Aboriginal Affairs says it will meet with starving Spence
NDP MP for Attawapiskat area says First Nations chief wants to discuss treaty obligations
The Chief of Attawapiskat is waiting with an empty stomach in Ottawa for an audience with the Prime Minister.
Theresa Spence has now finished the first full 24-hours of her hunger strike in an effort to force the federal government to meet First Nation treaty obligations.
NDP MP Charlie Angus said Spence is making an important point in calling for a meeting with the crown.
"The Crown was who the James Bay Cree signed the treaty with. The crown means the government," he said.
"They want someone who's actually going to be able to sit down and say, ‘yeah, we will deal with you.’"
'We have nobody'
Angus pointed out that First Nations communities usually "deal with bureaucrats."
"They deal with ministers who say, ‘I have no authority,’" he said.
"So when [Theresa Spence] is talking about the crown, she's not saying she wants the Queen coming over here. She's saying, ‘We signed treaties. We have nobody on the other side of the table who will actually work with us to go forward.’
Media requests for a response from Stephen Harper's office were directed to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, who said he is willing to meet with Spence this week in Ottawa.
A spokesperson for John Duncan said the minister has also extended an offer to have his office's parliamentary secretary go to Attawapiskat to make sure the community is ready for winter.