Photo: Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen
By Terrance Nelson
Roseau River Ojibway First Nation
Dear Chief Theresa Spence
Your courage is exceptional. Thank you for fasting for so long for the people. I am the Vice Chair of the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council. I talked to Clyde Bellecourt yesterday. He says that he is fully aware that your fast and the "Idle No More" Movement is going world wide.
This coming February it will be forty years since the American Indian Movement took over in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Again back then, it was the women who demanded that something be done.
Today is a good day to live. It is the shortest day of the year for sunlight. It is also the beginning of the New Era according to the Mayan Calender. Today you will see the beginnings of the New Era, when our people will stand up across Canada. The Spirit has awoken and is alive in our people.
When the people Sundance, they fast for four days and nights, they dance. You have fasted over ten days. Your goal was to see Steven Harper treat our people better and to have them respect the Treaties. I think that today you will see that the Creator has answered your prayers. You will see how much you have succeeded. You will see that our people are responding right across the country.
I invite you to come to Wounded Knee South Dakota for the American Indian Movement memorial in February.
I ask you to consider breaking your fast. You have accomplished more than your goal. Steven Harper is not in charge in Canada, the indigenous people are. Today we will prove who lives on whose good graces. The immigrants who came to our lands in poverty and now take all our natural resource wealth without any payment whatsoever to the indigenous people are being given notice that this will not continue.
The National Day of Action in 2007 was a warning to Harper that he seems to have ignored. Today, that warning is going to get a lot louder, loud enough to be heard worldwide and it will be heard by the Americans.
You have succeeded Theresa. The women are telling the men, it is time.