First Nations "war drums" will "ring loudly" if Attawapiskat Chief Spence dies: Nepinak - APTN NewsAPTN News

First Nations "war drums" will "ring loudly" if Attawapiskat Chief Spence dies: Nepinak

(Round dance during Saturday’s Sandy Bay First Nation Trans-Canada blockade in Manitoba. Facebook photo from Krystyn Sayese)

APTN National News
OTTAWA–The “long silent war drums” of First Nations people will pound again if Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence dies from her hunger strike, says the head of Manitoba’s largest chiefs organization.

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak issued the statement Sunday, the same day Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo released an open letter calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to agree to Spence’s demand and meet with First Nations leaders to discuss the treaties.

Spence is into her sixth day of a hunger strike and she’s spending her days and nights in a teepee on Victoria Island which sits in the Ottawa River and in the shadow of the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill. Temperatures in Ottawa hovered between -6C and -10C over the weekend.

Spence says she won’t end her hunger strike until Harper and Johnston, as the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, meet with First Nations leaders to discuss the treaty relationship.

Treaties were signed between the reigning Monarchs over Canada, including Queen Victoria, Edward II and King George V, and First Nations people allowing for the settlement of Canadian territory. The last of the treaties, Treaty 11, was signed in 1921 after oil was discovered in near Fort Norman, in the Northwest Territories.

“If this prime minister fails to meet the conditions and this powerful Attawapiskat chief passes, the long silent war drums of our people must ring loudly in the ears of everyone,” said Nepinak, who was one of four chiefs who tried to enter the House of Commons chamber two weeks ago only to be pushed back by Parliament Hill guards.

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Governor General’s office did not return requests for comment as of this article’s posting Sunday.

APTN National News reported Friday that the AFN has discussed a possible meeting involving Harper with the PMO. The PMO denied there were any negotiations.

Harper and Johnston attended last January’s Crown-First Nations gathering with First Nations leaders across the country. Many chiefs feel that the so-called “historic” gathering accomplished nothing and instead the Harper government pushed through legislation impacting treaty and Aboriginal rights along with the Indian Act without any consultation.

“We seek an immediate commitment to a meeting with (Johnston) as the representative of the Crown, together with (Harper), to demonstrate respect and attention to the priorities set by First Nations,” wrote Alteo. “All First Nations across Canada stand united and in solidarity in advancing this urgent call for action and attention.”

Anishinabek Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee also wrote a letter Sunday to Harper urging him to meet Spence’s request.

“It would be disgraceful to Canada and the Canadian citizens your office represents if Chief Spence falls ill during her dire plea for democracy,” wrote Madahbee, who also tried to enter the House of Commons chamber along with Nepinak. “In fact, many view your lack of response over the past six days to be incomprehensible considering Chief Spence has stated that she is willing to die for this cause.”

Chiefs and First Nations people from across Canada, many travelling on buses, are converging in Ottawa this week for a Friday rally as part of the Idle No More movement that has swept the country through rallies and blockades.

The movement began as a protest against Bill C-45, the Harper government’s omnibus bill. The bill passed the Senate last Friday, but Idle No More continues.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

38 Responses to “First Nations "war drums" will "ring loudly" if Attawapiskat Chief Spence dies: Nepinak”

  1. Keptin John Joe Sark December 17, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    A letter should be delivered directly to Queen Elizabeth the second, explaining the situation and request her to recll the Governor General

  2. Bon Fineday December 17, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Not for a second do I believe that Harper cares a whit about Chief Spence’s couragous stand. Fresh from defeating a bill that would have save thousands of lives in Africa by providing generic aids medication, he’s all like “Ok who’s next.” Canada is a nation in pain, it ‘s treasury plundered, deficit nowhere near balanced and bleeding jobs with every plant closure. They are in the middle of lowering wages by glutting the workforce with immigrants, every move they make harms Canadians. Even if Tom Flanagan blinks and Harper does meet with her, he will just dish out some syrupy bs and move on. Harper has taken a halfass country and turned it into the world’s hugest ass.

  3. Greg Miller December 17, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Harpers a douche, wait sorry he is not a douche as a douche is useful for something ,Harper is a waste of skin just like the majority of government officials.

    Guest December 17, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    If Chief Spence dies sounding the war drums would be nothing short of an appropriate response. The government has violated treaty rights and she is waiting outside of Parliament to talk. For Harper to -allow- someone to die like this is disgusting He has an obligation to speak to her. Shame on this government.

    Guest December 17, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    If Chief Spence dies sounding the war drums would be nothing short of an appropriate response. The government has violated treaty rights and she is waiting outside of Parliament to talk. For Harper to -allow- someone to die like this is disgusting. He has an obligation to speak to her. Shame on this government.

    • Grace Smith December 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Yes…its very obvious that this PM thinks very little of anishnabe women…the very human beings that have that special ability to bring life into this turtle island. Would he let his wife, mother, grandmother, neices, auntys starve first, then face them directly to communicate their needs!!!

  6. Debora Beaulieu December 17, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Why does anyone have to die before anyone listens !!!!

  7. Garry Burt December 17, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    I dont think that Harper gives a crap about anyone or anything only big business as that is what got him elected.

    Katrina December 17, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    How can we contact Chief Spence?

    Preston December 17, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Push it beyond this “peaceful protest”! We need to speak in a language that they will understand! Lets all shed light on the darkness of greed because crimes like this do not go unpunished!

    metisluv December 17, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    I am a metis woman I am not status but I support the Idle No more Movement.My children wanted to have an understanding of whats going on and why Chief Spence is not eating and Ive explained the best I can.Today my 10 year old asked did the Prime Minister meet that lady today and I said no.He then said so she hasn’t eaten yet and I responded No….he just shook his head and had this sick look on his face and all I could say was I know my son,its sick that she is being ignored.This is about politics and rights but there comes a time where you have to remember the human factor.My children want to know why their Prime Minister is willing to let this woman die.It is not only adults with questions

    $35140823 December 17, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    Time to vote out all Conservatives in the next election, FN people rise up, take control of the colonial government and VOTE!

      Shadow2751 December 17, 2012 at 7:03 am #

      I believe the only party left with a the real interest of First Nations at their core are the NDP. I only hope Canadians can see that.

        Teri December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

        Everyone I know in my home town voted NDP. I have no clue who voted this idiot.

          1Creelady December 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

          keep in mind that Harper stole the election, he didn’t win it at all, not by a long shot.

        Steve Mckinley December 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

        i totally agree with you. when justin trudeau announced he was going to run i thought, if you really loved canada you would cross the floor and join the ndp. imagine the power that move would have? it would literally inspire a revolution. alas. i think now the first nations people are about the only hope this country has, and even then, its totally a long shot. very sad sad times for canada. the country is literally dying.

    BOOGITVILLE December 17, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    C’mon Harper… have some balls and step up already!!!!

    Tupak Huehuecoyotl December 17, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    The Law of Exceptions: Open Letter to the Ministers of State and the Public Societies of Canada-US-Mexico

    firstnation December 17, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    I’m from Eabametong First Nation!, And i think that he shouldn’t even be The Prime Minister, what did we ever do it him?. And i’m praying for theresa spence she’ll make it.

  15. Candace Warner Kitchkeesick December 17, 2012 at 8:17 am #


  16. Nic Duffield December 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Do people really believe that any government should compromise anything because of threats and protests? Not how a democratic society works sorry to burst your bubble. Aboriginals should take this matter up with there leaders as tey were involved in the discussions last year. Should this ominous bill be reviewed and split into its own individual bills yes is this how to go about it… No.

  17.' December 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I heard drums tjis morning 4 times, then again 6 timed, just before 7

  18. Elizabeth Plain December 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Communication is crutical with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is the only reigning signatory to the Treaties of Canada … Aahow !!!

  19. Dion Cardinal December 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm #


    Luis H. Sarellano December 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm #


    Daisee December 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Harper is going to see the ‘long silent war drums’ as a threat. He will refuse to even comment on it, let alone arrange a visit to Chief Spence. Contingency plans need to be made a.s.a.p. on behalf of Chief Spence. She is into her 2nd week of fast and she is not a youth who will bounce back to good health. I wish to god she did not vow to die, because if she does pass I can already imagine the Talking Points this gov’t has prepared to extinguish any blame on themselves. My hope & prayer goes out to Chief Spence.

  22. Ruth McVeigh December 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Harper isn’t taking this seriously. He’s too self-centered and ignorant to realize that the First Nations actually have some power.

  23. Niwaabidahn Debwewin December 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    harper is treading a very fine line leading towards a historic memory parallel to what hitler and Nazi Germany did to the jews, this is the legacy that harper is headed for and will be remembered for, genocide of all First Nations People, and the rest of Canada will suffer because of him.

    Leeoates December 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Harper does not give a damn about Canada. My guess he is pocketing a lot of money from China and the US. He is destroying the Nation.

  25. Garry Horsnell December 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    The British Crown made treaties with the Indians to obtain land from the Indians. The Indians sold or ceded land to the Crown, reserved land for the Indian bands and, according to the treaties, gave up “all right and title” to the land the Indians sold or ceded to the Crown.

    And, according to the treaties, the Indians were allowed to hunt on the land the Indians sold or ceded to the Crown until the Crown leased or sold the land to third parties for mining, lumbering or other development.

    And the Indians promised in the treaties not to hinder or interfere with development outside of Indian reserves on land the Indians sold (ceded) to the Crown.

    According to the treaties, the Crown gave the Indians lump sums of money and/or goods and promised annuities for the Indian bands and individual Indians for the land the Indians sold or ceded to the Crown.

    In addition, to annuities, the Crown promised in some treaties a school and/or a teacher on each reserve. In some treaties, the Crown promised a medicine bag on each reserve but none of the treaties say the Crown has to pay for all infrastructure, services and programs on Indian reserves.

    People should read the treaties.

    Nevertheless, the Canadian federal government (the Big Crown) is now sending about $11 billion per year of taxpayers’ money to Indian reserves to pay for infrastructure, services and programs the Crown did not promise in treaties and the provincial governments (the little Crown) are chipping in more taxpayers’ money for projects on Indian reserves.

    In fact, the Crown is using money from taxpayers outside of Indian reserves to pay Indians on reserves more than is required in any treaty and mining companies and other developers on land outside of Indian reserves are also paying Indians on reserves when there is no treaty that calls for that.

    So what does Chief Spence want to talk about?

    Does she want the Crown to follow the treaties verbatim?

      Darryl Paquette December 17, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

      that 11 billion is only .001% of the 1% agreed to dude better go read again
      the 70’s if it helps.

      Darryl Paquette December 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

      thats it cbc right thought i had seen your name somewere

  26. Garry Horsnell December 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Here are some excerpts from the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty.

    1) “they the said Chiefs and Principal men, on behalf of their respective Tribes or Bands, do hereby fully, freely, and voluntarily surrender, cede, grant, and convey unto Her Majesty, her heirs and successors for ever, all their right, title, and interest to, and in the whole of, the territory above described, save and except the reservations”

    2) “further to allow the said Chiefs and their Tribes the full and free privilege to hunt over the Territory now ceded by them, and to fish in the waters thereof, as they have heretofore been in the habit of doing; saving and excepting such portions of the said Territory as may from time to time be sold or leased to individuals or companies of individuals, and occupied by them with the consent of the Provincial Government”

    3) “Nor will they (meaning the Indians) at any time hinder or prevent persons from exploring or searching for minerals, or other valuable productions, in any part of the Territory hereby ceded to Her Majesty”.

    The Indian chiefs and headmen signed the treaties and other treaties have similar statements.

    People should read the treaties

    Maybe Chief Spence can tell us when the Indians will live up to the treaties.

    Darryl Paquette December 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    All of Canada is pissed at this government they should be removed from power
    100% in support of Idle no more. What happened to my dad & all of his brothers
    & sisters & mother because left scares that still last to this day. I did not get status

    nor did my sister & brothers but no matter, we know in are hearts where we come from
    & the bullshit that has been fed to everybody else in this Nation about the First Peoples
    of this land. they rape it for money I try not to cry when I see the oil-sands

    Peace will it lasts.

    Darryl Paquette December 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm # The Governor General appreciates receiving comments, questions and suggestions from all Canadians. well then litter the inbox

    Darryl Paquette December 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    boy some should see the comments on cbc they are
    just getting this idle no more it’s there but in the background the monkey

    story is as well that’s out there in plan view