Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
VICTORIA ISLAND, ONTARIO Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who begins her 23rd day of her hunger strike today, has asked the four founders of the "Idle No More" movement to unify with First Nations chiefs.
Let us come together in unity, because all of us, chiefs and grassroots, are one.
“The chiefs are ready now to humble themselves for the people,”
said Chief Spence in a letter released on New Year's Day.
The letter released late Tuesday begins with the salutation: "Dear Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, Nina Was'te, and Sheelah McLean."
These four First Nations women began the grassroots group, 34;Idle No More" to react to the legislative measures presented by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that seeks greatly diminish treaty rights of First Nations people throughout Canada.
Since its inception, the message presented by Idle No More has gone global through a series of round dance flash mobs, rallies, protests and hunger strikes. It has effectively utilized social media on the internet. While social media has played a major role in getting the word out about activities of the Idle No More movement, the activities are very real.
The actual letter sent to the four founders of Idle No More was written by Angela Bercier, one of Chief Spence's closest assistants. Bercier is a student from Long Plain First Nation who is in Aboriginal studies at the University of Ottawa."This is Chief Spence's message:
'Let us come together in unity, because all of us, chiefs and grassroots, are one. If we are going to point fingers, let us point them squarely at this colonial government. The chiefs have made mistakes in the past, but don't shame them for these. They are, after all, our people. The chiefs are ready now to humble themselves for the people,'".
said the letter, which was signed by Bercier under her spirit name Apischi Kihiwikwan Iskwew.
As of late Tuesday night, it was not clear how the founders of Idle No More will react to the letter.
posted January 2, 2013 6:30 am est