103D 3030 Dunn Drive
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
December 23, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama;
We are a group of concerned First Nations grandmothers who live in the Prince Albert region of Northeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. As a world leader, we ask you to intervene on behalf of Chief Theresa Spence, Attawapiskat First Nation.
Time is a critical factor for our plea for help because it involves a grandmother, Chief Theresa Spence, who has been fasting in Ottawa since December 10, 2012. We support her courageous stance and her fight in improving the living conditions and rights of First Nations people in Canada.
Chief Spence is asking for a meeting with a representative of the Crown and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to start a serious dialogue addressing the issues facing First Nations in Canada. She has stated, “There has been enough talk, enough politics, now is the time to develop action plans,” She also asks that “all First Nations leaders and communities across Canada stand united and in solidarity in advancing this urgent call for action and attention.”
She has also stated that she is prepared to die for her people. The Prime Minister has refused to meet with her and we are very concerned with her health and well being.
As a result, a world wide movement has started in support of First Nations rights and Chief Spence’s fast in Ottawa. The movement is called “Idle No More” and it has “rumbled from Cario, London, Ottawa, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and to Los Angeles, California.
Chief Spence has demonstrated that she is well grounded in her beliefs and values as a First Nations woman. She is using her beliefs and her strengths to do what is right. Canadian research shows that many First Nations people in Canada live in extreme poverty and live in third world conditions. It also shows that Canada is one of the richest countries of the world, however it has failed miserably in sharing the riches as required by the treaties.
As First Nations grandmothers, we understand her heart. If things don’t change, the future doesn’t look
good for our grandchildren and indeed future generations, not only in Canada, but USA and the world.
Canada is implementing Bill C-45. Bill C-45 has a direct impact on First Nations. We are stewards of the land, Bill C-45 will destroy the harmony and balance of the elements that sustain all life forms.
Therefore, Mr. President, we humbly ask that you call Prime Minister Stephen Harper and urge him to
meet with Chief Theresa Spence to avoid her unnecessary death. We believe as a world leader you have the power to help us.
In Spirit and Respect,
FIRST NATIONS GRANDMOTHERS
Elsie Sanderson, Cree Nation
Marlene Bear, Flying Dust First Nation
Isabelle Impey, John Cochrane First Nation
Sheila Musqua Keewatin, Ojibway Nation, Cote First Nation
CC: Chief Theresa Spence, Attawapiskat First Nation