Ottawa – The Chief of Attawapiskat prepares to pack up and go home, putting an end to its strike hunger started six weeks ago. Theresa Spence will pass the torch of his struggle with the opposition parties, today, is relying on them to that urge to turn Ottawa to listen to the claims of indigenous peoples.
Theresa Spence and his entourage conducted discussions for two days to find a solution for the Chief of the Ontario reserve, that fasting since December 11 by not feeding that medicinal teas and fish broth, and who spent part of his days on Victoria Island near the Parliament. The representatives of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the NDP and the liberal party agreed with it to endorse a declaration bringing its applications with Stephen Harper. Enough to Ms. Spence to stop his fight his spokesman confirmed Wednesday night.
“We are fully committed to carry out urgent and concerted actions required until concrete and tangible results are achieved to allow First Nations to forge their own destiny”, says the preamble to the declaration, that are ready to sign caucus NDP and liberal, similarly as with the Executive of the AFN.
The document calls for an immediate meeting between the Crown, the federal, provincial and First Nations; a short-term plan to respond to the housing crisis; modernization and the implementation of treaties, nation to nation, within the next 5 years. a commission of inquiry into violence against Aboriginal women; money for building schools; same as implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples in its entirety.
The text also asked Ottawa to review its laws omnibus C-38 and C-45, which changed several environmental laws – a request which dismissed Ottawa following the meeting between Mr. Harper and the NPA members on 11 January. Co-signers want also a Ministerial Committee of the Privy Council to be responsible for the folder of the First Nations. Mr. Harper has promised “high-level dialogues” under the supervision of his Office and the Privy Council. Finally, the document called a commitment to the development of natural resource revenue sharing. Ottawa returned the ball to the provinces, ten days ago.
Before confirming that it abandons its young, the right Spence will head to a ceremony to “honor” his efforts at an Ottawa hotel Wednesday morning.
Several Aboriginal and political leaders – including its own reservation – called the Spence head to break his fast, stressing that it had passed its combat pointing the attention of the Government and Canadians on historical claims of First Nations. But each insisted to let her decide herself when she will give up.
“We expressed to head Spence our deep gratitude for his strength and determination, and welcomed the impact that this has had in increasing awareness of the need to see a change in fundamental and transformative in the relationship of First Nations with the Crown”, responded Wednesday Roger Augustine AFN regional chief.
The meeting requested by the NPA with Mr. Harper and Mr. Johnston Wednesday, it will not take place. The offices of the two men said that they had already met with Aboriginal leaders 10 days ago. The AFN, for its part, is not a meeting with the Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.
Visit to Cambridge, Ontario, Mr. Harper said that it was always review the national Chief of the AFN, Shawn Atleo, within a few weeks to follow up on discussions held two weeks ago. “We have not yet determined date. […] I look forward to working with national leaders and others to continue to make progress. […] It is important to continue to make progress so that improves the standard of living of our indigenous peoples and the opportunities that they are involved in our economy continue to improve”, he said.
Des Algonquins argue their rights on land in Quebec and Ontario
The Algonquins argue their rights over a vast territory of more than 34,000 square km which straddles the Quebec and Ontario, including the Rouyn-Noranda mines.
Of three Algonquin nation Timiskaming, Wolf Lake and Eagle Village chiefs were in Ottawa Wednesday to advise the federal Government and the Ontario of their intention to exercise their rights on what they consider their ancestral territories. The Government of Quebec will also be involved.
The territory covered by the three communities is, in fact, the broad Valley of the upper part of the Ottawa River. This vast expanse is partly in Ontario, but especially in Quebec, and generally located north of the Ontario City of North Bay.
The leaders of the three communities must also meet Thursday with representatives of the two Governments and introduce them to the result of some 15 years of research to determine the extent of their lands.
Like many other claims of ancestral lands, it could eventually lead to requests for sharing of revenues from natural resources, the management of the territory and the protection of the environment.
But as a first step, the three nations want to be consulted by Governments.
The Canadian Press
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