Home / Celebrity / Canadian media turn on hunger-striking Indian chief; Tribe threatens arrest

Canadian media turn on hunger-striking Indian chief; Tribe threatens arrest


Last Thursday we introduced you to Chief Theresa Spence, the leader of Canada’s Attawapiskat First Nation, who is on a hunger strike demanding a meeting with the Prime Minister.  The Canadian media fawned over her, along with the “Idle No More” Aboriginal protest movement that adopted her as a symbol.

However, Canadian conservative commentator Ezra Levant took a different tack, courageously exposing Spence’s absurd mismanagement of millions of dollars in federal funds for her tribe. While crowing to the national media about how her tribe lives in third-world conditions, it appeared that Spence and her boyfriend were siphoning off hundreds of thousands of dollars sent to remedy the crisis — or at the very least grossly mismanaging their money.

At the time, Levant was dismissed as a heartless racist while Spence was treated like the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi. Less than a week later, Levant seems vindicated as Spence’s house of cards comes crashing down around her. Yesterday, an audit was released showing gross mismanagement of the tribe’s funds, and today the tribe responded to the increasing scrutiny by banning media from the reservation and threatening one TV reporter with arrest. Suddenly, the adoring media became much less friendly. Dawna Friesen is the anchor of the evening news on the Global News channel, and she tweeted a lot of information as reporter Jen Tryon was expelled from tribal lands by territory police.

[email protected]realmatthopkins Local police. Threatened to charge her with breach of peace and/or trespassing

— Dawna Friesen (@DFriesenGlobal) January 8, 2013

Here’s what happened to @jentryon in Attawapiskat, in her own words.ow.ly/gEkqp #cdnpoli #attawapiskat

— Dawna Friesen (@DFriesenGlobal) January 8, 2013

The video in that story is amazing, by the way. The reporter is literally only a few feet off of the Attawapiskat reserve, and says the acting chief is standing a few feet away from her to make sure that she leaves.

@taniad09Jen is a reporter, not a victim. And she didn’t barge in. She was threatened with arrest before speaking to anyone.

— Dawna Friesen (@DFriesenGlobal) January 8, 2013

People in the hotel were shocked @jentryon and our crew were kicked off. She talks more w/ @dfriesenglobal abt the experience tonight on GN

— Global National (@GlobalNational) January 8, 2013

[email protected]___danno I am on the air. Yes, her first stop was the band office. No onethere. Then to hotel. Within minutes was threatened with arrest

— Dawna Friesen (@DFriesenGlobal) January 9, 2013

@___danno yes, with arrest. So she left. She didn’t accuse anyone, just wanted to talk to people.

— Dawna Friesen (@DFriesenGlobal) January 9, 2013

[email protected]jentryon blogs about being kicked out of #Attawapiskat today: ow.ly/gEwx0

— Global National (@GlobalNational) January 9, 2013

That story includes video of the police kicking them out.

If there’s one thing the media hate more than anything, it’s forcible censorship. Cue outrage.

So, any #Attawapiskat residents on twitter feel like reporting from behind police-enforced media cordons?

— kady o’malley (@kady) January 8, 2013

For those not familiar with Canadian politics, Kady O’Malley is one of the leading Parliament Hill reporters for the CBC. That’s as mainstream as it gets up there.

A journalist? @keithjs:Well guess what you are for being uncomfortable with Spence’s expulsion of reporters? (Rhymes with “day missed”)

— kady o’malley (@kady) January 8, 2013

Apparently, Spence herself made the call @dfriesenglobal: What happened to @jentryon in Attawapiskat in her own words. ow.ly/gEkqp

— kady o’malley (@kady) January 8, 2013

The feeding frenzy also may not be over.

Have been working confidential #Attawapiskat sources all night. Fear factor is high, afraid of band repercussions. #idlenomore #cdnpoli

— Kristy Kirkup (@kkirkup) January 9, 2013

@kkirkup That’s terrible.Afraid of their own band members? What on earth is going on??

— Judy Schere (@mizfolia) January 9, 2013

Seems Chief Spence of #Attawapiskat only interested in free speech for herself. Has banned reporters from her Ottawa camp, too.

— Lorne Gunter (@lornegunter) January 8, 2013

As for Ezra Levant, who was all over this story days ago, he seems pretty happy with himself.

Only the racists would RT @kady: So, any #Attawapiskat residents on twitter feel like reporting from behind police-enforced media cordons?

— Ezra Levant (@ezralevant) January 8, 2013

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/01/08/canadian-media-turns-on-corrupt-hunger-striking-indian-chief-as-tribe-threatens-reporter-with-arrest/

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