Jonathan Kay has it exactly right. This blockade is not accomplishing anything and making it more likely that spence and her reserve will remain mired in poverty.
Canadian politicians and First Nations leaders all agree that economic development will be critical for raising the living standards of Canada’s native population. In many cases, this will mean bringing large, multinational corporations onto traditional native lands — because only these companies have the resources and expertise necessary to develop mines and other capital-extensive resource-extraction operations.
Unfortunately, as the example of Attawapiskat shows, the situation in and around many reserves actively repels that kind of investment.
Large, risk-averse companies won’t invest in areas of the country where the local population doesn’t respect Canadian laws — or even obey local band chiefs. Militant native protesters in these areas may think they’re striking a blow for economic empowerment. But all they’re really doing is reinforcing the stereotype that native tribes aren’t responsible business partners.