December 18th – CBC holds exclusive interview with Chief Spence
“It is a simple thing I’m asking,” Chief Spence explains at the 7.30 minute mark. “It’s a meeting. A dialogue, with the Prime Minister, the Crown, and two levels of the government, and with all the leaders. They’re all part of that treaty….we’re supposed to build up the future together. Not to put us in third world conditions. So, it’s time to sit together, not to have separate meetings. It doesn’t work that way.”
The interviewer clarifies, “So to be precise, you need to sit across the table from Stephen Harper?”
“Not just Stephen Harper,” Chief Spence corrects. “The Crown and the two levels of government, the federal and provincial…”
About a week ago – Prime Minister Harper agrees to meet with Chief Spence and the Native Leaders on January 11th.
January 9th – Chief Spence backs out of meeting with Prime Minister Harper…
…and the public is appalled. The public calls Chief Spence wishy washy. The public accuses Chief Spence of snubbing Harper. But what did Chief Spence ask for on December 18th? Chief Spence isn’t wish washy. Chief Spence is standing her ground. Chief Spence is wearing the breastplate of integrity. Steady Canada. Steady. Be careful not to be pulled in every which direction each voice is whispering in your ear. Remember, this is what character looks like. It may be hard to recognize. You may not have seen it exemplified in a really long time.
Remember, Idle No More and the Aboriginal rights cause started before Chief Spence’s hunger strike, and is more than a cry from Attawapiskat. Don’t be side tracked by dodgy news titles, misleading “facts,” and the thought that we should be interested in how much Chief Spence’ boyfriend earns a day while forgetting the important stuff. Don’t forget the Residential School atrocities, the fact that the Harper government is crossing the line over treaty rights as stated by both the United Nations and Amnesty International, that the Indigenous peoples are fighting to protect the environment we all share. I used to think Canada didn’t have third world poverty because the friends I had on the streets could afford to sponsor a child across the globe. Then I learned about reserves. Not all reserves, but many reserves. Don’t forget.
Remember the apology made by Harper in 2008 in which he said in response to the Residential School atrocities, “The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden of this experience is properly ours as a government, and as a country. There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian Residential School system to ever prevail again,” and yet…
Remember how Harper then promised to, “move forward together in partnership,” and to forge a new relationships, “A relationship based on the knowledge of our shared history, a respect for each other, and a desire to move forward with a renewed understanding that strong families, strong communities, and vibrant cultures and traditions will contribute to a stronger Canada for all of us.“ Don’t forget.
Our Native heritage is something to be proud of. Here is a leader who is showing people that character still exists today. Chief Spence didn’t back down. Her backing out of this meeting is no surprise because today CHIEF SPENCE STOOD UP!