Since going on a no food and no water hunger strike on Wednesday April 3, Cree Grand Elder Raymond Robinson has garnered media attention in his fight to bring about serious Nation-to-Nation. He is hoping that his actions bring about a serious discussion between the First Nations and the Harper Government on Treaty Rights.

On Friday, he met with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt who refused his request for a direct negotiation between Harper and First Nations leaders. The freshly shuffled in Cabinet Minister gave the Grand Elder a mixed response, Valcourt was said to have even laughed in response to Robinson’s question.

Robinson’s goal for the meeting would be in order to remove sections from the comprehensive funding agreements that leave First Nations communities being forced into signing their rights away. The specific provision he wants removed is the one that states First Nations must follow all existing and future provisions.

Another of Robinson’s goals, which he hoped to achieve, is that First Nations leaders throughout the country remained unified. Robinson has stated in response to certain leaders that wish to break away from the Assembly of First Nations, “This is not the time to divide, because through division we will conquer our selves.”

On Sunday, Robinson had a deep conversation with NDP MP Niki Ashton of Churchill, Manitoba. She is looking forward to a meeting that will be taking place in the next few days.

Monday morning will be the fifth day of the hunger strike with still no word from the federal government on a guarantee for a meeting. All over Canada, communities are organizing RayOfHope vigils for the Grand Elder’s efforts. In Montreal, the vigil will be held at the Place des Festivals in the downtown area.