Fish Broth & Fasting

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Opinion


A year ago, after the community of Attawapiskat had been dragged through the racist lens of the media for more than a month, I began to write about the situation.  I wrote two pieces.  One that was published in Briarpatch magazine that was political, and one that was a spoken word piece using the music of Cree cellist Cris Derksen. I am not from Attawapiskat and I’ve never been there.   I wrote because I felt a strong sense of solidarity with community because like most Indigenous Peoples, I have personal connections and history that links me to all of the same issues.  I felt a sense of responsibility to speak out not only in the way the issues where playing out in the media, but in the response of Canadian society. I feel the same way again this year.

I am not going to correct all of the slander designed to discredit Chief Spence and her hunger strike – my friends and colleagues have already done a fantastic job of that.  Check out the work of Chelsea Vowel and Alanis Obomsawin’s The People of the Kattawpiskat River if you haven’t.

The past few weeks have been an intense time to be Anishinaabeg.  There is a lot to write about and to process.  I felt overwhelmingly proud on #J11 with tens of thousands of us in the streets world wide, with the majority of our Indian Act Chiefs standing with us in those streets.  I also felt the depths of betrayal on that day. But it was during the local #J11 actions in my community that I started to think a lot about fish broth.  Fish broth and Anishinaabeg governance.

Fish broth has been cast by the mainstream media as “the cheat”. Upon learning Chief Spence was drinking tea and fish broth coverage shifted from framing her action as a “hunger strike” to a “liquid diet”, as if 32 days without food is easy. As if a liquid diet doesn’t take a substantial physical, mental and emotional toll or substantial physical, mental and emotional strength to accomplish.  Of course this characterization comes from a place of enormous unchecked privilege and a position of wealth.  It comes from not having to fight for one’s physical survival because of the weight of crushing poverty.  It comes from always having other options.

This is not where Indigenous Peoples come from.

My Ancestors survived many long winters on fish broth because there was manitou giigoonnothing else to eat – not because the environment was harsh, but because the land loss and colonial policy were so fierce that they were forced into an imposed poverty that often left fish broth as the only sustenance.

Fish broth. It carries cultural meaning for Anishinaabeg. It symbolizes hardship and sacrifice.  It symbolizes the strength of our Ancestors.  It means survival.  Fish broth sustained us through the hardest of circumstances, with the parallel understanding that it can’t sustain one forever. We exist today because of fish broth. It connects us to the water and to the fish who gave up its life so we could sustain ourselves. Chief Spence is eating fish broth because metaphorically, colonialism has kept Indigenous Peoples on a fish broth diet for generations upon generations. This is utterly lost on mainstream Canada, as media continues to call Ogichidaakwe Spence’s fast a “liquid diet” while the right winged media refers to it as much worse.

Not Chief Spence, but Ogichidaakwe Spence – a holy woman, a woman that would do anything for her family and community, the one that goes over and makes things happen, a warrior, a leader because Ogichidaakwe Spence isn’t just on a hunger strike.  She is fasting and this also has cultural meaning for Anishinaabeg.  She is in ceremony.  We do not “dial back” our ceremonies.  We do not undertake this kind of ceremony without much forethought and preparation. We do not ask or demand that people stop the fast before they have accomplished whatever it is they set out to accomplish, which in her case is substantial change in the relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous nations.  We do not critique the faster. We do not band wagon or verbally attack the faster. We do not criticize because we feel she’s become the (unwilling) leader of the movement. We do not assume that she is being ill advised. We do not tell her to “save face.”

We support. We pray. We offer semaa. We take care of the sacred fire. We sing each night at dusk. We take care of all the other things that need to be taken care of, and we live up to our responsibilities in light of the faster. We protect the faster. We do these things because we know that through her physical sacrifice she is closer to the Spiritual world than we are. We do these things because she is sacrificing for us and because it is the kind, compassionate thing to do. We do these things because it is our job to respect her self-determination as an Anishinaabekwe – this is the most basic building block of Anishinaabeg sovereignty and governance.

“We respect her sovereignty over her body and her mind. We do not act like we know better than her.”

Fasting as a ceremony is difficult.  It is challenging to willingly weaken one’s body physically, and the mental and emotional strength required for fasting is perhaps more difficult than the physical. So when we fast, we ask our friends and family to support us and to act as our helpers. There is an assumption of reciprocity – the faster is doing without, in this case to make things better for all Indigenous Peoples, and in return, the community around her carries the responsibility of supporting her.

A few days ago I posted these two sentences on twitter “I support ‪@ChiefTheresa in her decision to continue her hunger strike. The only person that can decide otherwise, is Chief Spence.” Within minutes, trolls were commented on my feed with commentary on Chief Spence’s body image, diet jokes, calls for “no more special treatment for Natives” and calls to end her hunger strike.  One person called her a “cunt”.

I understand we need to be positive, I do.  We also need to continue telling the truth. The racism, sexism and disrespect that has been heaped on Ogitchidaa Spence in the past weeks has been done so in part because it is acceptable to treat Indigenous women this way.  These comments take place in a context where we have nearly 1000 missing and murdered Indigenous women.  Where we have still have places named “squaw”.  Where Indigenous women have been the deliberate target of gendered colonial violence for 400 years. Where the people who have been seriously hurt and injured by the back lash against Idle No More have been women. Where Ogichidaakwe’s Spence voice has not been heard.

IMG_18852-1024x768Ogichidaakwe Spence challenges Canadians because no one in Canada wants to believe this situation is bad enough that someone would willingly give up their life.

Ogichidaakwe Spence challenges me, because I am not on day 32 of a fast. I did not put my life on the line, and that forces me to continually look myself in the mirror and ask if I am doing everything I can.  This is her gift to me.

Idle No More as a movement is now much bigger than the hunger strikers and Bill C-45, but it is still important to acknowledge their sacrifice, influence and leadership. I want my grandchildren to be able to live in Mississauga Anishinaabeg territory as Mississauga Anishinaabeg – hunting, fishing, collecting medicines, doing ceremony, telling stories, speaking our language, governing themselves using our political traditions and whatever else that might mean to them, unharassed.  That’s not a dream palace – that is what our treaties guaranteed.

We now have hundreds of leaders from different Indigenous nations emerging all over Mikinakong (the Place the Turtle). We now have hundreds of eloquent spokes people, seasoned organizers, writers, thinkers and artists acting on their own ideas in anyway and every way possible.  This is the beauty of our movement.

Chi’Miigwech Theresa Spence, Raymond Robinson, Emil Bell, and Jean Sock for your vision, your sacrifice and your commitment to making us better. Chi’Miigwech to everyone who has been up late at night worrying about what to do next, and then who gets up the next morning and acts.  I am hopeful and inspired and look forward to our new, collective emergence as a healthy and strong Anishinaabeg nation.


 Follow Leanne on Twitter: @betasamosake

Leanne Simpson is a writer and academic of Mississauga Nishnaabeg ancestry.  She is the editor of Lighting the Eighth Fire:  The Liberation, Resurgence & Protection of Indigenous Nations and This is an Honour Song:  Twenty Years Since the Blockades (with Kiera Ladner).  Leanne is the author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back:  Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence (Arbeiter Ring) and The Gift Is in the Making, a re-telling of traditional stories, forthcoming Spring 2013 (Debwe Series, Highwater Press).  Her first collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love is forthcoming from Arbeiter Ring Fall 2013.



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  1. Michelle
    January 16, 2013

    This is a thoughtful and lovely piece and thank you for educating us all on the meaning and importance of fasting. I think the important lesson for everyone is that when someone is facing a challenge, we must support them and protect them, not tear them down. Tearing people down is something the media does so well. I wish Chief Spence nothing but admiration and support from us all.

  2. Pamela
    January 16, 2013

    As an immigrant to Canada I am an adopted daughter in your wonderful country. Your native land I now call my own “native land” although I was born in England. When my parents left everything known and came to Canada with four daughters they came with a love of Canada, the wilderness, the native people and the promise of a brighter future that she offered. I do not presume to know your walk but I strive to understand and to attempt to right the wrongs that have been done over the centuries by my forefathers and my husband’s, a French Canadian with native ancestry, ancestors to the indigenous societies that owned our country before we came and named it Canada. We need to move beyond the past, recognize the wrongs and hurts that have continued to be perpetuated against Canada’s indigenous population and craft a new relationship that is founded on respect of cultural diversity and mutual affection. I sincerely hope that our leaders can move beyond the back peddling and policies of the past, ask forgiveness for their short sighted and racist policies, and move forward towards a brighter future for all residents of Canada, indigenous and immigrant alike.

    • Marianne Beauchamp
      January 20, 2013

      Bravo…Thank you for your comment…You are the truly an intellectually inclined…compassionate for the less unfortunate human beings, etc. etc…..I am a Native but my ancestors came from Scotland, England, France and Germany….

  3. Angela DeMontigny
    January 16, 2013

    Chi miigwetch Leanne, for such a beautifully written and honest tribute to Chief Spence and the elders who are fasting with her. You are absolutely, 100% correct and I congratulate you on explaining the many levels of significance Chief Spence’s fast has regarding our culture, her purpose and of course her major sacrifice.

    I am so proud of her and all of our people who are waking up and taking action – in a good and positive way, without violence – there is SO much education to be done in this country and North America. Time for us to take control of our history, our education, our lives and our futures.

    In complete solidarity and support for her, our elders and Chiefs, Idle No More, our communities and Mother Earth.

    Blessings to you,

  4. Bryan Loucks
    January 16, 2013

    I believe that you are bringing to light a CRUCIAL issue that needs to addressed by the Indigenous people of this land. We must start to think on a Nation to Nation basis. WE have to start with ourselves. It has cultural and needless to say political implications! Once we can get our thinking/hearts around this issue it will have tremendous strategic and tactical implications….We need to look to pre-contact protocols as to how we related to each other on a Nation to Nation basis.One important model is that of the Bowl – Naugon Treaties. One such Bowl treaty was between Anishinaabe, Ongweoneh, (Iroquis) Cree and Cherokee of the Eastern Nations of Turtle Island

  5. Robert McMaster
    January 16, 2013

    I respect Ogichidaakwe Spence and her sacrifice for not just her people but the peoples of Canada and the world. I am a white male in my mid-60s, I took part in the London, 401 hwy protest, I was honoured to be invited into the inner circle of drummers at the shopping mall and downtown Round Dances here in London.

    The Harper government has a lot to gain from the dismantling of the Aboriginal treaties. It might look good on paper to some, maybe even some natives, but I think it is all part of a much bigger picture, the sell off of Canada to international corporations.

    I have worked with concerned citizen looking into the ramifacations of Harpers International Trade Deals and we have become quit concerned. The trade deals such as CETA with Europe and the ones with China and the Pacific Rim are more than just trade deals. They cover natural resources, like mineral, water, and land rights. Change the treaty rights so that the now treaty lands can be considered the property of individuals, native and non-native, and it will give Harper free rein on the selling off of Canada. Just one example: a white husband divorces his native wife while living on her property on a reserve lands, he may be able to take or made to be sold that property as part of a divorce settlement to non-native buyers (like the government or a large corporation that wants to develop in the area for any reason). This would be one way to tear a Native Band apart, breaking up a culture. Large tracks of Native band lands could be up for sale to the likes of Big Oil, Mining, Logging and not just Canadian companies (creating jobs for Canadians??) but international corporations that could legally bring in their own off shore, underpaid labour. These companies, even as of now, can and have sued and won large settlements from provincial and federal governments for not only loss of, but potential loss of income from possible projected earnings because of our inplace laws, including environmental, municipal, provincial and federal. That’s why Harper is so eager to drop environmental protection, close down whole departments in the research, science and development branches, break-up labour Unions and destroy Native Treaties. These new agreements not only include land use but portions of how our healthcare, education and social standards are run. These massive hidden changes that have been secretly passed behind the closed doors of Harper’s Tory government through Omnibus Bills with no debate are, as far as I’m concerned, not only against the constitutional rights of all the peoples of Canada but TREASONOUS, and Harper and his Tory party should be tried for acts against the country and the peoples of Canada.

    • denis
      January 18, 2013

      Thank you Robert! Such insight, wish everyone knew what Harper and his Cronies are up to! But Why? What is motivating this Tresonous Troll? And is he even a Csnadian? seems not!

  6. David
    January 16, 2013

    We can all agree when you say “As if a liquid diet doesn’t take a substantial physical, mental and emotional toll or substantial physical, mental and emotional strength to accomplish.” But I feel it misses the point entirely.

    I think we can agree that both the media and Chief Spence referred to what was happening as a “hunger strike,” and not a “fast.” And I think we can also agree that these are two very different notions in the public mind. A hunger strike is understood to mean that the person participating is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. (As Spence admitted and nobody would doubt for a minute.) This sentiment calls to mind Gandhi, suffragettes, political prisoners and others. And for weeks we heard several times a day on every outlet about how Chief Spence would “starve to death” and was “willing to give her life” if that’s what it took to get her community much-needed attention.

    Nobody wanted to see things get to that point. But people are, I think, rightfully confused and frustrated when she is plainly not doing what she claimed and what she lead us all to believe was going on. To throw around “hunger strike” and “starvation” and then only later to indicate that not only is she taking tea, but also soup and supplements, that she’s really on more of what people think of as a fast (the kind of thing people do every day) — and that “starvation” and “dying for this cause” was not even possible, never mind probable — well, that’s a pretty bad PR job at best.

    Yes, understandably, if she had come out and said “I’m fasting for my people” or “I’m going to publicly eat less” nobody would have paid any attention. And what she wanted was attention — and for the very best of reasons possible. But it’s clear that this was poorly played by any measure.

    Regardless, I hope this can be a turning point for Canada

  7. Claudette Chevrier
    January 16, 2013

    Please share this information to all Canadians!!
    This is the information that is being kept from the people of Canada

  8. Laura Wee Lay Laq
    January 16, 2013

    Shxwóxwel tsel yel chelchalex ~I raise my hands to you in thanks.
    Your clarity inspires me.

  9. Yvette
    January 16, 2013

    Leanne, Your work has touched me, offered me new understanding, and set me to think seriously about what I can do to contribute more- Thank you.

  10. Ellen Gabriel
    January 17, 2013

    Shé:kon Leanne;
    niawenkó:wa for educating us all
    for your kind, wise and thoughtful words for Chief Theresa Spence
    I am always amazed how judgemental this society has become and in this instant, how some individuals seems to take a sadistic pleasure in attacking Theresa at this difficult moment in her life.
    your words are a gift, and inspire me especially after today with the incident of a young woman in our march who was hit by woman in her car simply because the SQ were not doing their job
    Skén:nen – peace to you dear Anishinaabeg sister
    am proud to walk by your side in this our peoples’ centuries old struggle

  11. Hugh Mac Donald
    January 17, 2013

    Thanks Leanne for your very intelligent piece. I am working with two United Churches on Six Nations and New Credit reserves. As a non – native, I have learned a lot about the history and the ceremony of the people I work with. Chief. Spence is a prophet in the same league as the Biblical prophets who saved their people time and again.

  12. Cara
    January 17, 2013

    Beautiful article, Leanne. Thank you for pointing out the significance of the fish broth and speaking so eloquently about Ogichidaakwe Spence.

    @David: Regarding the term “hunger strike”… a hunger strike is usually defined as a fast or liquid diet for the purposes of political protest. I would say that describes what Theresa Spence is doing perfectly.

  13. Dr. Carolynn Cory
    January 17, 2013

    Thank you Leanne for your beautiful words. I am a US nonNative who is standing in Solidarity with Chief Spence and Idle No More. I am with you ALL in Spirit and in my Heart. I am doing my best to spread the word on these extremely important issues. Thank you. Dr. Carolynn Cory

  14. greglorious
    January 17, 2013

    Thank you Leanne for your wisdom and eloquence. We, progressives of all natures, await critical mass in our battle against the unsustainable system of Neo Liberal imposed infinite growth. It is heartening to hear my own thoughts echoed.

  15. June Humphrey-Duggan
    January 17, 2013

    Leanne, your words are what my heart needed to hear now.

  16. Julie
    January 17, 2013

    During the homestead days on the Canadian prairies. Many immigrant families would not have survived, but for the F.N. people. My Dad came from the U.S. and had taken out his homestead. Many immigrant family’s came, with just their lives. Many immigrant family’s had no clue, just how bitterly cold it was, in prairie winters. The F.N. people, hunted for them. Gave them fish and dried berries. cut firewood for them. Made them fur jackets and mitts. Made them fur robes for blankets. My Dad said. Some immigrant men, had only gunny sack bags, wrapped around their feet for winter. The F.N. made them fur lined moccasins.

    The Prairie people would plant extra vegetables for F.N. Mom sent them out to her raspberry and gooseberry bushes. She made them butter and cheese. Everyone wanted to give back to the F.N. people, for their kindness. The F.N. were good, decent and very kind people.

    The F.N. people, sent their sons to war, right alongside my own brothers. Canada did not even have the decency, to recognize the F.N. people, for their war service. My family was really angry about that. My brother being President of one of the Legions worked with others, to shame the government. They finally did televise this for the F.N. soldiers. The F.N. are more Canadian than we were, that’s what my brother said.

    No-one would have dared disrespect, the F.N. in those Prairie homes. Our family have many F.N. friends. I have read nasty, cruel comments towards the F.N. I have cried over some of them. I really hurt for the F.N. citizens. However, I do fight them back.

    I admire Chief Spence to no end, for her sacrifice for her people. Chief Spence speaks for all of us. I know she is really hungry. I have been on an I.V. for a month. There are those of us, who are very grateful to Chief Spence. We e-mail everyone we know, and people we don’t know. We want her recognized, as fighting for all of us. We e-mail the M.P’s in Britain. We e-mail all the Common Wealth country’s. Everyone who has friends and relatives in foreign country’s, are sent e-mails. My brothers were in the Liberation of Holland. We are still in touch with some of the family’s. I e-mailed them, to pass the word around. We want Harper exposed, for the monster he really is.

    I don’t know if we are helping or not? We thought, we just had to do something, for that good lady.

  17. Julie
    January 17, 2013

    I forgot to ask? Do you mind, if I direct others to your web site?

  18. Morna
    January 17, 2013

    Every single sentence of this piece brought me a new teaching.

    You have a wonderful gift, thank you for sharing it with us.

  19. Bruce Murdoch
    January 17, 2013

    Leanne, that is a good piece of writing. I hope it clarifies things for people who just don’t know. Keep on with your excellent work.


  20. Pam Banting
    January 17, 2013

    Others have commented on the content of this piece so I will simply say that this is beautifully written. Writing that comes from the heart goes straight to the heart. Thank you.

  21. Michelle
    January 17, 2013

    Very eloquently written! Right on, sistah!!

  22. bobby boston
    January 17, 2013

    good to hear the true story about some people that stand up for our rights,and do this in the true traditional way that is not done here that often anymore.

  23. Cristina
    January 17, 2013

    Thank you so much.
    You touched me deeply with your words and spirit and I am sharing your article.

  24. helen heronheart
    January 17, 2013

    In great gratitude for Ogichidaakwe Theresa Spence, for the focus this holy woman is gifting to each one of us by going to Peace for the sovereignty of her people and in essence for all people! May her Pathe Light the way to Truth within the hearts and minds of all wo/men globally.
    We KNOW that what happens [or does NOT happen] to one, happens to All ~ for we are all related.
    There is a correlation, a direct reflection of policies at every level within Canada, within the US, within China, within any country where each citizen is not honored.

    Let us raise our hands and hearts in great gratitude and support this mighty effort of one woman!
    Let us support RIGHT~eous actions with all peoples on our sacred MotherEarth.

    Many thanks for this articulate presentation of core issues, Leanne.
    Thanks to those who have forwarded information to me, especially Dr. Carolyn Cory. Am likewise sending info out into the circles within circles that we spin in.
    Honoring All Our Relations

  25. Katie
    January 17, 2013

    This is a beautiful article, filled with strength and spirit. This message needs to get out further and touch the hearts of all those who do not understand- who ignore the reality of the oppression Indigenous peoples have had to face since colonial times. Your words stirred intense emotion with me, I will share your article with others. Please keep writing, you are a very vital voice in this movement.

  26. Leanne
    January 17, 2013

    Thank-you Leanne for this in-depth and smart article. I have had difficulty finding the right words to share with other non-Indigenous people about the complexity and ceremony behind the fasts that are occurring by and in support of Chief Spence. I will share this story and continue to look to it for strength and guidance as I learn also. Miigwech.

  27. Brenda Gold
    January 18, 2013

    Thank you for educating me. I will pass this on.

  28. Lighting a fire within | Valley Road Rambler
    January 18, 2013

    […] though many call for her to stop now that she has made such an impact. (Read this excellent article Fish Broth & Fasting for a clear explanation of the hunger strike.) Though there was a meeting, the government responded […]

  29. Joseph
    January 18, 2013

    I the past I would avoid taking a stand on causes that needed someone to rise to the occasion. Leanne, thank-you for giving me the gift of your creative and spirit guided words that have encouraged me to say my peace. I was out the other day on the grasslands here at Val marie in the southwest of Saskatchewan to put some cloth out from a recent Cree/Buddhist meditation I performed with a good friend. When I drove through these lands that are preserved for the Buffalo People and Mother Earth’s plants and all forms of creatures I saw four buffalo and a lone wolf/coyote, four stags and four prairie chickens. I also saw a herd of deer and a herd of buffalo and more chickens. The wolf/coyote reminded me of Theresa Spence when I got home as my surfing directed my attention to a website named White Wolf Pack. I phoned my adopted sister and she told me the fours of all that I saw meant the next day would be a good day. I thank you for this writing you have shared and thank-you for providing me with an opportunity to speak up. Metta/Kinanaskomitin

  30. Cathy Elliott
    January 19, 2013

    Leanne, what a beautiful insight. Wela’lin.

  31. jills
    January 19, 2013

    It isn’t the Canadian public that is against Chief Spence. It is male commenters on MSM and social media. On the Globe and Mail, on the CBC, on Twitter and Tumblr. It’s males. I know, I am frequently the only female there, and draw venom and sexist attacks because I post opposing their stance. I will only go on CBC or the Globe now, because at least they won’t leave in when someone calls me a cunt.

    Courage. For all the women, strength and courage.

    • Marianne Beauchamp
      January 20, 2013

      Great thank you for the beautiful word for Theresa Spence….She’s a hero…I finally found in this site where people are clean, sensible and enjoyed and not reading trashing the less unfortunate….I have the same problem going to other sights…ugly call naming…Commenting to them is like not saying anything at all.

  32. Tina Pearson
    January 19, 2013

    Thank-you, Leanne, for these beautiful words.

    As I breathe, listen and change, I am reminded that deep transitions are times of greatest light shining to unearth greatest dark.

    Such courage and grace is shown by Ogichidaakwe Spence.

    It is good to have illuminating messages such as yours.

    I send peaceful thoughts to you all.

  33. Bee Grandison
    January 20, 2013

    THank you for the reminder that it is Ceremony…..keep speaking those good words!!! Si’aamhl wilin/Carry on with the good work you are doing….

  34. Douglas
    January 21, 2013

    Thank you so very much for publishing this piece. You have taught me many important things.

    I believe the media should invite you on camera to explain the significance and symbolism of fish broth.

    I truly believe that it matters greatly that this be widely known.

  35. William Anderson
    January 21, 2013

    Thank you. As a beneficiary of colonial conquest in Canada, I am ashamed of how we have abused and continue to abuse native people’s. Chief Spence is a true heroine.

  36. Betty Riffel
    January 23, 2013

    Thank you Leanne for the articles you wrote.The fish broth was the babies diet a long time ago. It was very healthy for the babies who were just learning to drink after being breast fed. There was no such thing as milk, probably before the immigrants should up in this country.
    My own way of thinking, when Manitoba was flooded out 2 years ago, the F.N. people ended up in Winnipeg, they stayed and lodged there and still there. Who gained from them, the government or the municipality. The city of Winnipeg gained and the government got their money back. When a First Nation spends money who gets it, the government does. Who says, the aboriginals have everything free, that,s bs. Its costing us $5000 or more to send one kid to school for a year, that is not counting school bus, gas, the bus driver wages. We do not get anything for free. The tax payer do not $5000 for each kid to go to school.

  37. Betty Riffel
    January 23, 2013

    You have to excuse my mistakes, not very good in writing, I am old and suffering from mercury contamination. I have tremors real bad and the government will not help us. We approach Katherine Wynne when she visited Grassy Narrows July 2012.She never got back to us. There is only 9 of us left, who is going to help us. The government is just waiting for all of us to die so they do not have to pay. SOMEONE THERE PLEASE HELP US.

  38. Eradicating Ecocide in Canada - Think Chief Spence Is on a “Liquid Diet”? I Think You’re Ignorant
    January 23, 2013

    […] *This post originally appeared on the blog DividedNoMore […]

  39. A failure to ask « Throwing rocks
    January 23, 2013

    […] More, circulated on the usual social media sites. It contained an explanation of the meaning behind fish broth fasting: “It carries cultural meaning for Anishinaabeg. It symbolizes hardship and sacrifice. It […]

  40. Gail Taylor
    February 1, 2013

    Hi Leanne,
    I am so thrilled to find your blog. I knew there was symbolism involved with the fish soup but I could not find any reference to it until I found your blog. Thank you for being my teacher. Could you teach me how to say Ogichidaakwe and may I use that word when I am talking about Chief Spence in my blog?

  41. Media Coverage of Chief Theresa Spence and Idle No More Winter 2012-13 « Women Suffrage and Beyond
    February 4, 2013

    […] of Chief Spence’s fast reveals the media’s pervasive ignorance of Indigenous ways of life. As Leanne Simpson has highlighted, fish soup serves as a key signifier in Anishinaabeg history and governance. The […]