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Chief Spence has ended her strike. In a somewhat amazing way, the end from the political side was brokered by the interim leader of the third party in the House of Commons, Bob Rae. Rae is a former NDP Premier of Ontario who turned to the federal Liberals some years ago. After their shellacking in the last general election, he took  up the interim post for nearly two years while the party tried to reorganize and get ready for a leadership convention in March. As a condition he agreed not to run himself. One of the most intelligent people in Canadian politics and always sought by journalists for a comment other than the mundane. He is also really the best extemporaneous orator. Still, he remains reviled by many for his period as a socialist premier. The first para of the article below says a lot about him. It is also interesting that he had to bring a political end by agreeing to take up the natives' cause with the government, instead of the Prime Minister doing anything further to help out, in this very cold weather in Ottawa. Some folks are classy.

Here is Michael den Tandt's article.

Originally posted to ontario on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:08 PM PST.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks and Native American Netroots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "...stories of past courage can define that ingredient..... But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." JFK Profiles in Courage " Ontario

    by ontario on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:08:12 PM PST

  •  The writer's contention that reform is fueled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by a sustained popular will is correct.  If Idle No More has run out of steam it is because it has lacked funding for the educational campaign needed to raise consciousness.  Money/media  trumps everything.  Chief Spence knows this and seems to have done the best with the little that has been available to her.  I admire her activism.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:29:48 PM PST

  •  I completely disagree with the writer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the Ottawa Citizen article when he says that there is no mention of the Queen or the Governor General in the Accord. In the sentence demanding a meeting the word "Crown" is used, as well as the word "federal government". Any Canadian who paid attention in Social Studies knows that our Queen is Elizabeth the 2nd, she is represented in Canada, unless she is present, by the Governor General. Either of them could definitely be defined as "the Crown". The Prime Minister cannot be defined as "the Crown" and neither can the Ministers; they are "the federal government". That is EXACTLY the difference between a republic and a constitutional monarchy. The writer needs to go back to school.

                         Fuming and rolling my eyes at him,

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:58:59 PM PST

  •  Spence was a pathetic joke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Her demands to meet with the Governor-General and appeals to London were ridiculous nonsense because (a) the GG wields no actual practical power except in very rare extraordinary circumstances, which this gong show was not, and and (b) there was no way in hell Elizabeth II was going to butt into a domestic political affair. Everyone with half a brain told her that.

    If she had ended the hunger strike (such as it was) when the PM and INAC minister agreed to meet with First Nations leadership that would have been fine but she turned it, and herself, into an absurdist comedy by becoming an attention-grabbing diva who tried to make it all about her.

    •  Have you actually been to the camp ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepeco, chimene, DaNang65

      Because I have.

      Chief Spence was making a point that the treaties were signed between the First Nations and the Monarch, not the Prime Minister. Her Majesty did reply to a request to become involved and said that Chief Spence should make her request to the Governor General, and the federal government, so Chief Spence was not wrong in asking for the meeting with both the Governor General and the Prime Minister.

      Chief Spence did something very valuable; she galvanized the awakening of the young Indigenous people of Canada, and many in other parts of the world too.

      Saying "such as was" is making it clear that you don't understand the meaning in her culture of the fish broth she was consuming. Did you know she spent last night in the hospital having IV fluids ?

                       Just my two cents,

      Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

      by Chacounne on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:55:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Got the order wrong there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        She asked for the meeting with the PM and GG and got it: but when she didn't get them together she threw her hissy fit, refused to attend, and sent off the letter to London demanding the Queen order the GG to attend. Spin all you want but the reply was exactly what the request deserved: a very polite way of saying "No."

  •  Thanks for the update (0+ / 0-)

    I have been worried about her; inspiration is one thing, martyrdom another. I don't know enough about Canadian politics to comment beyond that, as the Canadian relationship with its First Nations is quite different (and more clearly sovereign-to-sovereign) than in the US. I am so grateful to the First Nations for their leadership in the climate change / Earthcare movement and especially Keystone and uranium mining.

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