Manitoba elder Raymond Robinson has vowed to starve himself to death in his second protest bid to push dialogue between the feds and First Nations.
This winter, Robinson launched a protest in Ottawa alongside Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and New Brunswick’s Jean Sock, but this time he has vowed to bar liquids and solids from his diet.
Robinson agreed to end his previous liquids-only diet protest alongside Spence when opposition parties signed a declaration of commitment to continue challenging the government on legislation including two budget bills which contained changes to the nature of environmental assessments, much to the opposition of First Nations across Canada.
It is unclear exactly where Robinson will hold his hunger strike, but the residential school survivor from Cross Lake, Man., is scheduled to speak at Montreal’s Concordia University Wednesday afternoon.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt met with Grand Chief David Harper from Robinson’s community last Wednesday to discuss education and housing issues, according to the minister’s spokesman.
Jason MacDonald said Valcourt is willing to meet with Robinson and other First Nations who wish to “make progress.”
“Like all reasonable people we encourage Raymond Robinson to continue to consume food and water,” MacDonald said.
A date has not been set yet for a followup meeting which was promised during Jan. 11 discussions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo and other officials.
Robinson has called on the government to have “nation to nation” dialogue with representatives from more than 600 First Nations across Canada.