Cree Chief Theresa Spence protest Camp – Images | Marc-Andre Pauze
Cree Chief Theresa Spence Protest Camp. The Chief of Attawapiskat is on her 19th and 20th day of fasting to raise attention by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Poverty and First Nation concern on the new bill C-45. That bill doesn’t respect treaties and jeopardize first Nation sovereignty on use of the land, protection of the environment, lakes and rivers. The Bill C-45 has shift the priority of water protection from conservation to economic, at the great despair of native community and environmental groups. Prime Minister Harper refuse to meet her and she said she will go on this hunger strike until he does or she dies. She lives in a tipi, heated with a trapper wood stove, even though winter is well set. This Issue raise a massive mobilization of First Nation Communities all over North America.
On her 20th day of fasting, Chief Theresa Spence go on with her hunger strike. She is getting weaker but her will and spirit are still strong and determined not to stop before Prime minister Stephen Harper agrees to meet her. It took me two days to get access to her even though I was informed she don’t meet the press and give anymore interviews. She only meets with first nation visitors. I was joined by three other photojournalists on the afternoon of the last day of 2012. I had met her press agent in the morning and he told me he would try to make me meet her. When he arrived on the campsite, he came to me and took my hand with his both hands and he stared at me for a moment, with a profound and respectful look. I didn’t say anything. After a moment, he smiled and said, “You can go in with the next visitors”. Then he turn to the other photographers shook their hand and told them they can go in too. When we got inside, she was sitting between three members of the Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope, Ontario). Ronnie Beaver took a drum and started to sing a song about the creator giving us all our strength, with the two others. She was holding an eagle feather, didn’t sing but listen carefully, like if she needed that strength to soak in her soul. Upon our leaving, I turned to her and bowed my head. She granted me with a smile and wave her hand gently. She is feeding one’s spirit.
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