After a year, most of the charges placed against the Stoney Point Chippewa have been dropped. Only six people will go to trial. Three are charged with forcible entry and the other three face a variety of charges.
The Ipperwash Park occupation was a Native protest over rights to land. It began on Sept. 4, 1995 and within two days Chippewa Dudley George was dead. One of the OPP officers at Ipperwash faces charges of criminal negligence causing death.
Charges were dropped for 20 other protesters. An Ontario official said this was done because the Natives had an honest belief that they had justification for their occupation of the park through “colour of right.”
The official said correspondence between Indian Affairs and the Ontario government in 1937 supports the protesters’ claim to the land. The correspondence refers to an “old Indian cemetery” on the land that later became Ipperwash Provincial Park.
Roger Obonsawin, a Native activist, said that the dropping of the charges confirms that the police over-reacted at Ipperwash.
Cries for a public inquiry into the events surrounding Ipperwash have gone unheard by government. The government says that all trials should be held first before any inquiry is started.