APTN National News
OTTAWA–Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence will not attend Friday’s “working meeting” between the prime minister and First Nations leaders if the governor general sticks to his decision not to attend.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston’s office said Tuesday he would not be attending the meeting.
“The governor general will not attend Friday’s meeting because it consists of a working meeting with government on public policy issues,” said spokeswoman Julie Rocheleau in an emailed statement.
Spence’s spokesman Danny Metatawabin said the chief, who has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11 consuming only fish broth, medicine tea and water, wouldn’t attend the meeting if Johnston didn’t show.
“If he is not going to be there Theresa is not going to the meeting,” said Metatawabin. “We are going to take it day by day.”
Metatawabin said they’ve relayed their position to Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.
“We are going to have to take it day by day at this point to see if somehow he could be there,” he said.
Last Friday, shortly after the Prime Minister’s Office announced Harper’s meeting with chiefs, Spence told reporters she would be attending.
Atleo is scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Spence has said she won’t end her hunger strike until she’s satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. She’s made the governor general’s involvement as one of the core prerequisites for ending the hunger strike.
Spence has lost 22 lbs since and her life partner Clayton Kennedy said she has been increasingly weak in the last few days and has complained about pains caused by her stomach contracting from lack of solid food.
Spence and her supporters have also felt besieged following the release of an audit into Attawapiskat’s finances between 2005 and 2011. Kennedy told APTN National News Monday that the audit shows financial controls improved since Spence became chief.