As the Chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation, Theresa Spence, becomes the focus of the entire “Idle No More” movement, while entering almost the third week of her hunger strike against the authorities, she has now gained support of former lieutenant governor of Ontario who advised Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her soon. The former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, James Bartleman, stated that “Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation has said she is prepared to fast until death. She should be taken at her word.”
Furthermore, Bartleman claims that Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan “lacks the weight to deal with the crisis.” He also pointed out that if Harper meets with Spence, it will illustrate nothing but his compassion for all suffering aboriginal people. But he added that “If he doesn’t, and Chief Spence dies, he will be forever remembered as someone too proud to do the right thing. Worst, he would never forgive himself.”
Spence has demanded, since day one, that she will rather starve to death than to give up her fast until the prime minister meets with her in person for negotiating the living conditions of the country’s aboriginals. She also asked to meet Gov.-Gen. David Johnston, though he has distanced himself from the matter. An elder from Moose Factory, Ontario, Thomas Louttit claims that “Spence is a very, very strong woman. She’s still laughing at jokes, she’s still taking her walk around the camp every day.” Though “Of course, she is getting weaker every day. But her spirit is strong.”
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