Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence ended her six week hunger strike because of health reasons on Wednesday despite not meeting with both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to talk about Aboriginal treaty concerns.
Prime Minister Harper had agreed to meet with Spence and other leaders of the Assembly of First Nations earlier this month. When Governor General Johnston refused to attend the meeting citing he didn't have a political role in the meeting the chiefs boycotted the Harper meeting.
The hunger strike was spotlighted by the Idle No More movement in Canada although Spence was not a founder of that movement.
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee commended Spence during a press conference saying:
“We applaud the efforts of the hunger strikers and their helpers; they brought awareness to our issues on a global level,” says Madahbee. In 2010 the Harper government made Canada a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
“The declaration states Indigenous people have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect our rights,” says Madahbee “First Nations were never consulted with on Bill C-45, the Omnibus bill…never.”
Spence was unable to attend the press conference due to her health this morning. She is currently receiving treatment in hospital and is hooked to an IV line. While Spence is weak from lack of solid food she is said to be fine otherwise.
During her fast Spence is said to have only consumed fish broth and medicinal teas. She has vowed to continue her fight for her people in Canada.