The end of the world prediction has come an gone. Some thought the planet was facing end of days, but rather, it seems that the idle apathetic behavior, the silence of the masses, and the acceptance of ineffective governmental policies and politician by the people is what is coming to an end. The indigenous communities are rising up and calling for governments to make good on the treaties the were signed between nations. They are not calling for violence they are calling for negotiations. They are not conducting terrorist acts to raise awareness they are calling for global participation using song, dance, and the power of the drum to bring people of all nations together, and to raise awareness to their plight. Their fight is all of our fight. More People! More Power!! More Progress!!!
In Ottawa Canada, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, finds herself half way through her 22nd day of her showing her commitment to negotiation and change in the form of a hunger strike. As a leader in the indigenous community and of the Attawapiskat Nation she has tried to meet with Canadian political officials and again and again they have refused to meet with her on a Nation-to-Nation level. She would like to discuss the treaties that the Canadian government signed with her nation years ago. It is because of this refusal to negotiate that she began her hunger strike. She is a traditionall women. “Her teepee is situated on an island in the frozen Ottawa River looking up at Parliament Hill.”
I recently traveled to Boston, MA to observe/participate at the Idle No More flash mob in front of Quincy Market on January 31, 2012 and on my way to the event I found an article titles ‘Hunger-strike Games’ posted on a blog called Ottawa Citizen, and here is a quote from the article I wanted to share and explore. The author of the article said the following when he began to describe Chief Spence actions; “Emotional extortion may be reasoned, calculated behaviour on the chief’s part but in no way is it reasonable behaviour in a free and democratic society. If the government gives in to anybody with a grievance who threatens to harm himself, hunger striking will be as common as dieting. Democracy will disintegrate.” I think the author was misguided because this nation is based on Chief Spence type of courage and committment, in fact it resembles the intestinal fortitude of our founding fathers. Her action is evidence that Democracy is alive and well. The government recently did negotiate with a group of people who create a crisis that was motivated by industrial suicidal practices and yet Wall Street Banks received a bailout. I don’t agree with the way the bailout money was distributed and the lack of regulation for what it could be used for, but I do agree with the government doing right by companies that do right by their employee’s. I do agree with company’s putting people before profit and if they don’t, they don’t deserve the financial support from the government, better yet , from the people of the United States of America. If governments around the world want to live up to the promise of democracy they must make good on their agreements. Chief Spence efforts are putting people first and because of that deserves all of our support. Below you will find a statement put forward by Chief Spence on her 20th day of her Hunger Strike.
Jonathan L. Lewis
Founder of the Positive Peace Warrior Network