's willing to forego solid food for weeks to further her goal of meeting with the nation's leadership -- but who doesn't consider a conversation with merely the PM good enough? Apparently she's not an incrementalist. On the negative side, Spence's stubbornness has fanned the flames of cynicism about First Nations leadership -- and the release of the findings of the Attawapiskat audit certainly didn't help. On the positive, there's no denying that Spence's strike -- be it activism borne of desperation or pure publicity stunt -- has combined with the Idle No More movement to force the nation into a difficult conversation that's long overdue.

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