Friday, December 28, 2012

John Duncan tries again to meet with hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence

photo By ,Parliamentary Bureau: OTTAWA - Since she agreed to meet with Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau, Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan is hoping hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence will reconsider his offer to meet with him.
Duncan's first offer on Christmas was instead met with silence. A day later, Spence welcomed Trudeau to her Victoria Island teepee for a 45-minute meeting.
This prompted Duncan to write another letter to Spence.
"It is my understanding that you met today with a member of Parliament,” he wrote. “Given your willingness to accept meetings now I am hoping that you will reconsider my offer, as minister of the Crown, to meet or speak with you by phone to discuss the issues you have raised publicly."
Spence is now in the third week of her protest, which includes restricting her food intake to tea and fish broth. On Christmas Eve, Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, himself an Aboriginal, tried to pay a visit to Chief Spence but was turned down.
Asked why she'd agree to meet with Trudeau but not with Duncan or Brazeau, Chief Spence said: "Trudeau is a person who's there for the youth, and he's seen by the youth as a leader today." She said she was not asking for a private meeting with the prime minister. "I want the [First Nations] leaders to sit at a table with the prime minister, and the Crown, both levels of government," she told QMI Agency in an exclusive interview after her meeting with Trudeau. Read here   Attawapiskat chief wants more cash from feds  By
OTTAWA - The chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation is threatening to call a state of emergency again at her reserve unless the federal government coughs up $50,000 a month with no strings attached for the band to use for housing.
Chief Theresa Spence has told federal government officials some trailers on her Northern Ontario that house about 90 people are no longer suitable and she wants to move the people into the community's healing lodge...A group of Attawapiskat elders sent a letter to Duncan's office last December complaining about the band council and urging the federal government to do a full audit of the band's finances. Attawapiskat has received $90 million from the federal government since 2006.
In the memo, obtained by QMI Agency through access to information laws, the elders said band members "support a forensic audit as they want to know where the funds were spent."
The federal government has spent $3 million since November providing emergency shelter for band members who were living in housing with no heat or running water.
Earlier this year, Spence asked the federal government to repair and modify the DeBeers trailers and, on Feb. 15, she indicated in writing those trailers had been fixed.
Now, though, she appears to have changed her mind. Read article here, video

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