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Chief Spence defends reserve spending

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is speaking out for the first time about how her reserve spends government money, saying most of what flows to her isolated James Bay reserve actually gets spent outside the community.

She says the money goes to to buy supplies and to pay contractors, consultants and lawyers.

A government-ordered audit, leaked earlier this week, found there is little documentation to back up Attawapiskat's spending.

Spence -- who has been engaged in a protest for the past month on a frigid island upstream from Parliament Hill -- dismisses the criticism, saying she's being tarred with false statements.

She's living on a diet of fish broth and tea to press for a meeting between First Nations leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

Spence is expected to continue her hunger protest, since today's meetings aren't happening according to the terms demanded by the chiefs -- on their turf, with both Harper and Johnston together.

The Canadian Press


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