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'They brought awareness to our issues on a global level'

Thursday, January 24, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASES

OFFICE OF THE
LIBERAL LEADER

ANISHINABEK NATION

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Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Chief Theresa Spence

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today in response to Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence ending her hunger strike:

I am encouraged that Chief Theresa Spence has decided to end her hunger strike.

Chief Spence and those who have joined her fast have helped bring about substantial change, but their cause - however just - should not endanger their lives or their health.

Liberals join with Canadians across the country who are deeply committed to carrying on the fight for justice, dignity and reconciliation, and we salute Chief Spence's courage.

The commitments we are making flow logically from the work of the Charlottetown and Kelowna Accords, numerous Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and our commitments as a country made when we signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

They represent the strongly held values of the Liberal Party of Canada.

On behalf of our Parliamentary Caucus, I would like to express our party’s continued resolve to work inside and outside Parliament - on a nation-to-nation basis - to address the gross inequalities facing First Nations, from the disparity in education outcomes and poor health to the lack of clean running water and safe housing.  

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Hunger strike made point: Madahbee

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee commends Chief Theresa Spence and Elders Raymond Robinson and Jean Sock for their valiant efforts to bring attention to the broken treaty relationship between the Crown and First Nations.

Chief Spence’s ended her fast after 44 days in a teepee on Victoria Island, just upstream from Parliament Hill.

“We applaud the efforts of the hunger strikers and their helpers; they brought awareness to our issues on a global level,” says Madahbee.

In 2010 the Harper government made Canada a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

“The declaration states Indigenous people have the right to participate in decision‐making in matters which would affect our rights,” says Madahbee “First Nations were never consulted with on Bill C‐45, the Omnibus bill... never.”

“We will continue to advance the fight to implement our treaties", said the Grand Council Chief. “We will direct our words and actions against attempts by this government to ram unlawful legislation down the throats of all Canadians. First Nations have never been defeated in battle in this country and we won’t start now."

“The Anishinabek have developed the tools to restore our own jurisdiction. We’re just waiting for our treaty partner to sit with us at the table.”

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949.  

The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.  

The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

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Comments
27
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
66cherokee 1/24/2013 1:12:59 PM Report

Chief Spence was NOT on a hunger strike. As CBC radio said this morning, it was a liquid fast. 10 IRA died in 24 days, yes 24 DAYS after starting a hunger strike All they took in was water and salt.
It's to bad that the Idle No More has been highjacked. I think they had some good ideas. First Nation peoples should ask for accountability from their chief.
Idle No More also talks about the environmnent. Well if things go ahead on Monday, transports are going to be stopped with only cars/pickups/SUV able to proceed. Do they not realize that those transports are going to be idling all the time they are sitting there. This in Canada, this is winter, those transports cannot sit idle all that time and then try to start. They won't be able to. Anyone who knows about transport would tell you that. So much for their concern for the environment.
OMGWTF 1/24/2013 1:28:38 PM Report

The people on First Nation territories need to hold their "leaders" accountable for the lack of oversight on spending. Scare tactics and nepotism needs to be curtailed and the money currently provided needs to be spent on you, the people, and not Chiefs and the families.
Just Curious 1/24/2013 1:40:08 PM Report

What I find stupid about this next blockade thingy is that they are gonna need the stuff on those trucks just as bad as the rest of us. What is the point of that? Should be doing it the other way around,really. How about going to Ottawa and blocking all the roads leading to parliament? Heck, I would even go to that one if they supply the busses and food(no fish broth,thanks. Looks like it makes you fat).Only thing is,wait for warmer weather. Wonder how these blockades will affect the people from the Soo who camp at Ojibway all summer?
Bob Rae hasn't forgot his NDP training anyway:find a parade and get in front of it...:)
fullstringer 1/24/2013 3:11:31 PM Report

"The people on First Nation territories need to hold their "leaders" accountable for the lack of oversight on spending. Scare tactics and nepotism needs to be curtailed and the money currently provided needs to be spent on you, the people, and not Chiefs and the families."

It would be difficult to stop nepotism on a reserve? They're all related.
learningaswego 1/24/2013 3:13:52 PM Report

No surprise that Spence's pity party tactics would end with great fanfare - all probably part of the plan to divert attention away from the missing TENS OF MILLIONS of $$$ belonging to the residents of Attawapiskat.

No surprise either that the opposition politicians - aided and abetted by most of the ever-gullible, love a "victim story" msm would jump right in on the pity party bandwagon, simply to try to score some political points.

The victim(s) in this farce ARE NOT "Chief" Spence, but RATHER the residents of Attawapiskat.
The villain(s) in this farce are not "the white man", nor "the government" , nor "Harper" - but are the people responsible for, and who can't account for TENS of MILLIONS of $$$$ that were supposed to be used to help the residents of Attawapiskat.

Talk about an ass-backwards, ridiculous sham, where the villain is made out to be the hero. Spence will no doubt be hoping that the pity show has been ratcheted up enough that no one will actually look further in to where all the money went, under her watch.
golfnuttt 1/24/2013 3:21:09 PM Report

@cjborg

Well said, Enough is Enough!!
highway1 1/24/2013 3:56:25 PM Report

1) No one in Canada is above the law of the land
Harper needs to honour the constitution. Treaties are the law of the land as it pertains to respective first nations.

2) Your economic well-being is your responsibility. It is not the government's job to pay you to fish and hunt.
The government has fiduciary agreements and obligations to FNs that are part of the treaty agreements that need to be upheld and honored, when this takes place there will be justice served.

3) Employment rules apply to everyone. If you can't get a job where you live: Move Idle No More at our expense!
See above.

4) If you receive public funds; you are accountable. Penalties apply.
Everyone in Canada recieves public funds - from First Nation tax payers.

5) Theft is theft; see 1) above.
See Canadian history and the Crown's dishonorable crooked and abusive relationship with FN and the billions upon billions of dollars stolen from revenues generated off the land that was intended to be shared witht he FNs. FNs have edured hundreds of years of broken promises and broken agreements and theft re land and revenue sharing. Theft IS theft.

6) If the funds are badly spent or the recipients do not care for the infrastructure and benefits provided; the funds will not be replaced.
This is true for all Canadians - moot point.

7) Treaties will be respected in the context of the date of the treaty and the standards of the day.
This is exactly THE POINT! Treaties are not respected. Respecting the treaties would be a good start.

8) Your administrative costs and the pay of your local leadership will be set by the people that fund your operation.
see numbers 1,4 and 5.

9) As our municipalities are governed by provincial rules; so the reserves will be governed by federal rules.
FNs have a government to government relationship with Canada that needs to be honored. That is the point of the Idle No More movement.

Your premise is flawed and your argument is weak.

highway1 1/24/2013 4:14:33 PM Report

The FNs and Idle No More are holding Canadian leaders accountable for lack of oversight on spending. Canadians should be thankful someone is standing up for justice and exposing the lies within the Harper government.

Thanks to the FNs and the Idle No More awareness campaign, more and more average Canadians are gaining an understanding of how crooked the Harper government is is at it's core. Under Harper's smiling veneer is a dishonest and dishonorable soul - ugly.

"Liberals join with Canadians across the country who are deeply committed to carrying on the fight for justice, dignity and reconciliation, and we salute Chief Spence's courage."

Well put.

Big Deal 1/24/2013 5:17:53 PM Report

SHAME SHAME SHAME ON THIEF SPENCE!!! She and her people should be completely ashamed of themselves...surpressing their OWN people into extreme poverty. And every person who supports her can calls her hero should be ashamed also!! I can't help but chuckle..I mean REALLY HOW stupid can one person be???
bassman2069 1/24/2013 5:19:00 PM Report

Why is it always the same uneducated people on here who reply with the same uneducated, unintelligent, racial and hatred towards another race comments over and over. Replying with the same comments expecting different results is a clear indication of insanity. Why is it that poverty in Canada is on the rise while Stephen Harper lives in a free multi-million dollar mansion? What about the gazebo scandals and the millions of dollars that went unaccounted for during the G8 summit in 2010. What about the $30,000 helicopter rides some army general decided to take whenever he wanted to go on weekend camping trips. What about the billions of dollars the Harper government neglected to tell the public about with the fighter gets and the countless and countless of other billions of dollar scandals the governments have done over the years? You want to talk about corruption? Look at your own governments before you decide to target the already oppressed. Yes you were born here, which means you also inherit the treaties which are all valid today whether you like it or not. No one is above the law of the land, NO ONE!!!
Big Deal 1/24/2013 5:24:52 PM Report

The DIFFERENCE my friend is, non-aboriginal people did NOT get surpressed into extreme poverty because our government SPENT that money NOR did our country declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY for poor living conditions because of the money they spent???? Aborginal & non-aboriginal people STILL received their social services cheque as they RIGHTFULLY should of...it is RIGHTFULLY theirs!!! I would NOT want to see ANY race living in 3rd world living conditions....how can ANYONE justify that????
cjborg 1/24/2013 5:26:43 PM Report

To: highway1 1/24/2013 4:14:33 PM Report quoted in part..........."The FNs and Idle No More are holding Canadian leaders accountable for lack of oversight on spending. Canadians should be thankful someone is standing up for justice and exposing the lies within the Harper government."......

I'm afraid you might be looking through rose coloured glasses and overlooking the obvious....

FN Chiefs in general and Spense and her overpaid consultant boyfriend, in particular, have seriously hurt INM's credibility.

Canadians in general are far less supportive than you might think or even realize... (I sincerely feel sorry for FN mothers and children who continue to be hurt through misguided overpaid insincere leadership.)
bassman2069 1/24/2013 5:35:28 PM Report

big deal, you're living in a dream world where your only knowledge is myth and not fact. You should go and work for sun media, you make just as much sense as they do. How can one make a valid argument when you and many others are already convinced that your knowledge of myths is the truth? Case closed, thank you...
cjborg 1/24/2013 5:47:50 PM Report

To: bassman2069 1/24/2013 5:35:28 PM Report
quoted in part......
"big deal, you're living in a dream world where your only knowledge is myth and not fact. You should go and work for sun media, you make just as much sense as they do."

Am I to understand that Chief Spense and her boyfriend are going to sue sun media for untruths????????

I for one would be be overjoyed if indeed the information published by Sun Media is untrue or a myth as you state!!!!!!!!!
Big Deal 1/24/2013 5:49:41 PM Report

To bassman...3rd party financial statements don't lie and I'm sure CTV News and other creditable new stations didn't lie in reporting the state of emergency declared by attawapiskat?? Hopefully, bill C-27 is passed very shortly and 3rd party audits will be required by law by all reservations and monies will be distributed to where it rightfull should be....the people of the community.
bassman2069 1/24/2013 6:00:29 PM Report

big deal, no band in Canada are eligible for funding unless an audit trail is released. Those audits are performed multiple times per year and are already public documents for anyone to see. For anyone to say the media doesn’t lie or the government doesn’t lie is a BIG lie in itself. What a joke. As I said, there’s no point in arguing with anyone who has their mind set in their ways. I would have better luck talking the to coconut I walked pass at the grocery store and have just as good of results coming from it.
Big Deal 1/24/2013 6:44:38 PM Report

To Bassman.....by all means I agree, you are very well educated so please expain where all the money went?
cjborg 1/24/2013 8:12:33 PM Report

To: bassman2069 1/24/2013 6:00:29 PM Report (quoted in part.......)

"big deal, no band in Canada are eligible for funding unless an audit trail is released. Those audits are performed multiple times per year and are already public documents for anyone to see."

Attawapiskat chief slams audit leak as 'distraction'??????????
..."In a letter dated Aug. 28, 2012, that was written by Deloitte to Chief Spence and copied to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the auditing firm says that of 505 transactions reviewed, more than 400 lacked proper documentation.

The letter says "an average of 81 per cent of files did not have adequate supporting documents and over 60 per cent had no documentation of the reason for payment."

The letter to Spence also says there is "no evidence of due diligence on the part of Attawapiskat of funding provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for housing projects and Health Canada for health-related projects."

From the above documentation I can only conclude that myths have been perpetuated by Chief Spense and her hightly paid consultant boyfriend....
The real loss are the Reserve's women and children who have to tolerate and live in deplorable conditions while money they rightfully deserved is being squandered and misdirected to the pockets of the chief, her boyfriend and other co-horts.... for shame.... the people should ask the government to come in a clean up their reserve before any more money is shamefully misdirected.....
Big Deal 1/24/2013 8:33:40 PM Report

But....if this is the actual case that Spence did in fact take money from her own people for the past 5 years say. How are the people of the community suppose to get back what was rightfully theirs for 5 years? Please don't get me wrong...if the MP responsible for attawapiskat or ANY other politician is guilty of taking kickbacks from Spence, which I would NOT doubt has also happened being that this problem did not just begin recently....he and other politicians should ALSO be ASHAMED of themselves AND also be charged and put in jail!!! I will admit though that if this was the case it wouldn't be hard for our government to cover up any MP or politicians involvement and let Spence take the full blame. I KNOW if any politician was caught stealing from the reservation I would be just as mad and be on here calling him/her a THIEF and shaming them, but...would everyone do the same??? Would it be such a huge topic? The sad part is...I don't think so, which would be just WRONG!!!
thomas 1/25/2013 6:47:56 AM Report

Quotes from web page link below. VERY INTERESTING READ

Quote: "Aboriginal Canadians, like all Canadians, deserve to know how public funds are managed"

Quote: "You Can Call Me An Asshole, But Don't Punish Aboriginals Who Question"

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/patrick-brazeau/patrick-brazeau-theresa-spence_b_2544950.html
Stevie-E 1/25/2013 8:23:21 AM Report

I hope a politician comes along one day with the balls to cut the FN's off and bring them in line with the rest of us. .

All this talk about paying taxes...please, as a business owner as well as come from a long line of business owners in Canada and the US, I know that FN (primarily Canadian) will try to find every loophole to not pay tax. The sense of entitlement is beyond comprehension.

Sure, you pay taxes, but not the same as us Caucasians. Oh, how about no fishing licenses required. You all are like a child who has been spoiled. Tired of it.

This is akin to organized begging for 200 years. Time to toss the treaties just like some parts of the US consitution.

Liberal No More...grow some nuts, Lefty.
sinikka 1/25/2013 9:21:59 AM Report

'They brought awareness to our issues on a global level'

what it has done is enlightened canadians as to the real underlying problems of chief spence's reserve. There should have been much more accomplished with $90 million. The native people should realize that the real enemy is in their midst. Demand from your own leaders what you demand from the government.
thomas 1/25/2013 1:38:01 PM Report

I won't give two cents to the RED CROSS or any other organization who collects TOWARDS Attawapiskat and the likes, until good o'l Theresa and her boyfriend cough up some dough towards their tribes-people who need it desperately.

It is the greedy tribal leaders who are commiting a crime and keeping their tribes in poverty.

No WONDER they didn't want audits done.
The curtain has fallen down with a thud that resounds across the country.
66cherokee 1/25/2013 2:05:38 PM Report

Hey Highway1, maybe you should read today's Sault Star. It's about Canada's First Nations. Grief, Rage & Hope. It talks about Shawn Brant who is a FN dissident and how he talks about Chief Spence. To quote him "She is no hero in my book". "Her people are living in unheated shacks, improverished and is largely responsible because she had the control over the money". Also at the bottom of the page is Killing with kidness, drowning in cash. It explains about how much money goes to reserves. 5% of the federal operating budget on a little more than 1% of the national population. Take the time to read these articles. It shows where the money should be spent, but it seems that still at Attiwapiskat FN still live in poverty. Unacceptable in these days and time.
FN peoples need to go after their chief and ask for accountability. Maybe then something can be done.
66cherokee 1/25/2013 2:17:11 PM Report

I just received something from a friend. Please go to wwwnationalpost.com and read an article by Antony Sowan and registered FN. It is very well written. It's about the "Idle No More" movement. Great read. I have passed it on to all my friends.
moem 1/26/2013 7:21:55 PM Report

Big deal

The money that our govt has wasted both federal and provincial is indeed money that comes from somewhere, social services cuts continue to happen and if you really think that non aboriginal people are not oppressed and living in dire poverty while politicians make huge salaries you are delusional and should spend some time wandering around the streets of toronto!! Look at the ornge scandles, e health, G20 and G8, also consider the bonuses that politicians got at Xmas and the severance mcguinty is getting.... There are bad Apples in all races and crooked self serving leaders as well! But keep focussing on the natives, that's precisely what the govt is counting on....
moem 1/26/2013 7:24:50 PM Report

66cherokee

There are people... Families living on the streets of Toronto, I bet they would love to have an unheated shack! People keep fixating on FN leaders living high on the hog while their people suffer, can the same not be said of mcguinty and Harper????
Comments
27
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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