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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Theresa Spence's Hunger Protects Our Water

Dear friends across Canada, 

Harper just passed a monster law gutting protection for our lakes and rivers but Chief Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike to stop him. Now Harper’s caved, agreeing to meet this Friday, giving us a once-in-a-generation chance to push for real rights for First Nations. Click to sign this urgent petition and join thousands of Canadians calling for change:

Sign the petition
Harper just passed a monster law gutting protection for nearly all lakes and rivers but Chief Theresa Spence stepped up to stop him -- starting a brave hunger strike and galvanizing hundreds of thousands of people across Canada and the world. Now Harper’s caved, agreeing to meet with First Nations leaders this Friday, giving us a once-in-a-generation chance to push for real protection for their land, water and rights.

The government appropriates First Nations' lands, makes their water so toxic it disfigures children’s faces, and brutally underfunds schools and healthcare in their communities. But a real right for First Nations to approve all laws that affect their land and water rights could change this -- and there’s already an unprecedented national movement pushing for it!

If 50,000 of us join, our voices will be delivered directly to Harper before Friday so we can help give First Nations the power to make sure their rights aren't trampled on.

The Conservative government's attitude when it comes to passing laws that affect Canada’s First Nations is shoot first and take no questions later. They’ve gutted environmental protection for First Nations' water and lands, and grossly underfunded basic needs in these communities. And now Harper wants to unilaterally abolish the Indian Act. We’re talking about the elimination of all kinds of rights, property and even citizenship. The only way to stop this is to give First Nations the power to block any laws altering their rights without their free, prior and informed consent.

All decisions affecting these resources, revenues and environmental protections have to be taken with First Nations as equal partners -- not as second-class citizens. Let’s speak with one voice to give First Nations the power to stop Harper from passing laws that stomp on their rights. Click to join the call:

There are some movements so inspiring, they galvanise the entire country, our neighbours and even countries oceans away -- we are in the middle of one of those moments. Let’s stand with First Nations leaders and use this chance to change Canada for the better.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Ari, Emma, Ricken, Taylor, Melanie and the entire Avaaz team


First nations leaders hopeful after Harper agrees to meet (Globe and Mail)

Commentary: As Chief Spence starves, Canadians awaken from idleness and remember their roots (Globe and Mail)

Constitutional Duty to Consult (National Centre for First Nations Governance)

With events worldwide, #IdleNoMore movement grows too big to track (Globe and Mail)

First Nations say omnibus bill violates treaty rights (Calgary Herald)

Chief to continue strike after PM meeting, unless ‘concrete commitment’ is reached (Yahoo News)
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