Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 2, 2013

Express support for chief, NDP urges premier

As 2012 drew to a close, NDP Leader Liz Hanson called on Premier Darrell Pasloski last Sunday to add his voice to the growing contingent of Canadians standing behind Chief Theresa Spence.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm

As 2012 drew to a close, NDP Leader Liz Hanson called on Premier Darrell Pasloski last Sunday to add his voice to the growing contingent of Canadians standing behind Chief Theresa Spence.

Spence, chief of the northern Ontario Attawapiskat First Nation, has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11, camped on Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, not far from Parliament Hill.

Her initial goal was to secure a treaty meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston and First Nations leadership.

“There is a powerful, and growing, resonance within both the First Nation and non-First Nation citizens of Canada of the need for an expression of an open mind and generosity of spirit to create the common ground upon which a relationship of trust can be established,” Hanson said in an email to the premier.

“Much emphasis has been placed on the pivotal role the prime minister can, and should, play in reconciliation. However, as premier of Yukon, you, along with your provincial and territorial counterparts, have a significant role to play.

“Canada has changed. Our modern day treaties in Yukon demonstrate, daily, the challenges and opportunities of making real the promises made in good faith,” she continued.

“As we enter this new year, I urge you to take a stance. When you call the prime minister to wish him a happy new year – call upon your good relationship with him: urge him to convene a meeting headed by the prime minister, aboriginal leaders, provincial and territorial leaders to begin, without precondition, the serious work of reconciliation.

“It is the work that Canadians expect from our elected leaders.”

Pasloski was not available for an interview Monday or this morning.

Hanson added her call for action from the premier to the voices of the federal NDP and other prominent Canadian leaders who have publicly urged the prime minister to meet with Spence.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair sent a letter to the prime minister on Dec. 18 urging him to see Spence.

Since then, multiple NDP MPs have met with the chief.

Federal Liberal leadership candidates Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau have both met with Spence and have called on Harper to respond favourably to her request for a meeting. So has Carolyn Bennett, the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs.

Former Conservative prime minister Joe Clark has also met with Spence.

According to a Canadian Press report, Clark said: “Chief Spence expressed a humble and achievable vision – one which I believe all Canadians can embrace.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has sent several invitations to Spence to meet with him, and other federal ministers, including Health Minister Leona Aglukaaq, have encouraged her accept.

Spence maintains the meeting should be with the prime minister, though some reports from last weekend had her softening that stance.

Idle No More protests have been held across the country in support of Spence.

CommentsAdd a comment

Dan Davidson

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Joe Clark was a PROGRESSIVE Conservative Prime Minister. That was an entirely different political party that the current Harper Conservatives.


Jan 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Interesting article I read the other day. it has some interesting information about Idle No More and chief Spence.


June Jackson

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I think there are better ways to achieve goals than holding yourself hostage and starving.

Its like the guy pulling a holdup by saying..give me all your money or I’m going to jump off this bridge. 

It is unfortunate that any air time at all is being given to Spence who has the right to starve.. but I think, not the right to then blame that decision on the Government who won’t cowtow to emotional pressure. 

That being said, I think billions have been spent, my money, your money..where did it go? I know statements were asked for..Maybe Harper can go on a hunger strike until Attawapiskat First Nation provides those income/loss statement?


Jan 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I hope the NDP don’t drive this person to starve themselves to death for the sake of a lofty NDP agenda….

stan rogers

Jan 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I agree with NDP Leader Liz Hanson but do not expect Premier Darrell Pasloski to add his voice in support of Chief Spence.I feel the same way about Ryan Leef and Dan Lang- they will remain silent.

But if someone in the mining industry asked them to speak about the Yukon they would be available. Its pretty sad but indicative of how the Yukon Party, and conservatives across the country want to promote resource extraction and do not really care about the welfare of First Nation people. Its shameful.


Jan 3, 2013 at 12:59 am

Jumping on the latest bandwagon Liz?

Idle No More is NOT supporting Spense, but rather distancing themselves from ALL corrupt Chiefs and Band Councils as the root of the aboriginal problems.

The Yukon govt should ignore her grandstanding.


Jan 3, 2013 at 3:30 am

ENOUGH with Chief Spencer, I’m an aboriginal in the Yukon and quite frankly I’m tired of this idle no more nonsense. She’s not even on a hunger strike.  She has admitted to eating broth soup several times a day, along with tea and water.  As one of her own supporters said, it’s not a strike, its an Oprah diet.  Idle no more has come, had its 15 seconds of fame, and now time to move on.

Jackie Ward

Jan 3, 2013 at 11:55 am

This women is a joke. And being on a liquid diet is not a hunger strike. I bet your own people are really proud of you.


Jan 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Why does any one people deserve more than any other? No one gave me anything, I have had to work for everything I have gotten and I was born here, if you want to live in far off places in the land then do so but make your own future without expecting someone else to pay for it! Who cares who was here first, we all need to live here.


Jan 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Idle no more. What does that mean?  I think that what the government is wanting is some accountability from the First Nations.  If there was accountability there would not be a so called hunger strike.

Ken Putnam

Jan 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Well gee Stan Rogers great comment but to bad you’re wrong.  The difference here is the big oil companies don’t try to starve themselves in a tent and have a hissy fit if they don’t get their way.  Unlike Chief Spence the big oil companies promote economic development and will hire every single First Nations persons they can get their hands on.  Ms Spence takes Federal transfer payments squanders and misappropriates the funds for her own greedy needs while her reserve lives in third world conditions. The so called broth soup hunger strike is simply a pathetic attempt to deflect the criminal allegations previously made against her and other members of her family.  Liz Hanson if you want to buy into this scam go ahead and fill your boots but rest assured the vast majority of Yukoners, First Nations or others are not buying it.  I hope Paz, Ryan, Danny & the PM ignore her totally.


Jan 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

She’s eating fish stew and 3 Boost Meal Replacement drinks a day.  Now she’s only absorbing slightly more calories than a person should have in a day.  If she really wanted to be an example for her people she should stay on her diet and hit the treadmill a few time a week!

2 taxed

Jan 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

This is just our local NDP leader trying to get some more free publicity at someone else’s expense. Maybe she should do her research before giving our Premier any advise. Here is some interesting info on Theresa Spence and the Attawapiskat First Nation.



Yukon guy

Jan 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Here is a unbelievable article ...maybe it’s time for Chief Spence herself to start answering some questions!
The people of the Attawapiskat tribe need to direct some serious questions to her and hold her liable!

Bob Graham

Jan 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I totally agree many First Nation people live in conditions that I wouldn’t want my neighbour to live in! The real burning question is where has all the financial support funds provided by Canadian taxpayers gone! No records in 82% of all F.N. financial transactions? Doesn’t that raise red flags for every native & taxpayer? We need to assist these people but not make a few Leaders, Band Council members & their family & close friends rich! Never will happen as not politically correct to DEMAND where this money goes?

Arn Anderson

Jan 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

The outrage from people is a joke. When a group/race of people mis-spends money (assumption) its time to bring full accountability but when Harper, Buckway, Pasloski or any other “government” does it, its just another day at the beach.


Jan 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Here’s a link to some more “interesting information”. Granted, it’s not the wit and wisdom of Ezra Levant and the National Post cabal, but somehow I take her more seriously.



Jan 8, 2013 at 12:47 am

The chief, or soon to be former chief will soon be the laughing stock, saying she is starving herself for her people.  Maybe she is pretending to be starving, to direct attention AWAY from the problems she may have created within her own first nation. 

I’m glad the gov has come out with this info, asking, Chief Spencer.. where is the money?


Jan 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Here is another extremely relevant link that is, in fact, about the commenters here (and other sites throughout Canada where there’s commenting on Idle No More. I hope people read it, because, as someone says in the attached article, the tone of comments does get “disheartening”, and yet we are all neighbours in one way or another.



Jan 9, 2013 at 4:17 am

Mr Anderson, dishonesty and corruption in one group does not excuse or condone dishonesty and corruption in another group.  If your neighbor cheats and steals that does not give you an excuse to do the same.

Brice Carruthers

Jan 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Theresa Spence is no Gandhi or Martin Luther King….that’s for sure.  At best she is a intellectually dishonest huckster that is trying to paper-over her many shortcomings and financial misdemeanours.  Her protest will lead straight to another Harper Majority.


Jan 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

As genuine denezhu I can assure you we paid dearly for our land so you can live comfortably.  Its Queen Elizabeth who breached the contract.  Don’t think that Native people get free hand-outs.  We don’t!  The queen of Engalnd agreed to take care of Canada for us in exchange for a piddly poverty leveled lifestyle.  I am not concerned with what Chief Spence intentions are at the moment. I am concerned with the well-being of our children and our grand-children.
Like or Dislike.  That is your choice.


Jan 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I wonder how many pure first nations there are here in the Yukon?  The majority I see especially the younger generations tend to look like they have a lot of caucasian in them, but they only claim the first nations ancestry.  Do they also blame themselves for all the problems?

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