Canada’s Fractured Mosaic

Up North, Indigenous People Are Steadily Challenging What Used To Be a Complacent Self-Image

Theresa Spence is a 49-year-old woman with short brown hair, square green glasses, and the soft, clipped cadence of the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario, of which she is the chief. Over the past month, Spence has become a national figure in Canada, both admired and criticized for her stubbornness and conviction. Since December 12, she has been camped out on Victoria Island in Ottawa, not far from Parliament, subsisting only on water, fish broth, and tea.

Spence’s hunger strike is just one part of an unprecedented, widespread protest movement …