Raymond Robinson Ready Die in Protest Over Amendments to FN Funding Agreements

Grand Elder Raymond Robinson says he is ready to die for his cause and that he will not stop unless Steven Harper removes a series of amendments that were quietly, and recently, added to the First Nations Comprehensive Funding Agreements and agrees to a meaningful Nation to Nation dialogue with First Nations. As his facebook page says, Grand Elder Raymond Robinson grew up on the Cross Lake First Nation in Northern Manitoba. He is a residential school survivor, a spiritual leader and an outspoken advocate for the many injustices facing First Nation communities. He is a pipe carrier and Sweat Lodge Keeper.

Mr. Robinson began this historic hunger strike this morning at 9AM EST and he has vowed to abstain from all food and water until his demands are met. This afternoon at 4PM EST Concordia University will be hosting Mr. Robinson in the Hall Building 7th floor, CSU lounge where he will lead a debate on the issue of the First Nation's treaty rights that are supposed to be constitutionally protected under section 35(1).  Instead, the Harper government is illegally utilizing the Comprehensive Funding Agreements to manufacture First Nations consent to minimize those treaty rights.

Raymond Robinson was in the news a few months ago when he and Theresa Spence conducted a hunger fast in an attempt to bring attention to FN's issues especially those surrounding natural resource protection. Harper's amendments would force First Nations to give up their protected right to sue the government over natural resource issues in exchange for funding.

Raymond Robinson has the support of lottsa folks, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike, including me. Hopefully today he'll explain more fully the amendments to First Nations Comprehensive Funding Agreements that are reason behind his hunger strike. We all need to understand these issues more clearly...and very quickly.