UPDATE 1820 EST April 30/07: Release of the Ipperwash Papers project:
UPDATED Aug 09/10 — The photos below were taken by VoiceofCanada editor, Mark Vandermaas, during a visit to Ipperwash in February 2007. I have been examining documents describing events at Ipperwash after 1992, and decided to see the area for myself.
Kettle and Stony Point Reserve Community buildings
Includes: cultural & administration centre; school; medical centre; police station; fire station.
Kettle & Stony Point Reserve Homes and Views
Kettle Point gets its name from the ‘kettle’ shaped rocks found in the waters of Lake Huron as shown in photo 7.
Location where Dudley George was killed.
This location is quite a distance from Reserve land where the photos above were taken. It is just west of the south-west corner of the former army camp shown in the photos in the final section below.
Picture #1 shows the road along the lakeshore leading up to the entrance to the provincial park – where Picture #2 shows the spot were George fell. Picture #4 shows one of the cottages on the south-west corner, diagonally across the road from the entrance of the park. A cottager huddled with her grandson inside one of them during the shooting.
Former Ipperwash Army Camp:
The camp is an eysore. There is a large ‘graveyard’ of derelict vehicles. Local residents call the camp the “Home Free Zone” because native suspects can escape justice simply by making it onto the property – the OPP will not enter to chase them or investigate crimes. There are only about 35 people living on the base today. The old trailer behind the fence in photo #12 was Dudley George’s. It was moved onto the camp after it was seized by the natives in July 1995 during a violent incident that caused at least $400,000 in damage. My source told me that the Department of National Defence continues to supply all utilities at no cost to the occupants.
The sign in photos 13 and 14 is warning of unexploded ordinance (UXO). A civilian contractor has been hired to begin removing these from the base.
One of the key impressions that I took away from my visit to Ipperwash was the stark contrast between the well maintained homes and modern community service buildings on the Stoney Point Reserve, and the run-down ‘Home Free Zone’ that is the former Army Camp.
Non-native homes and cottages
There are 177 non-native resident homes at Ipperwash. Only about 32% of the non-native-owned dwelling units are occupied by permanent residents. 64% are cottagers, and the remaining 4% are ‘snowbirds’ who are gone 5-6 months per year. The winter population is only about 400 people.
One of the surprising things about Ipperwash is just how difficult it is to know which home is on Reserve land and which is part of the County of Lambton Shores. Apparently, it was very confusing to the police, too until a resident decided upon an ingenious solution that was implemented for the entire area: a red band of reflective tape wrapped around the address marker signifies that the home is part of the County.