Read letters between Chief Theresa Spence, Governor General
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, wearing a headdress, takes part in a drum ceremony before departing a Ottawa hotel to attend a ceremonial meeting at Rideau Hall with Gov. Gen. David Johnston in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:43PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 22, 2013 10:35PM EST
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and Gov. Gen. David Johnston exchanged letters following a reception held by Johnston on Jan. 11, with Spence stating that “it is imperative that yourself and the prime minister be present at a meeting of all First Nation Chiefs.”
“This was requested and explained to you face to face by Chiefs and hunger strikers with honor, spirit and respect and the special value your position means to First Nations People,” she wrote in the first letter, dated Jan. 15.
Spence attended the reception, but did not attend a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper that was held earlier in the day.
Spence launched a liquids-only diet on Dec. 11 to draw attention to the living conditions on many of Canada’s reserves. She has been living on an island in Ottawa ever since.
She maintains that she will not stop her fast until Harper and Johnston agree to meet with her and other First Nations leaders.
In the Governor General’s response to Spence’s letter, he writes that according to Canada’s constitutional monarchy, “the governor general acts on the advice of Canadian minister.”
Spence wrote another letter to Johnston. In it, she says it’s the Governor General’s office has a “direct role and duty” in respect to her concerns, and urges him to “provide your opinion and advice to the Prime Minister.”