Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Attawapiskat leader threatens civil disobedience over Canada's treatment of Native population

A regional chief who represents Attawapiskat says that a number of his counterparts in other First Nations are prepared to engage in civil disobedience over Ottawa's handling of a housing crisis in the northern Ontario community.

"There's people who are ready to stand up and be counted... to stand up and do civil disobedience so that we are heard," Stan Louttit told Evan Solomon on CBC-TV's Power & Politics.

"If the minister does not want to work with us, you may see that sooner than later," said Louttit, who presides over the Mushkegowuk Council, which represents Attawapiskat and six other First Nations.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has ordered an independent audit of Attawapiskat's finances and has appointed a third-party manager to oversee spending, after local leaders declared an emergency over substandard housing conditions.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence declared an emergency in October as winter approached, while some members of the community of about 1,800 huddled in unheated tents, condemned housing and portable trailers. more