AFN Chief denies calling for Theresa Spence's resignation

Credits: REUTERS


The Assembly of First Nations' Regional Chief for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia says he did not call for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence to resign last week.

"Contrary to this false and untrue statement, I honestly can say that, along with all the AFN National Executive, I continue to support Chief Spence in her leadership role and her call for our First Nations rights to be respected by the Crown," MorleyGoogoo said in a statement Saturday. "I have reached out today to Chief Spence's entourage to make sure to reiterate this support and to put an end to this false rumour.

Referring to Friday's meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Googoo said, "We have seen yesterday some encouraging engagement by the prime minister towards First Nations and we will continue the work for some positive change for our people."

Spence, who has been on a liquid-only diet since Dec. 11, boycotted the meeting which involved 21 First Nations chiefs.

She has vowed to continue her huger strike until she gets a joint meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor General.

On Sunday, John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced that the government will invest $330.8 million over two years to renovate water and wastewater infrastructure as well as improve water quality in First Nation communities.

"Our government is committed to addressing water and wastewater issues on reserve to ensure that First Nations communities have access to safe drinking water," Duncan said in a statement. "That is why we are taking concrete action to support First Nations in operating their water and wastewater systems on reserve."

Between 2006 and 2014, the government will have invested approximately $3 billion across the country to support First Nation communities in managing their water and wastewater infrastructure, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada says.

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