By James Murray
Attawapiskat First Nation has requested the assistance of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in addressing the dire circumstances experienced by the First Nation and its members. In a letter to be delivered to the Queen through her representative, Governor General Johnston today, Chief Spence calls to Her Majesty’s attention the actions of Crown officials in imposing third party management on the First Nation, in an apparently punitive response to the First Nation’s request for assistance to deal with its housing crisis.
The letter outlines the chronic underfunding experienced by the First Nation, the imposition of third party management, and the withholding of money for any government services by the third party manager.
Chief Spence requests the Queen’s assistance in encouraging Crown officials to act honourably by respecting the autonomy of the First Nation, and ensuring that the First Nation receive the support for infrastructure, government and administration that is available to all other Canadian communities, First Nations or otherwise.