Manitoba elder takes hunger strike to Ottawa
A Manitoba elder who has been on a hunger strike since early December is on his way to Ottawa to sit in solidarity with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.
Raymond Robinson, 51, of Cross Lake First Nation in northern Manitoba, is expected to meet with Spence on Monday afternoon.
Spence, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario, is in the third week of her attempt to get a meeting between First Nations leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to discuss the issue of aboriginal treaties.
Spence is not eating solid food, but she has been consuming fish broths and other liquids.
Robinson also began his hunger strike on Dec. 12, about 10 hours after Spence, and has been taking only herbal tea since then.
Like Spence, he is fasting to raise awareness of First Nations issues in Canada and to urge Harper to withdraw the recent omnibus legislation, Bill C-45.
First Nations people say the bill violates their treaty rights and weakens environmental laws.
"I am committed to continue my hunger strike until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston meet with Chief Spence and myself and the First Nation leadership," Robinson stated in a news release.
Robinson is being joined on his journey to Ottawa by Cross Lake First Nation Chief Garrison Settee, who said "it is a sad day in Canada's history when First Nations people are now ready to sacrifice their lives in order to get this government to work with our First Nations leadership on a nation-to-nation basis and to recognize, respect and honour our Inherent and Treaty rights."