‘Ipperwash: Governments Cave In To Bullying’

“DND {Department of National Defence}, through its failure to remove illegal occupiers, failure to permit the law to be upheld, failure to protect its boundaries, failure to ensure safety at one of its military facilities, and ultimate retreat from and desertion of Camp Ipperwash in the middle of the night, has created a situation that led to the death of at least one individual, the takeover and destruction of public property, terrorizing of a municipality, destruction of property values, and the tearing apart of a community and its way of life.” 

–Kenneth Williams, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Bosanquet, Ont.


ERBLIpperwash-GovernmentsCaveInToBullying800x800Once upon a time, the Canadian government purchased aboriginal reserve land for a military base. Forty years later, they paid for it again, just so there’d be no hard feelings. Now, the government is giving back the land for free and throwing in $90 million, to boot – and the Province of Ontario is tossing in a free provincial park. I guess they are trying to make everybody happy…

Well, the aboriginals aren’t happy—they’re fighting over who gets what from the ‘unfair’ and ‘inadequate’ gift; I’m certainly not happy with this irresponsible giveaway of public resources, and the rewarding of what was essentially ‘terrorism’; and I guarantee that you, dear reader, are not going to be happy the further you go in this post. Welcome to yet another tale of aboriginal intimidation and government weakness overturning written contracts and common sense in our race-divided land:

“What was supposed to be a day of celebration for members of the Kettle Point ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 2,500} was marred by a scene of chaos, anger and pain, as the brother of slain protester Dudley George was burned at the side of a gas-soaked protest fire.

“Kettle Point members were holding a four-kilometre walk on Sunday from their land, near Sarnia, Ont., to the site of a former army camp that’s scheduled to be returned to the band. The walk was meant to celebrate the agreement with Ottawa for the land, which was meant to unite different factions within the band, and give compensation to elders and their families who were moved to make way for the base during the Second World War.

“Some descendants of the 16 families from the army camp lands, known as Stoney Point, set a protest fire in front of the camp gatehouse. Other band members tried to put out the fire with small water containers, and onlookers say Pierre George was trying to pour a portable gas can on the fire to re-ignite it when the can fell, and flames rushed up his arms and across his chest.

“Some said he caught fire when the can was kicked back at him… Ontario Provincial Police say they are investigating the incident. They describe George’s burns as serious, but not life-threatening.

“A shouting match ensued between George’s supporters, many of whom have lived in the ramshackle old army buildings since first {illegally} occupying the land in 1993, and the supporters of the new agreement that gives the land to the Kettle Point band, as around 100 celebrators arrived from Kettle Point on foot and in vehicles.

“The protesters oppose the new agreement, which was ratified in a vote by band members and is worth $90 million, as it returns control of the land to the entire band. They want it returned to the families who lived there prior to their removal in 1942.

“Chief Tom Bressette has promised payments to all band members, with larger amounts to the Stoney Point elders and their descendants.

“Some Stoney Pointers, however, have accused Bressette of buying band members’ votes by offering $5,000 to every band member, whether they have Stoney Point ancestry or not. The vote, held almost 20 years to the day after Dudley George’s shooting death by a provincial police sniper, was passed “overwhelmingly” Friday, according to a news release from the Kettle Point band.

“In spite of his support for the agreement, Bressette told reporters before Sunday’s incident the deal is inadequate. {?!?}

“If people analyzed this deal, they would see how badly we’ve been treated by the government of this county {???},” he said, describing it as “bittersweet” for his people.

“He said the deal is unfair because it does not include money for a “healing package” that would pay for therapists and traditional healers to help those traumatized by the original removal, and events surrounding the death of Dudley George in 1995.”

–‘Brother of slain ‘First Nations’ protester engulfed in flames during protest over $90 million land deal’,
Colin Graf, The Canadian Press, September 20, 2015


ipperwashMapSome background:

“First, there were land surrenders of beachfront property in 1927 and 1928. The Kettle and Stoney Point Indians SOLD THIS LAND through the Department of Indian Affairs AND RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR IT.

“Then, in 1936, the Ontario government BOUGHT some of this beachfront from developers and established the provincial park.

“And finally, there was the military base. This large tract of land was appropriated in 1942 by the Department of Defence, to set up a training facility for troops during the Second World War.

“It was taken after A PAYMENT OF $50,000 WAS MADE TO THE BAND; the government also promised to SELL THE LAND BACK to the Band ONCE IT WAS NO LONGER NEEDED.

“In 1980, with the military still occupying the reserve lands, the federal government offered $2.5 million in compensation and interest, along with a promise TO GIVE, NOT SELL AS WAS THE ORIGINAL DEAL {!}, the land back to the band when it became available.” 

–‘Protection racket’,
Kevin Steel, Western Standard, July 2, 2007 {CAPS added}

So, what would cause the federal and provincial governments to now act in such an illogical fashion, and voluntarily abandon the best interests of the rest of us?
The evidence would seem to indicate that they were bullied and intimidated…

Before there was Caledonia, there was Ipperwash:

Ipperwash1995blatch-2“Last week’s {1996} cowardly evacuation of Canadian Forces Camp Ipperwash by Canada’s military after a few native rowdies broke the law is simply the latest example of Ottawa’s cowardice when it comes to dealing with aboriginal problems.

“The base was bought outright for $50,000 in 1942 by taxpayers, from a native group. Complaints by some natives led to the forking out of another $2.1 million in 1980. Since then, considerable sums have been spent on maintenance and buildings because the base was used as a training facility for thousands of cadets, police, reservists and others each year. {“Over the course of its 46 years existence, over 100,000 cadets and staff passed through its gates.”}

“But a handful of natives started making trouble. In 1993, AN ARMED FORCES HELICOPTER WAS HIT BY GUNFIRE AND TRAINING WAS SUSPENDED. Since then, the problems multiplied.



“Evacuation followed, to avoid confrontation.

“…The Question is: ‘Why abandon Ipperwash, when the taxpayers paid for it twice?

“Even worse, why abandon it because thugs…are causing trouble?

“Why not arrest wrongdoers? Why is our federal government frightened of imposing law and order?

“The answers are simple. Governments must impose the rule of law… Send in the army, for goodness sake…”

–Diane Francis {CAPS added}


Camp Ipperwash, 1986 (DND)
Camp Ipperwash, 1986 (DND)

“In February 1994, the federal government agreed to return the base.

“On July 29, 1995, native children were used to crash a bus through the main gate as decoys during a violent takeover of the entire base. https://voiceofcanada.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/vol-1-ch7-p130-132-only-children-used.pdf

“Military personnel were cited for protecting “life and property” during the evacuation. http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/ipperwashdocuments/I-1.pdf

“The adjacent provincial park was occupied September 4th. During a confrontation with natives two days later, OPP officers, believing they had taken fire, shot and killed Dudley George…

“In 1998, eight natives beat a man to unconsciousness, leaving him with permanent damage to his hand. A witness had to call 911 seven times before OPP responded… http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/ipperwashdocuments/A-1.pdf 

ipperwashOPPkill“The ‘Ipperwash Inquiry’, called…in October 2003, was given a mandate to “inquire and report on events surrounding the death of Dudley George” and “to make recommendations that would avoid violence in similar circumstances in the future.” Ipperwash residents were hopeful it would examine the lawlessness they had endured so the people of Ontario – especially those living in Caledonia – could understand THE TERRIBLE DANGERS OF RACE-BASED POLICING.

“Their hope was badly misplaced… The Ipperwash Inquiry began with seven days of testimony by two experts on aboriginal culture and history going back to the 17th century. While the Inquiry was keen to understand, in excruciating detail, aboriginal history predating Confederation, they did not want to hear how today’s aboriginals had terrorized innocent residents in the 1990’s…

“Out of 139 witnesses, NOT ONE WAS A NON-NATIVE RESIDENT…

“During the three-year inquiry, the non-native victims of Ipperwash were allotted a total of just 90 minutes to address Commissioner Linden — during a townhall meeting…

“The most disturbing and far-reaching consequence of the suppression of evidence from residents: dangerous policy-making resulting from the Inquiry’s inability or unwillingness to identify the root cause of Dudley George’s death as RACE-BASED POLICING.

“The Inquiry’s report contains 100 recommendations, but not one specifically addresses the issue of preventing violence against residents…”

–‘McGuinty’s Ipperwash Cover-up: The Caledonia Legacy’,
CANACE Report, Feb. 28, 2009 {CAPS added}


IpperwashInquiryReportfrom 2007:

‘An Ontario judge glosses over illegal aboriginal acts at Ipperwash. Indian blockaders now seem free to extract demands from government with impunity’:

“Listen to elected officials, especially at Queen’s Park in Toronto, and it’s hard to see any sign of scrupulous commitment to upholding the laws of the land in the face of native illegality. Rather, as viewed in the light of inaction surrounding the ongoing Caledonia dispute and, more significantly, of recent de facto official approval of native lawbreaking at Ipperwash, GOVERNMENTS ARE ESSENTIALLY SIGNALLING THAT NATIVE LAWBREAKERS WILL BE REWARDED, NOT PUNISHED, FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

“That seems to be how {Phil} Fontaine interpreted the findings, made public May 31, 2007, of Ontario Justice Sidney Linden’s special investigation into the Ipperwash affair, in which native demonstrator Dudley George was shot and killed by a police officer after weeks of escalating native protests.

“Clearly, the inquiry has found that nothing is to be gained by applying force to situations where people legitimately feel their rights are at issue,” Fontaine asserted.

“What Fontaine appears to be saying, then, is that as long as Indians feel they have the moral high ground, the government has no authority to apply the law against them.

“The lack of focus by Linden on any native culpability at Ipperwash led influential National Post columnist Andrew Coyne to conclude that the report effectively legitimized illegal protest.

“WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE NORMALIZATION OF LAWLESSNESS, THE LEGITIMIZATION OF VIOLENCE AS A MEANS OF POLITICAL PROTEST,” Coyne wrote June 2. “AND BY A JUDGE! Native radicals elsewhere can only take the appropriate clues and be emboldened.”

“If Coyne is correct, then Linden’s Ipperwash report represents a milestone in Canadian legal and political history and, as such, bears close scrutiny, not only for what it examined and concluded, but also for what it ignored and the biases it betrayed. 

DudleyGeorgePoster“I lived exactly 400 feet away from where it happened, where Dudley was shot and died,” says Mary-Lou LaPratte.

“The 62-year-old x-ray/ultrasound technician…lived with her husband in Ipperwash, from 1989 until March of this year. The “Dudley” she refers to is, of course, Dudley George, the native protester shot and killed by Ontario Provincial Police in Ipperwash Provincial Park on Sept. 6, 1995.

“That shooting was the subject of a $25.7 million, four-year inquiry headed by retired judge Linden. Linden heard from 140 witnesses over 25 months.

“But he didn’t hear from LaPratte, even though she lived so close to the event. He didn’t want to hear from her even though she was one of 103 cottagers originally sued by the band in 1992 – THEY WANTED TITLE TO THEIR HOME AND $250,000 FOR ‘TRESPASSING’ ON BEACHFRONT PROPERTY THE BAND HAD SURRENDERED {AND BEEN PAID FOR} IN THE 1920s. THE INQUIRY DIDN’T CALL HER TO TESTIFY, EVEN THOUGH HER HOUSE HAD BEEN BROKEN INTO BY {TRIBAL} PROTESTERS. 

“As soon as the occupations and land claim on the West Beach started, we noticed a disturbing OPP policy evolving. Natives coming off the occupied lands into surrounding areas to harass, threaten, intimidate, steal from, or assault innocent homeowners and tourists, were exempt from criminal charges upon reaching the safe haven of the disputed land. In the West Beach land claim, which was going through a court process, a native anywhere on the properties, for any reason, would not be charged. Our lives became a daily nightmare of threats, intimidation, and harassment tactics which, over the years, became home invasions and physical assaults.” http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/ipperwashdocuments/D-14.pdf

“LaPratte herself was a victim of a 2 a.m. home invasion. When her husband called the OPP, he was asked if the intruder was native, whereupon he was instructed not to touch the man — or face arrest. http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/ipperwashdocuments/A-1.pdf

opp-ipperwash-cartoonFB“LaPratte believes the story of what happened to the residents of Ipperwash didn’t fit with the desired narrative, so they were cast aside…

“On the other hand, Linden consistently characterized the protest and occupation as ‘justified’ and ‘peaceful’ {In spite of all of the evidence to the contrary…}.

“As the report does make clear, there have actually been several parcels of land under contention at Ipperwash over the past 80 years.

“First, there were land surrenders of beachfront property in 1927 and 1928. The Kettle and Stoney Point INDIANS SOLD THIS LAND through the Department of Indian Affairs AND RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR IT.

“Then, in 1936, the Ontario government BOUGHT some of this beachfront from developers and established the provincial park.

“And finally, there was the military base. This large tract of land was appropriated in 1942 by the Department of Defence, to set up a training facility for troops during the Second World War.

“It was taken after A PAYMENT OF $50,000 WAS MADE TO THE BAND; the government also promised to SELL THE LAND BACK to the band ONCE IT WAS NO LONGER NEEDED.

“In 1980, with the military still occupying the reserve lands, the federal government offered $2.5 million in compensation and interest, along with a promise TO GIVE, NOT SELL AS WAS THE ORIGINAL DEAL {!}, the land back to the band when it became available.

“Essentially, it was this last alleged injustice {?} related to the military lands that Linden used in his report to justify the native occupation of the provincial park. There’s a reason he had to stretch the logic:
three years after the death of George, THE NATIVES HAD LOST A SUPREME COURT CASE in which they had tried to reclaim the park and beachfront lands.

ipperwashAnti-policeCar“According to LaPratte, THE TROUBLE STARTED IN 1992. That’s when the Kettle and Stoney Point ‘First Nations’ launched lawsuits against the cottagers on the beachfront, seeking title to the land and $250,000 apiece from the homeowners for trespassing.

“The band also sued the banks that held the mortgages. This made it difficult for the homeowners to raise money for their defence, or to get credit of any sort.


“They would come onto the property holding a board and say, ‘If you don’t leave the front of your property, I will be back with 50 warriors and we will get you out.’ That kind of thing,” LaPratte recalls. “It doesn’t sound like much now but at the time, it was extremely scary because WHEN WE CALLED THE POLICE, THEY TOLD US THE CROWN ATTORNEYS  HAD TIED THEIR HANDS AND THAT THEY COULDN’T DO A THING; BECAUSE THE NATIVES ‘SINCERELY THOUGHT’ {?!?} THEY OWNED OUR PROPERTY AND OUR HOMES — UNDER ‘COLOUR OF RIGHT’ — WE COULD NOT CHARGE THEM WITH ANYTHING.” 

“Colour of right: An honestly held belief in entitlement to property; a defence to a charge of theft…”

Colour of Right: “This is an honest belief on the part of the accused that they had a right to possess the property, despite that there was no true basis for the belief in fact or law. This does not include mere belief in a moral entitlement to the property.”

“By the spring of 1993, we knew we were in trouble. WE KNEW THE POLICE WERE NOT GOING TO HELP US,” says LaPratte. 

(This was well before Mike Harris became premier. The NDP, led by Bob Rae, was the party in power from Oct. 1, 1990 to June 26, 1995. Harris was in office for just over two months when George was killed.)

“At that point, A SPLIT IN THE BAND OCCURRED {what a surprise…} and protesters from the Stoney band, led by Chief Carl George, occupied the military base, upset that the land had actually been promised to the Kettle band.

“We all knew Carl George, and it was a peaceful protest,” LaPratte says.

“But then, PRETTY SOON THE NATIVES WERE FIGHTING THEMSELVES at the base. By ’95, there were other people in charge and A LOT OF NATIVES THERE THAT DIDN’T EVEN BELONG TO THE AREA and really had no interest in the land. The situation had started to change and, by ’95, that’s when things became super violent.” 

ipperwashKKK-Burnt-outCars“Mark Vandermaas runs a website called “The Ipperwash Papers” that is seeking to publicize the events surrounding the George killing that the inquiry ignored.


“To suggest that Mary-Lou LaPratte wasn’t called as a witness because she didn’t live close enough to the shooting is disingenuous, considering she lived 400 feet away,” Vandermass says. “… I thought the inquiry was about trying to find out how he died and why he died.”

“Certainly, that might include some of the violence witnessed by some of the residents. THAT VIOLENCE WAS CONSIDERABLE. As Coyne pointed out,

“. . . in almost every case where police and natives clashed, THE VIOLENCE WAS INITIATED BY THE NATIVES. . . .

Yet throughout his report, Judge Linden takes the existence of this and other such native occupations as a given.”

“Whitney Lackenbauer is a professor of history at the University of Waterloo. His 2006 book, “Battle Grounds: The Canadian Military and Aboriginal Lands”, takes a detailed look at Ipperwash.

“…It’s a report that, while it certainly sets up a case of tremendous hardship that the appropriation had on the community, it does so in a way that in some respects PLAYS QUITE LOOSE WITH THE HISTORICAL RECORD {What an understatement…},” Lackenbauer says.

“One conclusion, then, is that {Judge} LINDEN WAS SELECTIVE WITH THE HISTORICAL RECORD AND IGNORED POTENTIALLY-IMPORTANT TESTIMONY, thereby exonerating the protesters.

“But then, McGuinty’s government stands accused of creating pretty much the same conditions in ongoing problem areas such as Caledonia, where Indian protesters have occupied a subdivision since April of 2006. The police have ignored a judge’s order to have the protesters removed… Since the occupation began, BRIDGES HAVE BEEN BURNED DOWN, POLICE CARS DESTROYED AND RESIDENTS ASSAULTED, ALL WITH NO CHARGES BEING LAID AGAINST PROTESTERS…”

–‘Protection racket’,
Kevin Steel, Western Standard, July 2, 2007 {CAPS added}


ipperwash_cop‘The Shooting of Dudley George’

“On Wednesday, the OPP became concerned about a group of protesters who had wandered outside the Park and into the Sandy Park lot area adjacent to the cottages. The group was allegedly carrying bats and sticks in their hands. The number of protesters has been debated, although police reports indicate a group of up to 8…

“Out of public safety concerns, the OPP decided to deploy the crowd management unit (CMU) to force the protesters back into the park. The CMU was a riot squad armed with steel batons, shields and helmets. The CMU was backed up by a tactical response unit (TRU). The OPP intended a show of force to move the protesters back inside the park.

“On Wednesday evening, police riot squads marched down to the Sandy Parking Lot to confront the protesters. As the CMU advanced, the protesters initially retreated back and the CMU responded by retreating back. A particular protester, Cecil Bernard George approached the police (peacefully according to the protesters, violently according to police reports). George was taken down and surrounded by police and arrested. Protesters attempted to rescue George from the arrest by the police units. This resulted in a riot.

“A car and a school bus driven by protesters started out of the park to assist the protesters in their fight against police. According to police officers, there was gunfire from these vehicles… The OPP TRU teams opened fire on the vehicles, resulting in the wounding of two Native protesters and the death of Dudley George, an Ojibwa protestor.

“Among the TRU members was Acting Sergeant Ken “Tex” Deane, a senior officer in charge of a four-man sniper team with the job of escorting the force’s crowd management unit. Deane was near the park entrance and fired three shots at Dudley George, who was about fifteen feet from the park entrance, and was hit and badly injured. Deane… had mistaken the elongated dark coloured branch which George was carrying for a rifle…

“Acting Sergeant Ken Deane (October 1961 – February 25, 2006) was convicted of criminal negligence causing death. Deane’s defence was that he had believed that Dudley George was carrying a rifle. The judge…sentenced Deane to a conditional sentence, two years less a day, to be served in the community (not in custody).

“Deane hung on to his job for 5½ years after the criminal conviction, as he unsuccessfully appealed the verdict to the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada…

“Ken Deane died on February 25, 2006, in a car accident, when his vehicle collided with a truck near Prescott. Deane was on his way to testify in the inquiry.”

–‘ Ipperwash Crisis’


ERBLMoreIndianBullyingInOntario600x600As far as the beachfront property goes, the tribe is still trying to bully their way into controlling the land, despite losing in court:

“A ‘First Nation’ in southwestern Ontario {illegally} tore down barriers and began driving along a stretch of beach near the site of the 1995 Ipperwash crisis, the local mayor said Sunday.

“Kettle and Stony Point ‘First Nation’ took down the gates blocking vehicle access to Ipperwash Beach on Lake Huron on Friday, saying the route encompasses the band’s “historical trails” and that the ‘nation’ wasn’t ‘consulted’ when the no-entry gates first went up in 1973…”

‘More Bullying In Ontario’ (Ipperwash) {December 8, 2014}:
As an exclamation point to this incredible story, this ‘Proclamation’ was penned in frustration by the sitting Member of the Provincial legislature for this area in 2008:


“WHEREAS, since February 28, 2006, people across Haldimand County and beyond have been subjected to arson, extortion, barricades, land seizures, occupations, militant protests, and related harassment, intimidation, mob violence and threats to public safety.

“AND WHEREAS, the community safety, social and economic life, of Haldimand and neighbouring residents, has declined because of the climate of fear, chaos and uncertainty generated by various acts of lawlessness and related intimidation.

“AND WHEREAS, there is a perception, and evidence, of two categories of law, of justice, of police protection, and government action based on one’s race and geographical location within Haldimand County and beyond.

“AND WHEREAS, the lawlessness, and the less than adequate prevention and response on the part of police and other government authorities regarding these illegal acts appears to be tolerated, and perhaps condoned, by provincial and federal government policy.

“AND WHEREAS, both the provincial and federal governments have legislative, regulatory, enforcement, decision-making and policy-making capability beyond the mandate and scope of Haldimand County.

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that Haldimand County, in support of all of its residents, proclaim and request, with utmost urgency, that the following actions be taken where mandated at the provincial and federal level:

“Restore police patrol, response and enforcement as well as justice, order and the rule of law, including court injunctions, throughout Haldimand County regardless of one’s race or geographical location. 

“Cease all land dispute negotiations and related actions until extortion, and illegal occupations and protests are terminated.

“Budget and publicly set timelines and deadlines to continue to resolve legitimate land disputes expeditiously within a climate of openness, mutual respect, and justice for all affected.

“Compensate individuals, businesses and the municipality for loss, insecurity, economic decline, and any other collateral damage stemming from provincial and federal decisions and policy, or lack thereof, that have eroded peace, order and good government in Haldimand County and beyond.” 

–Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand-Norfolk — February 11, 2008

See also: 

‘More Bullying In Ontario’ (Ipperwash) {December 8, 2014}:

‘Ipperwash and Two-Tiered Policing’ {August 22, 2014}:

IMAGE: Entrance to Ipperwash Provincial Park on Sept. 7, 1995

Post also at: 




mail to: endracebasedlawpetition@gmail.com