Six years after the fatal shooting of Native protester Dudley George, Ontario chief coroner James Young is investigating the shooting that took place at Ipperwash Provincial Park to determine whether he should order an inquest.

In a letter sent to Dr. Young, Pierre George, one of the victim’s brothers, called for an inquest to explain “how and why my brother bled to death” on the night in question. Mr. George also said that the establishment of an inquest “would be of great comfort and reassurance” to his family. Dudley George’s surviving relatives are trying to uncover why he received no treatment from paramedics who were on the scene at the time. They also seek to determine why he wasn’t transported to hospital by ambulance.

On the night of September 6, 1995, Ontario Provincial Police officers marched into Ipperwash Provincial Park to put down a Native protest. Dudley George was shot by acting Sergeant Kenneth Deane. The officer was armed with an automatic rifle. George and the other protesters were unarmed. Acting Sergeant Deane was convicted, by Justice Hugh Fraser, of criminal negligence causing death in 1997. It was ruled that officer Deane fired his weapon without reasonable cause. There was no evidence produced to indicate that any shots had been fired by Native protesters, or that they had any weapons. The conviction stood through several appeals, including an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to a recounting of the incident in One Dead Indian, a newly published book on the events at Ipperwash by Peter Edwards, Dudley George was struck in the chest by a hollow-tipped bullet from a submachine gun. His internal organs were ripped apart and he bled to death. He was helped into a 1977 Chevrolet Impala by his brother and other Natives to get him to the hospital in Strathroy almost an hour’s drive on bumpy roads. When the car had a flat tire, Pierre George stopped at a farmhouse to call for an ambulance. When no ambulance arrived, he drove the rest of the way on the wheel rim. Pierre George and his sister Carolyn were taken into police custody upon arrival at the hospital and as a result were unable to provide the doctors with necessary information. Some minutes later, Dudley George was declared dead from massive internal bleeding.

Pierre George wants the inquest to investigate why OPP officers and paramedics wouldn’t help the Natives that rushed to Dudley George’s assistance after the shooting. Mr. George also wants to uncover why he and his sister were removed from the hospital in Strathroy, instead of being allowed to remain and answer any questions the doctors may have had about the injured Native protester.

One Dead Indian also explores the controversy around the role played by the Premier Mike Harris’s office in ordering OPP officers to clear the protesters out of the park. Harris has refused to allow a judicial inquiry into the shooting and the role played by his office. Harris and other Ontario senior government officials have been the subjects of a civil case filed the family of the deceased.