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Attawapiskat Chief Spence has drawn up will, prepared for death: aides



Attawapiskat Chief Spence has drawn up will, prepared for death: aides

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has signed off on her will and is prepared for death, APTN National News has been told.

Spence’s will includes a description of who will care for her daughters and she has also signed off on directions requesting non-intervention if her health takes a turn for the worse. The documents are in the hands of her lawyer, aides told APTN National News.

Spence began her hunger strike Dec. 11 to force a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston and First Nations leaders.

Harper is scheduled to meet with a delegation of First Nations leaders, youth and elders on Friday.

Johnston’s office, however, has said he would not be attending.

Spence has said she would not be attending the meeting if Johnston did not go and would continue her hunger strike.

Spence’s spokesman Danny Metatawabin told chiefs Wednesday they should cancel or walk-out of the meeting if Johnston did not attend.

Johnston represents the Crown, which entered into treaties with First Nations. The Johnston’s presence is viewed as essential by some because he represents the original treaty relationship.

Spence has sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth II requesting she direct Johnston to attend.

While some chiefs are seriously considering canceling or walking out of the meeting, Six Nations Chief Bill Montour said Spence should end her hunger strike on Friday.

“For her own health, Jan. 11 should be the end of the hunger strike,” said Montour. “She has the attention of the world and let the world judge Harper.”

This is not the first time a First Nations leader has asked Spence to end her hunger strike. Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak also asked Spence to end her hunger strike in a Christmas Eve letter.

“I believe that you have accomplished the efforts for which you have set out to do and I plead with you now to take down your camp, return to your people and embrace your loved ones,” wrote Nepinak in the letter.

Montour said First Nations leaders should attend the meeting with the prime minister, even if Johnston does not attend.

“You never walk out of a meeting, if you walk out you are defeated,” said Montour.

Spence has consumed no solid food, taking only on cups of fish broth, herbal teas and water since she began the hunger strike. Spence’s health is rapidly deteriorating, she has been complaining of pains from her stomach contracting over lack of solid food, has lost at least 22 lbs and is increasingly fatigued, her life partner Clayton Kennedy told APTN National News. Kennedy also said her blood-sugar level has been dropping.

jbarrera@aptn.ca

@JorgeBarrera

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  • Daisee

    “You never walk out of a meeting, if you walk out you are defeated,” said Montour.

    Nonsense, it is time to change that thinking overall.

  • 1Creelady

    I believe that that they should NOT go altogether as opposed to waking out. Just call it all off until the GG agrees to go. This meeting will be null and void without his presence. Harper is trying to play this with loop holes hoping he can weasel his way out. Don’t let that robot get his way, it’s not up to him anymore.

    • Matt D

      Weasel his way out? I must have missed the announcement from the PM’s office stating that he will boycott the meeting unless Ringo Starr shows up. By the way it’s up to US, the taxpayers who fund the gong shows you call reserves. I call them depressive prisons myself.

      • http://www.facebook.com/missflett Miss-Flett Natalee

        do some research on how your tax dollars are spend, like harper donating billions to other countries, his legal fees, politician salaries, veterans, pensions etc. its the resources of our land that has been subsidizing the livelihoods of all canadians, including you. Most of you may not care, but we care about the land, water and trees…God have mercy on your childrens children and their children if we cant protect the land from poison!

        • HunterDave

          I am a Veteran who defended your right to peacefully demonstrate and post misinformation on this thread. During my 27 years of service I paid into a pension fund with my own money from my paycheck. My pension is the only money that I receive for my service and it is NOT funded with taxpayer’s dollars. Perhaps you are the one that should do some research Miss-Flett Natalee.

          • Val

            Many First Nations Veterans were completely disowned and forgotten from our own government.

          • HunterDave

            So you think that FN Veterans deserve more than any other Veterans, is that it? FN Veterans are treated the same as any other Veteran, no more or no less. My Brothers in Arms that happen to be Native would be embarrassed by your statement. I served beside them, I know them, you don’t. They would be too proud, like me, to whine about how our government treats us as Veterans. “Poor me” syndrome is frowned upon as a weakness in the Military.
            I didn’t come to this site to argue, I came here for information. If you take offence to me correcting Miss-Flett about Veterans NOT getting taxpayer handouts from the government and want to bore me with your whining then that’s your problem.
            BTW I served with “Lasagna’s” brother. His last name is CROSS…..look it up.

          • http://www.facebook.com/albert.poitras Albert Poitras

            Hunter you pay a part of your pention the rest comes from the government you do not pay for the whole thing. it is like EI you pay into it a little while the rest is covered by someone else. so you are kinda covered by the Tax Payers money

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Van-Grungy/100000069253213 Van Grungy

        The reserves are microcosms of communism

      • spence supporter

        The taxpayer is not funding the gong show, in fact the funds are derived from resources. On Attawapiskat it is from mines which the Government pilfers First Nations territories and only pays them less then one percent of the revenue they generate from First nations mines. Perhaps First Nations should stop subsidizing Canada and see how you taxpayers so without First Nations support.

        First Nations should take 99 percent of the revenue from their lands, mines and other resources and give Canada one percent. First Nations are paying more out of the resources of their lands then anybody else MATT. The next time you want to make an ignorant comment, make sure you know what you are talking about Matt.

      • Reid Gilker

        Matt D You are nothing more than one stupid ignorant racist SOB , If you have a problem with the First Nations of this country I most seriously suggest that you go back to the country that your ancestors came from That is, if that country would even let the likes of your UN educated azz back in it. Here is where your and probably not your tax dollars go, because I don’t think you hold the mental capacity to hold a job. try to comprehend the following,, if you can!! If you can’t, Educate yourself before opening your stupid mouth.

         

        During the 2010-11 fiscal year Canada recorded 240 Billion dollars in revenue. Some people seem to think the majority of this money goes to the First Nations. Well here is the break down on it.

        36 Billion goes to elder and pension funds

        53 Billion goes to provincial governments

        33 Billion goes to Federal organizations and employees

        31 Billion goes to Canada’s in-house debt

        20 Billion goes to EI benefits

        26 Billion goes to health programs

        10 Billion goes to research & development

        21 Billion goes to national defense

        10 Billion goes to public safety and emergency preparedness

        7.3 Billion goes to the Canada revenue agency

        10 Billion goes to crown corporations

        6.7 Billion is divided between Health research, programs for public health, veterans health care and First Nations & Aboriginal peoples

        555 Million goes to parliament’s salaries and honorariums, while they capitalize on more funds by way of drilling and raping Canadian land

        So now you know where your tax dollars are going, not to mention that the Dept of Indian affairs has an estimated 5000 employees most of who make six figure salaries plus benefits so in actual fact the First Nations reserves in Canada receive about half of what has been allotted for them.

        • Justyna Katelnikoff

          Thank you! Yes, I know this too. Most of the so-called “First Nations money” goes to civil servants. By the time it filters down to the actual tribe, there is hardly anything left.

        • http://www.facebook.com/natalie.aldridge.50 Natalie Aldridge

          I know that in Saskatchewan, the cost of education is currently determined to be $10800 per child, and that in the North they receive 1.3 x $10800 = $14040 per child because of higher costs but the Feds only fund $6400 per child so in the communities I work in that is a discrepancy of $7640 per student. Simply put, northern First Nations schools are underfunded by over 50% in comparison to their provincial counterparts. Not to mention that when Reserve kids go to town school, the band has to pay their $10800 tuition whether the child is a band member or not… But if a town kids attend the Rez the province only pays $6400. Food for thought.

  • Syd

    eahhhhhh!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lyn.medford Lyn Medford

    well I think they should go talk to the Chief Theresa Spence , hear what she has to say, listen to her and harper should not of waited so long to talk to her, what is he a coward , my god they have to do something before she is too weak !!

    • truthdareisay

      No She has to take responsibility for her own actions for once in her life!

  • Unknown

    thats what harper wants : natives to give up. dont let that happen we will stand and be strong for chief spence! #idlenomore!

    • Matt D

      Yeah let’s stand up for the fool who blackmailed her way into a meeting with the PM, only to back out because the GG, who makes zero decisions on policy, won’t attend. Bravo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/talkingfrog Gene Stewart

    if afn continue with the meeting they are assisting harper in killing chief spence

  • jesse26

    Oh for goodness sakes. Talk about Maudlin, and manipulative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Tomasoso.Berlin Thomas Sefzig

    Harper -> Den Haag -> Crimes against humanity >:(

  • kjgh

    Montour and Nepinak have nothing to lose? Stay out of it!

  • dukestreet

    She doesn’t know what she’s doing. Hunger strikes have no soup,water only. If she were on a true hunger strike, she would have been skin & bones by now. The GG doesn’t do any policy meetings. He represents the queen only, she doesn’t either. PMs don’t meet with small town mayors. Any entity that does not keep complete,detailed and accurate financial records,loses it”s funding. The money is taxpayer money until it’s spent on what it was sent for.

    No small town mayor meets with the PM, makes millions as mayor. Most get about $22,000.00 a year for a part time job. No town council has the majority membership from one family. No small town has a financial officer making $850.00 a day. Anyone who steal from the people they are elected to help deserves a long jail sentence. The reserve system is so corrupt it should be abolished immediately.

    Any people who discourage their children from getting a free education and bettering themselves so that they can be independent financially and otherwise does not deserve to get taxpayer money. Any band that takes money from non- natives living on their reserves and then refuses to let them use the services they paid for, is corrupt. End reserves and special rights for natives now.

    Many people have come to this country from far worse situations than the aboriginals,but they don’t expect to be compensated for it. They just get on with living. We should no longer be paying for these people to live. time for them to just get on with it. If the reserve system was going to help them, they would be much better off by now. Instead we have widespread corruption and a few people getting very rich wile the people they’re responsible to

    • Jeff

      Kinda like the HARPER GOVERNMENT EH duke??????? and what’s with you people posting ,spouting BS under phony names??

      • dukestreet

        What are you talking about? Harper gets paid as a PM, which is an appropriate salary, the chief not so much. As i said,if you check it out you will find that towns of the same size of hers, pay a small amount of compensation, which is for part time work. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve had family living on reserves. I’ve also run a daycare and other businesses, so I know what is required. Most of what the government does ,is available in the public domain, so people can see it. Any non-profit,or business or government must provide their books to people to see. The only group who feels they don’t have to answer to anyone is Chief Spence ( I can’t say about other bands). The Harper government has actually given more consideration to aboriginals than a number of previous PMs. I don’t understand the problem with the legislation since it actually gives natives more power about something they’ve actually been asking for.

        But, I do feel that it’s just getting to be too much, and the people at the bottom are being seriously taken advantage of by some of the leadership. Unless things change and there is more accountability and openness, it really is time to change the way things are done. Nothing that I’ve said is untrue. If you have a problem with it, that’s your problem. The Harper government has certainly done more for Canadians and has been more responsible than many of the previous governments. What do you care about my name?

    • Queeny Worthington

      This sounds like a comment from a non-aboriginal who obviously has never had to experience what ALL First Nations have had to. Your entire family and community was not murdered and had the culture beaten out of them! My people were called devil worshippers for practicing their culture and ceremonies. The only reason you say this is because, your just plain ignorant! By ignorant, I mean > (YOU WERE TAUGHT LIES FROM THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THE FEDS OVER FOR OVER 500 YEARS) Trust me when I say “NO”! YOU DO NOT KNOW! I look as white as they come, and I get the utmost respect from non-aboriginals as I can be comfortable with, but the very second they find out that I am a REGISTERED FIRST NATION INDIAN, I get treated like a lesser human! I cannot speak for the Chiefs whom are unaccountable for their finacial sittuations, BUT INDIANS DON’T AND NEVER HAD A FREE RIDE! Why doesn’t Canada question why the treaty promises were never kept? And yes! people have come to this country from bad sittuations and terrible countries, but they come uneducated about the First Peoples. They think we’re a bunch of drunks and we’re lazy, because of what people like you say! Well! I would like to see YOU, or your family go through half the shit my people went through, and come out of all of it “OK”. Phht! Now let me remind you again… 500 years of MURDER, RAPE, SMALLPOX, GENOCIDE, STARVATION, Oh and No! I will never get over it! It is people like YOU that hold back human kind for your own gain. We as humans will never move forward in positive way with racist, ignorant, uneducated people like you! My Name is Brenda Littlecrow, for the ones whom choose to not put their real names on here!

      • Val

        Dukestreet obviously has no clue about First Nations history. Walk a mile in our shoes before you start throwing out white trash!!!

        • joe blowwwww

          you wear clown shoes……..

      • http://www.facebook.com/lori.rosdal Lori’ Nelson

        I’m with you on that, Brenda!

      • bungopony

        Bullsh*t!How old are you?500 years?Snivelling about what happened centuries ago as if it’s YOUR ordeal simply cheapens the real suffering that was,repeat,WAS inflicted-NOT ON YOU.
        History’s fascinating,but as a bullsh*t excuse for infinite bellyahcing,it’s really wearing thin.Besides,it’s not doing you any favors,using historic grievances to justify present-day exploitation by those claiming to be on your side.Mother Theresa swaggers around,wallowing in luxury while “her people”wallow in squalor-and all you can do is pule about the 1800′s-way to shoot yerself in the foot.

    • Unknown.

      “End reserves and special rights for natives now.”
      We deserve to keep our reserves, we deserve to keep our rights. After all, we let the white men stay on our land. You make me sick..

      • steverdb

        It’s NOT YOUR LAND. It never was YOUR land. It’s OUR LAND and it is owned by the federal crown.

      • bungopony

        You LET the white man stay on YOUR land?Dude,you lost.Should everyone boogie back to Africa?

    • http://twitter.com/Stage_Red Kimberly Maracle

      ONE LAST TIME….the money is NOT TAX PAYERS MONEY…..its from the resources WE OWN AS FIRST NATIONS, and Canada gives us a pittance of it…..Canadians are not TOLD THAT…you should ask your local MP the truth on that…..?????

    • http://www.facebook.com/oolie9 Shannon Pite

      you are missing the point… shakes head wow!

    • Gary Schoenfeldt

      Dear “Dukestreet”: Your comments are illustrative of the need for Canadians to be taught some mandatory history about where our country came from. We need to understand that we won’t get that education by reading and listening to bigoted commentary from the ignorant punditry of the mainstream (corporate) media. As a fellow member of the Dominant Culture, the “Settler” culture, I have to tell you that I and many of my friends are very encouraged by the willingness of Idle No More (INM) to educate the public and embrace those who genuinely wish to understand and support the creation of a strong multi-racial Canada, freed from its current path of ecological and cultural destruction, a path that has been chosen not by the people but by private profiteers. INM is right to stand up against the continued plunder of natural resources at the expense of their rightful owners. I don’t know if you are open minded enough to read the Seven Fires Prophesy of the Anishanaabe, although the experience might do you some good if you are the type to try to understand the basis of someone else’s view of Canada. (That “someone else” being people who were here a mighty long time before our ancestors arrived. In fact, the same people from whom we got the name “Canada”.) I found the Seven Fires Prophesy not as hard to understand as the Bible and 100 times shorter! Not a long read at all – I Googled it. I also took the time to read up on the aims and implementation of Canada’s residential schools system. (Google again.) I read a book “1491 – New Revelations of The Americas Before Columbus” by Charles C. Mann and another book, “Guns, Germs and Steel, The Fate of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. Boy, and I thought that I had it tough! I cannot imagine what my neighborhood would be like (or what I would be like!) if my entire country and every country around me had been invaded the way the Western Hemisphere was, by basically, unstoppable aliens. Even if some of them were “nice,” I doubt that 500 years would have been enough for us to “get over it.” I understand where you’re coming from, Brother, but I have to tell you, with all due respect: You are wrong.

    • 1Creelady

      Mervine Nelson,
      “For all those that believe you can’t die from broth, tea, and water. I beg
      you to try it and see how long you can make it. Chief Spence is a true
      warrior in our time and age. Her past is the past. We are in the
      present, and she is fighting for our future.”

  • truthdareisay

    Tell her to go and manage her people fer chrissake If not and If she is serious about the hunger strike, stop eating period. She’s an adult. It’s one or the other.

  • NickyM

    Instead of being a government troll trying to sway opinion, if you’re not for any of this movement- don’t waste your time commenting. Didn’t your mother teach you any respect? Hi, Stephen Harper and his hired goons! #Idlenomore #J11 #chieftheresaspence

  • v79

    Why is so much attention being given to a woman who’s yet to provide a single talking point or suggestion as to what changes she’d like to see occur at this meeting or with the Crown-FN realationship in general? Why is it that some Natives are giving so much credence to a person who has proven to be completely unfit and incompetent? A less honourable spokesperson would be hard to find. It’s a shame that the blind are still following her despite her many missteps and proven disregard for democracy and the well being of her people.

  • wejitu

    It is disappointing to hear Montour take such a stand. I thought of him as a person of intelligence. His not recognizing the courage of Chief Spence and respecting it is making me think differently about him. He should be supporting Chief Spence’s decision all the way.

  • bornonsaltspring

    The math of weight loss.

    It takes a reduction of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound.

    Chief Spence has lost 22 pounds in 30 days.

    3500 x 22 = 105,000 calories lost.

    Divide 105,000 calories by 30 days = 2,566 calories a day of fat is what she is burning.

    A Very Low Calorie Diet (800 calories/day) is prescribed on a case to case basis for rapid weight loss (about 1.5 to 2.5 kilograms or 3 to 5 pounds per week) in patients with Body Mass Index of 30 and above.

    The 5 pounds a week weight loss, suggests that Chief Spence is getting about 800 calories a day from whatever she is consuming.

    At that rate, death isn’t imminent, but, she can look forward to losing more body fat over the next few months.

    And really, at her age, every Canadian should have a will…and yet more than 50% of Canadians don’t…

    • D’Arcy

      strictly speaking, Chief Spence has been burning not only fat but also muscle mass and other essential lean tissue. That’s how starvation metabolism works. I doubt that she is obtaining 800 calories a day from clear broth and medicine tea.

      • bornonsaltspring

        And your source of what Spence’s diet actually contains is? I’m quoting standardized low calorie diet math which supports 22 pounds weight loss over 30 days with 800 cal/day diet…at the most 5 pounds per week

  • Ivy Peers

    Idle no more has taught me that when all First Nations Groups unite to support protecting our Aboriginal Rights outlined in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that we are able to implement change when we all stand together for a common goal. It is up to us to use democracy to our advantage in order to hold all levels of government-First Nations, Provincial, and Federal-accountable for their actions in regards to protection of our inherent Aboriginal Rights. We are the fastest growing population in Canada, our votes count. Together, if we unite, we are able to ignite change, to revolutionize, so that we can protect our land and resources for all people, and our future generations in Canada.
    Ivy Peers

    Namgis First Nation

  • http://www.facebook.com/keren.winter31 Keren Winter

    All for a meeting with the Prime Minister, can’t anyone see what the world is coming to??? Seriously…look at what is happening to the land, the land is being destroyed left and right, north, south, east, and west. When the land dies, when money becomes useless, our children, grandchildren, great grand children will suffer. We are killing the earth all for money. I don’t believe this is an issue about equality, it never was. It’s about money, greed….if you have something to say about Theresa Spence and IDLE NO MORE protesters. GO TO OTTAWA and tell them! Don’t splatter it all over the web.

    I am from northern Ontario, I believe in saving our land, I believe that the treaty is the only reason why most of the land is still protected from those money hungry politicians. If it were your family, your land, your house, your future, being taken away, would you fight for it? would you protect your family and the future of your children and their children’s, children?

    Fish broth, or not……why can’t one man agree to have one meeting?

    It has to come to this, people arguing about money, and Chief Theresa Spence…

    Why?

    I’m happy that in this world full of greed, hatred, and evil….there is still good, and people willing to fight for what they believe in——

    • Matt D

      The PM was willing to meet with her and she turned him down. So much for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.galick Ed Galick

    I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR MANY ABORIGINAL LEADERS – BUT THERE ARE SOME THAT SEEM TO BE CRIMINAL IN BEHAVIOUR – SHE SEEMS TO BE THEPOSTER CHILD FOR THAT ELEMENT

    • Guest

      I’d have to say that Patrick Brazeau is that poster child, the cons let him eff up and then make sure it all gets put in the news. He still hasn’t caught on that poor dude.

  • Muskeg Moose

    That’s a sad commentary on the times. Happy new year everyone.

  • Trevor Townsend

    Dear Chief Spence: What happened to the money entrusted to you? Where did it go? Who received the undocumented millions? Over $100 million buys a lot of health care and housing. Therefore, why are conditions so bad at Attawapiskat? Yours truly, Inquiring Mind.

  • unknown

    i for one would like to personally invite anyone who thinks Chief Spence’s hunger strike is only a “cheap ploy” and “not a real hunger strike” to prove how easy it is by also foregoing all but fish broth and tea for a month. please. really. be my guest. i imagine you might find yourself with substantially less energy with which to write daft comments on news stories, however.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carroll.ellen Ellen Carroll

    This is a Nation to Nation meeting and Johnson as Governor General should be made to attend. I also concur with Brenda Littlecrow. Dukestreet sure could use a lesson in Indian Hsitory. Non-Natives still live on our lands and therefore still owe month to month rental for it. (taxes). IDLENOMORE Rule on :) Maamengwens (Ellen Sands-Carroll)

  • Starla Dejong-Goumans

    I just want to say how I apperciate Canada and the aboriginal
    People are taking a stand for Our great country!! Thankyou thankyou
    For being courageous like warriors and not takin no shit any more..I am sick
    To my stomach with the amount of blatent racism ignorance cold caloue calculated attitudes of my unfortunate deplorable nation… :( my children will and are taught the truth and I frankly dont care what any other white f@$%s have to say about it..May spirit be with cheif Spence in this terrible situation..She is right in what she is doing shes.fighting for all human life and our earth..money runs out cant eat or drink it then what are WE going to do!!!!

  • Marci Bailey

    @Dukestreet….keep yo ass in Canada…you don’t want to come to the States and talk your bullshit about our rights…..and everybody else who agrees with his BS…don’t even go there..yes it was our Ancestors who braved the Wars and injustices…but we deal with it today…it was over land and it will always be about land…..you have no idea.. you might talk the talk…but you sure in the hell can’t walk the walk….what do you know about your family history…do you have a family history…sounds like you crawled out from under a rock….you lack one thing a lot of my white friends have….a spirit……you don’t have the guts to do what Chief Spence is doing….don’t criticize her until you understand her heart……or any Native American…we have more guts and glory than you can ever imagine….or ever have…………………