LA TUQUE, QC, Jan. 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - As a sign of solidarity with
Chief Theresa Spence, who previously made known her intention to
boycott the meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Grand Chief Eva
Ottawa of the Atikamekw Nation will also not be part of the meeting,
which is slated to take place in Ottawa this Friday.
Eva Ottawa, Grand Chief of the Council of the Atikamekw Nation, was
highly inspired by her meeting last December 31 with Chief Spence, who
has been on a hunger strike since December 11. Urging solidarity, Grand
Chief Ottawa sees the Atikamekw Nation as a part of the national - and
even international - movement spawned by Idle No More.
"The issues raised by Chief Spence's actions are not unique to her
community. The current social state of affairs, coupled with
under-funding, has given rise to situations that cause overcrowding in
homes, the glaring need for housing, the lack of space and even the
non-salubrious condition of our schools," said Ms. Ottawa.
"We stand in solidarity with this movement and deplore the attitude
displayed by the federal government, whose plans for reform also target
the integrity of our territory - a valuable asset for the people of our
nation and other aboriginal nations in the country," the Atikamekw
Nation Grand Chief went on to say.
In Grand Chief Eva Ottawa's view, the action taken by Attawapiskat Chief
Theresa Spence is intended to ensure that Canada honours its duties and
obligations. "For more than 30 years, we have wanted autonomy and
recognition of our rights. In seeking to amend the Indian Act, the
government is moving us back a number of years," said Ms. Ottawa.
The Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation therefore seeks to mobilize
support in order to keep the pressure on the federal government. She
remains hopeful that Prime Minister Harper is able to hear Chief
Spence's passionate appeal and will commit to respecting the Crown's
honour as far as Canada's First Peoples are concerned. "All I want is,
quite simply, for the Prime Minister to finally and ultimately take the
aboriginal nations' actions seriously," concluded Eva Ottawa.
About the Council of the Atikamekw Nation
The Council of the Atikamekw Nation is a tribal organization whose
mission includes defending and promoting Atikamekw's rights and
interests in a social, economic and cultural context. It represents the
three Atikamekw communities - Manawan, Opitciwan and Wemotaci - whose
total membership is close to 7,000. The Atikamekw People have occupied
Nitaskinan for several millennia.
SOURCE: CONSEIL DE LA NATION ATIKAMEKW
For further information:
Office: 819-523-6153, extension 113