Re: “Chief’s hunger strike deadly,” Dec. 28, and “Protest is about government change,” Dec. 30.
It is interesting to note that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will travel thousands of kilometres to appear at a Stanley Cup game in Vancouver and hundreds of kilometres to attend the Grey Cup in Toronto, but will not go one kilometre to meet with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. Spence is on Victoria Island in the Ottawa River, across from Parliament Hill, engaging in a hunger strike until the prime minister agrees to a meeting to discuss First Nations concerns and aboriginal treaties.
In light of the continued opposition by many First Nations in B.C. to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project, one would think it politically astute for Harper not to further alienate native people by allowing an aboriginal chief to suffer possibly serious consequences of a nonviolent protest.
Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian pioneer of hunger strikes, once said of those who would impose unfair rule: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you and then you win.” Before it is too late, perhaps the prime minister should heed Gandhi’s words and meet with Spence.
© Copyright 2013