June 21, 2013
by Larry Towell
On December 11, 2012, Chief Teresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Indian reservation began a hunger strike drawing national attention to the housing crisis in her northern Cree community on James Bay, home to some 2000 Cree Indians. She was demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper who refused to convene. Indigenous communities across Canada rose up in a movement of solidarity that became known as “Idle No More”. Six weeks later, Chief Spence broke her fast without result.
As the summer of 2013 approaches, actions of protest and civil disobedience have begun to re-emerge to focus attention on the extreme poverty of native communities across Canada and force the government to the table in search of a solution.