National chief supports civil disobedience over Attawapiskat

While tensions continue to grow between the federal government and the First Nations community of Attawapiskat, National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo says civil disobedience is one form of action that could be used to draw attention to the current crisis.

In an interview with CBC Radio's The House, National Chief Shawn Atleo tells host Evan Solomon that "remote-control decisions, unilaterally imposed decisions," like imposing a third-party manager on the community of Attawapiskat, are not the answer.

Relief housing
The federal government has purchased and ordered 15 modular homes for a total cost of $1.2 million. That's in addition to the $500,000 already committed by the federal government on Nov. 8, to renovate five homes.

The modular homes, measuring about 75 square metres, each include three bedrooms.

A number of chiefs have told Atleo "we need to use every tool that is available to us."

Atleo acknowledges that civil disobedience "certainly has been one of the tools" he has used in the past, specifically when trying to bring attention to the plight of his own community on the west coast of British Columbia.

"Attawapiskat is not the only one" under a third-party manager, said Atleo.

"Again this is about decisions made by remote control, by individuals who have no deep-vested interest in these communities — they're operating from cities elsewhere or Ottawa, for that matter."

Part of the challenge in this crisis is getting past the blame game, and according to Atleo there's only one of two ways to do that: "it's hard or harder."

"Are we going to work separately and have it harder, or are we going to get on with the hard work of working to reconcile our respective