NEWS RELEASE: Ipperwash Papers investigator calls Inquiry “shameful cover-up”

2inch_voc_logo-url.jpgcwuc_crest.gif– Joint Media Release –

VoiceofCanada
and
CaledoniaWakeUpCall

June 01, 2007

Ipperwash Papers investigator calls Inquiry “shameful cover-up”

According to the lead investigator for The Ipperwash Papers project, the Ipperwash Inquiry is a shameful cover-up that deliberately ignored a campaign of native crime and intimidation against Ipperwash residents that began in earnest in 1992 following the submission of a little known land claim against the homes of West Ipperwash Beach residents by the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point.

Mark Vandermaas says that the Inquiry’s determination to ignore the suffering of Ipperwash residents not only deprived the innocent victims of land claim violence of the opportunity to be heard and healed, it also deprived the people of Ontario of the opportunity to learn how to prevent future violence against innocent third parties while land claims are waiting to be settled. He also says that the cover-up means that Canadians were denied the chance to understand what role the failure of the OPP and Department of National Defence to enforce the law beforehand played in the death of Dudley George.

The Ipperwash Inquiry did not call a single full time resident to testify about the trauma they experienced at the hands of natives before, during and after the events of September 1995. During the course of an inquiry that lasted three years, a mere 90 minutes was allotted for residents to address the Commissioner in a townhall meeting that took place on the evening of June 21, 2006. Vandermaas alleges that the minutes of that meeting were “sanitized” to downplay residents’ statements in a way that strongly suggests that the Inquiry’s conclusions were pre-determined. He says that the Inquiry’s minutes of this ‘Community Consultation’ differed so dramatically from a reporter’s account of the meeting that he felt compelled to verify that she was, indeed, writing about the same event.

Vandermaas claims that the failure of the Ipperwash Inquiry to reveal the truth about native victimization of innocent residents was not an accident. The stated purpose of Part 2 of the Inquiry was to come up with recommendations to prevent future violence. Despite the Inquiry’s promise to publish all third party projects prepared for this very important topic, he says it did not do so.

In July 2004, a 29-page chronological history of the Ipperwash saga outlining the suffering of residents at the hands of natives and OPP/DND inaction was submitted to the Inquiry by Mary-Lou Lapratte, a long time resident of Ipperwash whose many credentials include serving as the Public Relations Officer for the West Ipperwash Property Owners Association from 1992 to 2001. Her account of events at Ipperwash was never published by the Inquiry.

At least one high ranking Inquiry official had personal knowledge of how Ipperwash residents’ were suffering at the hands of native criminals, but that knowledge was never made public or used to help give residents a voice at the Inquiry. According to legal correspondence provided by LaPratte, the Inquiry’s lead counsel, Mr. Derry Millar, and his firm, Weir & Foulds successfully defended the West Ipperwash Property Owners Association all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada against an invalid native land claim against their properties. LaPratte says that Millar was well aware of how residents felt about native crime and the failure of law enforcement to deal with it.

On March 14, 2007 LaPratte joined VoiceofCanada and CaledoniaWakeUpCall at a joint news conference at Queen’s Park to release The Ipperwash Papers – 400 pages of documents they say were overlooked and/or excluded by the official Inquiry.

Vandermaas feels that one of the most ominous documents ‘overlooked’ by the Ipperwash Inquiry so far as the current victims of land claim violence in Caledonia are concerned – is an editorial by the Sarnia Observer dated May 25/94: “Police must enforce laws:”

“It’s going to be another long summer for residents of West Ipperwash Beach. The owners…complained of almost constant harassment last summer from natives. It’s up to the police to enforce the law along that beach area so residents, who hold lawful deeds to their properties, can feel safe. Regardless of any land claim, natives must obey the law. They simply cannot be allowed to do as they please…”

One year and four months after this editorial was published, Dudley George was dead.

He says the Ipperwash Inquiry also ‘overlooked’ a letter from the township that blamed Mr. George’s death and the “terrorizing of a municipality” on the failure to enforce the law against natives. This letter, along with hundreds of other victim impact statements written by area residents, was submitted to a federally-appointed representative in 1996. One resident described her Ipperwash experience from 1992 onwards as follows:

“In the West Beach land claim, which was going through a court process, a native anywhere on the properties, for any reason, would not be charged. Our lives became a daily nightmare of threats, intimidation, and harassment tactics which, over the years, became home invasions and physical assaults.

We became a community with no policing, no province and no country. No one in the OPP, the Provincial government or the Federal Government would give us any relief or help with the aggression. At one point after the death of native protestor Dudley George, the police totally deserted our community because they and their families became targets. Our community was in chaos.”

Thirty-two of these victim impact statements form an important and poignant part of The Ipperwash Papers. They, too, were ‘overlooked’ by the Ipperwash Inquiry.

“The Ipperwash Inquiry deliberately chose to ignore the issue of native violence and the role it, and the failure of the OPP and DND to enforce the law, played in the death of Dudley George. Dudley George may have died from a police bullet,” Vandermaas says, “but it was the failure to enforce the law against native criminals in the years prior to his death that loaded the rifle.”

NOTE: The exclusion of Ipperwash residents is only one of the failures and omissions of the Ipperwash Inquiry. For a complete list and accompanying analysis, please visit The Ipperwash Papers website at the address shown below

– 30 –

Mark Vandermaas is the editor of VoiceofCanada.ca, and was the lead investigator for The Ipperwash Papers, a collection of more than 400 pages of documents that reveal the suffering of innocent Ipperwash residents at the hands of native criminals, and by Department of National Defence and OPP Two Tier Justice policies during three separate land claims; how the Ipperwash Inquiry completely excluded their testimony and other key evidence; and why the Inquiry’s recommendations will never prevent future violence against third parties.

The Ipperwash Papers were released to the public on March 14, 2007 at the Queen’s Park Media Studio by Vandermaas, co-investigator Gary McHale and long-time Ipperwash resident and community leader, Mary-Lou LaPratte.

– REFERENCES –

– CONTACTS –

The Ipperwash Papers website: www.IpperwashPapers.ca

Mark Vandermaas, Editor
VoiceofCanada
Lead Investigator – The Ipperwash Papers
info@voiceofcanada.ca

Gary McHale, Editor
CaledoniaWakeUpCall
Co-investigator – The Ipperwash Papers
info@caledoniawakeupcall.com

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5 responses to “NEWS RELEASE: Ipperwash Papers investigator calls Inquiry “shameful cover-up”

  1. Lisa Parent

    Keep this information in the forefront Mark.

    The Ipperwash Inquiry should have been called the Whitewash Inquiry. McGuinty’s fingerprints are all over this fiasco that produced a result of half truth with an outcome that fit exactly the do nothing strategy of the McGuinty Government.

    Caledonia and others will pay for the result of this inquiry in ways yet to be seen.

    This inquiry has ignored the violence before and ofter the death of Dudley George perpetrated on residents of Ipperwash. These same residents were given a passing ear by the inquiry with no official status at the inquiry. Why?

    Officers of the tactical teams on the ground the day Dudley George was killed wanted to testify and present evidence at the inquiry and were refused status even though their evidence may have changed the outcome of the inquiry. Why?

    A public meeting as you pointed out of residents resulted in a sanitized report to the inquiry that was so different from a reporter’s account of the meeting that the reporter wondered if they were at the same meeting. Why?

    McGuinty had a predefined result for this inquiry that supported his current appeasement strategy in Caledonia which is clearly designed to make his government look good in an election year while embarrassing the Conservatives.

    I hope this man has a good life because with the sins he is willing to commit in the name of politics will not put him in good stead in his next life.

    My thoughts go out to the people of Ipperwash who suffered at the hands of terror and now a government intent on keeping the truth from the general public in the name of political expediency.

    All anyone has to do is take the time to read the Ipperwash papers at http://www.ipperwashpapers.com/
    and they will realize that this inquiry did not examine the whole truth about Ipperwash.
    Keep up the good work Mark and Gary.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks so much for the pat on the back. Many hundreds of hours have gone into the research and preparation of The Ipperwash Papers by our very dedicated team. Like everything we do, we did not do this alone.

    First of all, let me clarify that it was me who contacted the reporter to verify that she was talking about the same so-called, ‘Community Consultation’ meeting held on June 21/06 that she reported on. I don’t think she was aware of how badly the Inquiry’s minutes were sanitized until I contacted her.

    Isn’t it interesting that, weeks before the Ipperwash Inquiry report was released, McGuinty was talking about how OPP officers were “peacekeepers” and now the Inquiry’s Commissioner uses the same term in his remarks. Aside from the Premier and Commissioner’s complete lack of understanding with respect to the differences between ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘law enforcement, I wonder if the Premier had a sneak peek at the report before it was issued. Hmmmmm

    The Ipperwash Inquiry has many failures, the worst of which is that it has given a bright green light to more native occupations, crime and terror campaigns, none of which are to be opposed on behalf of law abiding citizens by the government or the police. My anger is being replaced by sadness, fear and a great sense of dread.

    Thanks again for the support. Mark

  2. brian cochrane

    funny stuff.

    guess you don’t know that it is government policy that no single landowner will be displaced by a land claim, nor will it ever cost them a dime directly, other than the taxes he (and we) all pay.

    it also occurs to me that you think the inquiry was supposed to be more than was originally intended. it was supposed to examine the events that led to the death on one individual and not much more than that. why would local residents testify about their trauma?

    native criminals? by putting these two words together as often as you do on your site, you equate all natives to criminals so eventually the two become synonymous with one another. that wouldn’t be your intent, would it?
    Brian

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the comment.

    1. With respect to the government’s lie that no one will be displaced due to land claims, I wonder how the owners of Henco Construction in Caledonia feel about that. An entire subdivision – the Douglas Creek Estates – was stolen from them under duress, aided and abetted by the Liberal government.

    2. The mandate of the Inquiry was to examine the death of Dudley George, and to prevent violence during land claims. The mandate did NOT say that violence against innocent third parties caught up in land claims through no fault of their own didn’t matter. Violence is violence. Why wouldn’t we want to prevent violence against all citizens, not just natives?

    3. Sounds like you’re a new reader to VoC. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to write. Long time readers know that I have consistently used the term ‘criminals’ and ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’ to distinguish between the vast majority of honourable, law-abiding natives who are also being victimized by a dangerous element in their communities, and the sociopaths who would try to justify violence against other human beings for political or personal gain. One of the greatest failures of our government, the OPP and now, the Ipperwash Inquiry is to assume that a small group of violent criminals and sociopaths speaks for all native people.

    Don’t take my word for it, though. Take some time to read this story and some of those listed at the end in the ‘References’ section, if you would, please: https://voiceofcanada.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/opp-two-tier-justice-policies-victimize-native-people/.

    This post specifically addresses native on native violence due to OPP racial policing policies, and includes a brief discussion regarding the issue of what role Two Tier Justice played in the death of Dudley George, an issue that was never explored by the Ipperwash Inquiry because they excluded or downplayed all evidence of native crime against residents. You may want to spend some time reviewing the documents at http://www.ipperwashpapers.ca and get back to me. Ipperwash was much more complex than the media and the Inquiry would have you believe.

    Thanks again for writing. Mark

  3. caledoniawakeupcall

    Excellent article Mark. I see you and I are having to deal with some of the same nonsense. People who refuse to see that we are talking about a very specific group of people when we say “Terrorists” or “Criminals” or “Thugs”.

    As clear as we have made this time after time, why not have one more go at it.

    The criminal extremist element of the Natives responsible for all of this horror accounts for (to the best of my knowledge) a fraction of 1% of Canada’s Natives. It would not just be wrong to stop calling that element what they are (Terrorists, Criminals, Extremists, Thugs) it would also be a huge disservice to the 99%+ of peaceful, law abiding Native people in Canada.

    They want desperately to hide under the blanket notion that they represent Natives, but they do NOT! They represent themselves, their interests, their agenda’s, and the profit they can reap from their criminal activity. They hide behind their race and the guise that they’re doing this in order to settle land claims for the greater good of all Natives because this is what lets them act without fear of the law.

    To refer to those people as Natives would be to generalize all Natives as criminals.

    Jeff.

    VoC REPLY: Hi Jeff. I can’t add much to what you’ve said so very, very well other than to reiterate (for the gazillionth time!) for new readers that native people are not our enemy, but native criminals are. Thanks for the comment. Regards, Mark

  4. Caledonia Resident

    Mark where can we find about you exactly.
    What is your history, your bio.

    Who exactly is Mark Vandermaas, how can one support you if we don’t know who you are where you came from.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for the question. It’s a good one. I’m not asking you to support me; I’m asking you to support the Rule of Law, equality before the law, the Charter of Rights & Freedoms and the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada. It shouldn’t matter who I am; it matters how you feel about those Canadian values. The people who are our greatest supporters don’t care what my resume looks like; they care about the issues. My writings speak for themselves, I think. If you want to know who I am, start reading; you’ll find out everything you need to know. Thanks for writing, CR. Mark

  5. Leith Peterson

    I will tell you what I’ve learned from the Ipperwash Inquiry: that if you get caught in the middle of a land claims negotiation, you can have great difficulty getting justice.

    I don’t doubt for a minute that many of the natives involved in this were wronged. My late mother, Jay Peterson (1920-1976) was a major supporter of native issues. I worked in native organizations in Southern and Northern Ontario and the NWT for about 12 years, so I have first hand knowledge of the devastation caused by the residential schools, the inaction over land claims, etc.

    But an incident occurred about 20 years ago where I was accused publicly of having views that I didn’t. The resulting difficulties have changed my perception of the situation completely. I have primarily been given the run around since then by both natives and the mainstream. Although concern has been shown by some people in the native community, the end result has certainly not led to any closure for me.

    After reading the joint press release issued by Voice of Canada and the Caledonia Wakeup Call dated June 1, 2007, I have even more reason to be concerned. If the statements in this press release are true, my heart goes out to the people of Caledonia and Ipperwash who are caught in the middle over this.

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for writing, Leith. I promise you that I never make make statements I can’t prove. Everything you read in this news release is true. In fact, it only tells a small part of the story. I encourage you to go read the documents yourself at The Ipperwash Papers website yourself. It’s all there in black and white. I suggest you begin with the news conference notes on the home page, then the ‘Summary of Evidence’ and then Mary-Lou LaPratte’s ‘Chronology’ in the documents section (document A-1). All the other documents support the statements made by Mary-Lou. Keep in mind that The Ipperwash Papers represent only about 400-450 pages of a total estimated at 5,000. Thanks for writing. Mark