Ex-PM Joe Clark meets with fasting chief
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence talks with her family as she continues her hunger strike in a teepee on Victoria Island in Ottawa, early Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. (Cole Burston / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 10:13AM EST
OTTAWA - Former prime minister Joe Clark says he's concerned Canada and its First Nations are "headed in a dangerous direction."
Clark issued a statement after meeting Saturday with Chief Theresa Spence, who has been fasting for more than two weeks in an effort to persuade Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with her and other First Nations leaders over treaty issues.
Clark, who was a Tory prime minister from 1979 to 1980, says friends of his in the First Nations community had suggested he meet with Spence, chief of a remote reserve in Northern Ontario.
He says National Chief Shawn Atleo managed to get him an invitation to visit Spence and also accompanied Clark on a visit to Victoria Island near Parliament Hill, where Spence has taken up residence during her protest.
Clark says he found Spence to have a "humble and achievable" vision and adds that those no longer in active political life may still have a role to play in helping discussions resume.
Spence stopped eating solid food on Dec. 11.