Archive for May 28, 2007

Almost 12 years in the making, the human toll so far is this: There have been two untimely deaths. In bald numbers, there have been 139 witnesses and more than 23 months of testimony at a cost of more than $20 million. At one point, it was costing taxpayers more than half a million dollars a month — mostly in lawyers’ fees for all the disparate groups that had standing.

Finally, on Thursday, Justice Sidney Linden will release his long-anticipated report of the judicial inquiry into the 1995 death of native protester Dudley George at Ipperwash Provincial Park.

George was shot by OPP sniper Ken Deane Sept. 6, 1995, after a protest by a group of activists from the nearby Chippewa First Nation boiled over into violence at the Lake Huron park.

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Learn about what REALLY happened at Ipperwash HERE

(May 25, 2007)

Plans to extend and pave the Baptist Church parking lot in Caledonia were put to an end this week when native protesters showed up at the site and blocked workers. The work stoppage began Thursday, May 17 and and continued early Friday, May 18th.

Half a dozen native protesters, some wearing camouflage, stood in front of earth movers and on top of a gravel pile defying workers.

When the crews from Norton Construction arrived back on May 18th (Friday morning) the protesters shut them down and said they were not doing any more work. “They blocked our truck and trailer up then blockaded us in,” says McMaster.

The protesters said the Norton employees could not go anywhere because they wanted their five loads of dirt back. “We said no problem, you can have your dirt back, but that wasn’t good enough.”

Norton Construction even offered to put the dirt on the protesters’ trucks for them. “They said that wasn’t good enough.”

McMaster says the protesters wanted the dirt dropped on the property at DCE. “We didn’t want to do that because we thought that once we dropped the dirt off they would keep the trucks.”

The protesters were not removed from the site by police.

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Speaking on CTV’s Question Period, McGuinty said that the provinces and territories are often left to shoulder the burden of conflicts over land claims.

“Overwhelmingly, provinces and territories are caught up in peacekeeping missions, trying to settle a dispute, often a dispute that predates Confederation, between the federal government and a First Nations community,” he said.

McGuinty said he places a “heavy weight” on the shoulders of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to resolve the issue…

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Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice wants to speed up talks to settle First Nations land claims, but don’t expect him to embrace Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s suggestion to set up an independent body to settle the nation’s 800 outstanding clams.There’s just too much at stake for the federal government to give an independent body that kind of power.

And yet, the time has come for such a mechanism. The planned June 29 nationwide day of protest by First Nations bands impatient with the slow-moving process shows the practice of decades-long legal delays may be running out of time.

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OTTAWA — Fearing a hot summer of aboriginal protests across the country, two provincial premiers yesterday called on the federal government to speed up land-claims settlements.

Premiers Dalton McGuinty of Ontario and Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador said the federal government must indicate quickly how it will deal with land claims, poverty and other root causes of unrest among Canada’s native bands.

McGuinty said it is provincial and local law-enforcement authorities who are forced into the role of peacekeepers when protests against federal land-claims policies turn ugly.

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