Ipperwash Provincial Park is a 56 hectare with long sandy beach on the shores of Lake Huron in Hampton County, Ontario. It was established in l936 alongside a military base.
The Stoney Point First Nation Claimed it contains a Sacred Burial Ground and lay Claim on it. During an Occupation by a group of First Nations People in September l995 a violent incident erupted, and Dudley George, one of the Protesters was shot dead by Ontario Provincial Police Officer Ken Dean. Officer Dean, who was acting Sgt. that night was found guilty of Criminal Negligence causing death in l997. Dean died in a Car Accident in 2006 on the way to testify in the Inquiry...
An Inquiry into the Crisis, better known as The Ipperwash Crisis was called in 2003 to examine the events leading to the incident. And twelve years after the death of Dudley George, Justice Sidney Linden, Head of the Ipperwash Inquiry has prepared a voluminous 1500 pages report of his findings and suggestions as to the Measures to be taken by both the Federal Government and its Provincial Counterpart to avoid the same from happening and to improve the overall relationships with our First Nations People.
The Saga of Dudley George:
It was September 6, l995 when Dudley George, a member of the First Nation People, occupying the Ipperwash Provincial Park was shot dead by Ontario Provincial Police Officer Ken Dean and started the event which led to the establishment of the Ipperwash Inquiry in 2003 to examine the events surrounding the Political Interventions and the Police Action that could have caused a great deal of "DEEP SCHISM" in relationship between the Governments and the Native People.
In a voluminous 1500 pages report by Justice Sidney Linden who headed the long and arduous Inquiry, where Politicians from former Premier Mike Harris of Ontario, Cabinet Ministers and Police Officers testified, and the Native people and all relevant parties, the Honourable Justice has these to say:
"Ipperwash revealed a deep schism in Canada's relationship with aboriginal people and was symbolic of a sad history of government policies that harmed their long-term interests"
Linden pointed to the ongoing occupation of a housing development at Caledonia as an example of tensions involving native land claims.
"The aboriginal occupation at Caledonia proves that Ipperwash was not an isolated event," Linden said. Six Nations people began protests in Caledonia over land claims in February 2006, and the issue remains unresolved.
"Ipperwash is important because public officials and institutions need to be held accountable for their actions."
Premier Dalton McGuinty quickly apologized on behalf of the provincial government. But he said he will take some time to assess Linden's recommendations, which include an independent agency to deal with land claims and a new ministry for aboriginal people
"In my view, the most urgent priority is for the federal government to return the former army camp to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation immediately with an apology and appropriate compensation," Justice Linden Suggested.
QUESTION: It was alleged that before the Provincial Police Force were sent to the park to disperse the Protesters, there was a Meeting where the Provincial Premier at that time Mike Harris made a Racist comment which was quoted in the Inquiry and in the Criminal Trial. From the Premier "I want the f---ing Indians out of the park."
Also from the Minister of Natural Resources ," GET the f---ing Indians out of my park."
Justice Linden said that after assessing all the evidence he believes that both the Premier and the Minister made those RACIST REMARKS, and he also accused the Premier for misleading the Legislature for consistently denying that he told the high level meeting with the government officials and the police those orders.
Note: Mike Harris had stepped down as leader of the Provincial Conservative Party and was replaced by Ernie Eves, who was subsequently defeated by the Liberal Party of the Now Current Premier Dalton McGuinty.
To know more about the Ipperwash Crisis and the Inquiry Reports and Recommendations check this links, and click to related stories on the sidebars:
to know more about the only Native killed in Aboriginal Protest in the 20 th century, Dudley George:
Appreciation: Justice Sidney Linden and the First Nations People.