As Canada heads into what many aboriginal leaders have promised will be the “summer of the blockade,” the final report of the Ipperwash inquiry sends the wrong messages at the wrong time. By absolving native protesters of any responsibility in the 1995 death of Dudley George; and by recommending that the protesting band be given the provincial park they were illegally occupying, the report by commissioner Sidney Linden essentially tells natives across Canada that they are not responsible for their own actions. Nothing they do will be punished. Indeed, if they protest long enough and loud enough, they will be rewarded with land and money, even if their illegal acts end in violence.

This report simply adds to the fecklessness of officialdom in the face of the recent rail blockade near Belleville, Ont., and the illegal occupation of a housing development at Caledonia, Ont. (At the latter site this week, Ottawa offered squatters $125-million to end a land claim it originally claimed had no legal merit.)

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