TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day says that the decision of the federal government to return Camp Ipperwash to the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation is an important step towards healing after the death of Dudley George, an unarmed protestor calling for the return of First Nations land 20 years ago this September.
“I congratulate the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point for reclaiming their lands. The struggle for Ipperwash is symbolic of the hardships faced by all First Nations to rectify historical wrongs,” said Ontario Regional Chief Day.
In 1995, citizens of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation reclaimed land in Ipperwash Provincial Park that had been expropriated by Canada during World War II. On September 7, 1995, police killed Dudley George, an unarmed protestor, after government officials in Toronto provided direction to remove protestors as soon as possible.
The tragic death of Dudley George sparked an inquiry that recommended Canada and Ontario to take concrete actions to repair relationships with First Nations and prevent future confrontations.
“The sacrifices made by the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point, and the ultimate sacrifice made by Mr. George, must never be forgotten. Canada and Ontario must continue to work with First Nations to implement the Ipperwash Inquiry Final Report,” said Regional Chief Day. “I am pleased that Camp Ipperwash has finally been returned to the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point; however, the work must continue.”
Citizens of the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation voted yesterday to accept a federal offer to return Camp Ipperwash. The deal requires the Federal Government to clean contaminants and unexploded ordinances from the area before returning it to the First Nation. Over 900 citizens of Kettle & Stony Point voted.