Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, how can you face yourself in the mirror?
Your refusal to meet Chief Theresa Spence–and your callous treatment of First Nations treaties– is nothing short of a national disgrace.
For those outside our country, Theresa Spence, chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation, is camped on Victoria Island, a stones throw from the Parliament of Canada, on a hunger strike that will end when the Prime Minister agrees to a meeting.
This is the third week that Chief Spence has had to endure the Prime Minister’s criminal indifference.
The issues concern government negligence of treaty rights contributing to shocking health and living conditions on First Nations reserves.
It is my belief that if Canadians saw these conditions first-hand they would be deeply ashamed.
Meanwhile, Harper government apologist, Senator Patrick Brazeau, suggests that Chief Spence go through “proper parliamentary processes.”
Chief Spence appears to me to be a very sensible person. She has, no doubt, exhausted herself adhering to “proper parliamentary processes” to no avail.
Senator Brazeau, an Algonquin, should know better.
His response to Chief Spence’s call for more consulation between the government and First Nations is Orwellian: “The word ‘consultation’ is such a broad word. People will have their different definitions and interpretations of what exactly that means.”
The plight of First Nations people has deteriorated under the Harper regime.
Shawn Atleo, head of the Assembly of First Nations issued the following statement:
“Now more than ever, we must see immediate and urgent attention and concrete commitments by government to work together with first nations to address the unfulfilled promises, commitments and agreements that leave first nations people struggling to meet the basic standards of life on a daily basis.”
Wake up Canada. Our indifference–and our Prime Minister’s neglect– is killing people.