TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/17/12 -- Dear Prime Minister Harper:
On behalf of one million members of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) I am calling on you to meet with Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation who is engaged in a hunger strike on Victoria Island, near Parliament Hill. Chief Spence is asking for a meeting with you to address her community's plight. We ask that you show leadership by first meeting with Chief Spence and then quickly acting in a positive manner to address the issues facing the people of Attawapiskat. The plight of the Attawapiskat First Nation is well known and should be unacceptable to every Canadian.
In 2009 at the request of our aboriginal members the OFL convention had the privilege of hearing a keynote speech from Shannen and Serena Koostachen. These young women outlined the deplorable state of the education infrastructure in their northern Ontario community and the need to address these shortcomings. Tragically, Shannen died in a car accident several months later. Shannen's Dream carries on her work and the 2011 OFL convention awarded the Shannen's Dream Coalition our Human Rights Award. Her family was present to receive this award.
There is no excuse for you not to meet with Chief Spence. There is no excuse for your government not to act quickly to address the issues facing the Attawapiskat First Nation.
SID RYAN, President
Ontario Federation of Labour
Chief Theresa Spence; AFN National Chief Shawn AtleoThomas Mulcair, Leader NDP; Andrea Horwath, Leader ONDP; Bob Rae, LeaderLiberal PartyCharlie Angus, MP Timmins-James Bay