UPDATE (5:00 p.m. EST): CBC is reporting that Chief Theresa Spence will end her hunger strike tomorrow morning on Thursday, January 24.
Spence will be making a public statement about the end of her hunger strike at 11:00 a.m. EST on Thursday.
It has come to this; a conclusion to Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike is set to be reached not with a bang but a whimper. The end will come on Thursday, without her original demands being met.
Several separate reports released on Wednesday outlined what appears to be the death knell for Spence’s six-week liquid diet. She began the stomach-grumbling journey on December 11, 2012 to protest the government’s treatment of First Nations communities and force Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor-General David Johnson into a meeting of her design.
While Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo and other First Nations leaders met with Harper, Spence was not satisfied with the tenor leading into the meeting and continued her protest.
And now comes the apparent end, where her allies beg her to give in and she pleads for them to continue her fight.
The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) reports that a cadre of Attawapiskat councillors will deliver a petition to Spence asking her to end her fast. The report suggests Spence could be removed as council chief if she does not agree.
That shouldn’t be an issue, considering Spence is currently searching for a way to elegantly extricate herself from the hunger strike.
According to the Canadian Press, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and Ontario deputy grand chief Alvin Fiddler are working to find Spence a "dignified solution."
The report suggests the chief will pen a list of ongoing concerns. A ceremony marking her journey could also be in the works, which would focus on her success bringing First Nations issues into the spotlight and securing a commitment to modernize treaties and aboriginal rights.
The Globe and Mail, meantime, has more details about what Spence is seeking. The newspaper cites unnamed sources that have confirmed Spence will resume eating solid food once she has received commitments from opposition parties and the Assembly of First Nations that they will continue pressuring the Conservative government.
It would be an inauspicious end to a protest that has commanded national attention for months. But in Spence’s eyes, it would not be an end at all.
Let’s see how that goes for her.