I'd love to do a full article debunking this winter's scandal-of-the-season, but such has already been thoroughly debunked in several media exercises in true, refreshing journalism:
Fact checking a hunger strike, by Ezra Levant
The Hunger-strike games, by William Watson
Idle No More? Let's Get Serious, by Terry Glavin
Simplistic arguments from Theresa Spence, Idle No More could have tragic consequences for natives, by John Ivison
Get rich quick: become a First Nations Chief, by Lorne Gunter
Misguided hunger strike is manufacturing dissent, by Peter Foster
Idle No More an elite driven movement, by Ezra Levant
To understand how we got to Attawapiskat, go back to the 1905 James Bay Treaty, by Jonathon Kay
And although this isn't a journalism piece, it is helpful to keep in mind this mutually-agreed to outcome statement when Prime Minister Harper and aboriginal chiefs met just last year, in January 2012.
We're left with the following inconvenient facts:
- A third world-quality community of 300 homes is supposedly a "sovereign nation."
- Attawapiskat had 27 "staff" (elected and unelected) on the payroll in 2011, making anywhere from $1050 (for one month's work) to $71,000+ (chief Spence's annual salary). That's almost one paid staff member for every 30 community members.
- Attawapiskat, the third world community living in shacks, would rather invest in banks and resources rather than fix aforementioned shacks.
- Idle No More is nothing more than an extension of the criminal, disorganized Occupy "movement"
- Chief Spence, while refusing to meet with aboriginal Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau or Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, is more than happy to meet with celebrities like Justin Trudeau.
- Oh, and, of course, the fact that this "hunger strike" is between helpings of "fish broth" and other nutritional liquids.