Opposition calls on Harper to avoid a "personal tragedy" in aboriginal protest

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OTTAWA - The opposition parties and head of the Assembly of First Nations are calling on the prime minister to end the hunger strike by a prominent aboriginal leader, before it's too late.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has written to Stephen Harper, suggesting that he and the Governor General meet with aboriginal leaders to end the protest.

Chief Theresa Spence of the remote Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario stopped eating a week ago, vowing to die unless the government started showing more respect for aboriginal treaties.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan had proposed a meeting with her last week to discuss issues affecting Attawapiskat, but there was no response to the offer.

The Liberals and the Assembly of First Nations have also issued letters to Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston, calling for an urgent meeting to discuss Spence's demands.

Spence's hunger strike has become a cause celebre for some First Nations activists, prompting widening aboriginal protests across the country.

Organizations: Assembly of First Nations

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Northern Ontario, Attawapiskat

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