Spence to continue hunger strike

Jan. 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

OTTAWA, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence said she will continue her hunger strike after she and other chiefs attended an event with the governor general in Ottawa.

Spence has been on a hunger strike for the past four weeks in an effort to bring First Nations issues into a public spotlight and to support the Idle No More indigenous rights movement.

The Friday event, which was described by the government as "ceremonial," included a greeting by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, a procession and a smudging ceremony and prayer performed by a native elder, CBC News reported. About 100 other tribal chiefs attended the event.

Spence, who refused to attend a meeting earlier Friday between some First Nations chiefs and Prime Minister Stephen Harper because Johnston was not in attendance, left the later event early.

"It didn't feel too good inside that house ... but we stood up for your rights," Danny Metatawabin, who speaks for Spence, told a group of First Nations chiefs, describing the meeting as "a show, a picture opportunity."

"Sadly," he said, "the hunger strike continues."

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