OTTAWA – A pair of Liberal leadership candidates are speaking out on behalf of a northern Ontario First Nation chief staging a hunger strike near Parliament Hill.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11 to draw attention to aboriginal issues.

On Wednesday, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau visited Spence in a teepee on an island in the Ottawa River that many aboriginals consider to be sacred land.

Trudeau tweeted afterwards that it was “deeply moving“ to meet Spence. He said the chief is “willing to sacrifice everything for her people“ and that “she shouldn’t have to.“

In a letter posted on his website, Liberal leadership candidate Marc Garneau calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with Spence.

Meantime, the Idle No More movement came to Ottawa’s Rideau Centre mall Wednesday.

More than 200 First Nations protesters rallied at the mall to call on better living conditions for aboriginals, among other concerns.

The peaceful protest also called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with  Spence.