Truth emerges as Ipperwash Papers go ‘main stream’

UPDATED 2134 EST Oct 26/08

UPDATE 1109 EST June 25/07: In the original draft of this story I singled out veteran broadcast journalist Doug Aldridge (killed in car crash April 15/08) of The Right Side as being a notable exception to the media’s deafening silence regarding The Ipperwash Papers. Unfortunately, the paragraph was deleted when this article was posted. My profuse apologies to Doug, especially considering he was the first journalist to interview me regarding about The Ipperwash Papers, and has done 3 interviews about the story!
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westernstandard-jul0207.jpgIn a time of universal deceipt, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

George Orwell 

On March 14, 2007 I went to Queen’s Park with Gary McHale and westernstandard-jul0207.jpgMary-Lou LaPratte to release The Ipperwash Papers; 400+ pages of documents ‘overlooked’ by the official Ipperwash Inquiry that show how residents themselves and the evidence of their suffering at the hands of native crime during an invalid land claim were deliberately excluded from the Inquiry. 

Among other things, we stated (2 1/2 months before release of the Inquiry’s report on May 31/07) that the Inquiry could never make any credible recommendations for preventing violence against innocent third parties because they never even considered the issue. Indeed, out of the 100 recommendations made by the Commissioner, not a single one of them relates to preventing native lawlessness against residents caught up in land claim occupations.

The Inquiry also held the natives completely blameless for their violent takeover of the former Army camp (despite their deliberate use of children in the assault), and it endorsed the outrageous, race-based policing policies of the OPP in Caledonia as “best practices.”

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a staff writer for the Calgary-based Western Standard magazine who wanted to interview me about The Ipperwash Papers project. I connected him to Mary-Lou LaPratte, the remarkable woman who has spent 15 years trying to tell the story of what happened in Ipperwash from the residents’ point-of-view. 

westernstandard-jul0207.jpgFor the first time, Mary-Lou got to tell the story of Ipperwash thanks to a great writer by the name of Kevin Steel who was willing to write the truth in a damning expose of the official Ipperwash Inquiry entitled, “Protection Racket: An Ontario judge glosses over illegal aboriginal acts at Ipperwash.”

If you care about preserving the rule of law in Canada…if you believe in fundamental justice…if you believe that the relationship with native peoples can only be healed on a basis of truth and mutual respect, then you need to read Protection Racket. It completely vindicates what we have been saying about the Ipperwash Inquiry and the dangers of allowing native criminals to break the law with impunity.

 “By the spring of 1993, we knew we were in trouble. We knew the police were not going to help us.”

Mary-Lou LaPratte
former Ipperwash resident and community leader

 “What we have here is nothing less than the normalization of lawlessness, the legitimization of violence as a means of political protest.”

Andrew Coyne
National Post columnist

“If I had any major concern about what they presented, it [the Inquiry] was, despite all the length, a real lack of appreciation of the [divisions within the] native community itself.” 

Whitney Lackenbauer
Professor of History
University of Waterloo 

“To suggest that Mary-Lou LaPratte wasn’t called as a witness because she didn’t live close enough to the shooting is disingenuous, considering she lived 400 feet away. It seems to me that [Inquiry Lead Counsel] Derry Millar is trying to put forth the argument that the Ipperwash Inquiry was all about the five or six hours surrounding Dudley George’s death. I thought the Inquiry was about trying to find out how he died and why he died.”

Mark Vandermaas
Editor, VoiceofCanada
Lead Investigator – The Ipperwash Papers

“LaPratte believes the story of what happened to the residents of Ipperwash didn’t fit with the desired narrative [of the Inquiry], so they were cast aside.”

Kevin Steel
Author, Protection Racket

Many thanks to Mary-Lou LaPratte, and especially to Kevin Steel for being the first to tell her story the way she always hoped it would be told. Well done.

“Dear Mark,

The article Kevin wrote was excellent and for once it was entirely the truth.”

Mary-Lou LaPratte
former Ipperwash resident & community leader

On a personal note: In addition to the measure of satisfaction derived from our contribution to an important work on the Ipperwash saga, Protection Racket, for me, poses a burning question to all the reporters and media outlets in Ontario who have had access to, and knowledge of, The Ipperwash Papers and their secrets for some time, yet have chosen not to share them for the benefit of our province and our country:

Why are you silent?

doug_aldridge.jpgThe Right Side: one lone media voice speaks out: There is one notable exception to the deafening silence of Ontario’s main stream media regarding The Ipperwash Papers: veteran broadcaster, journalist and now, webradio host, Doug Aldridge, of The Right Side. Doug has closely followed both the Caledonia story and release of The Ipperwash Papers and done numerous interviews that address key issues missed by other media.

As mentioned above, he was the first journalist to interview me regarding Ipperwash and has so far done a total of three interviews on the subject. He has also gone above and beyond the call of duty by making a concerted and generous effort to share this story with some of the influential names on his impressive contact list. I have been very grateful for his support and his genuine concern for the struggle against Two Tier Justice in Ontario.

NOTE: An electronic copy of the July 02/07 edition of the Western Standard can be purchased at the link in the story (or below). Hard copies may be available for purchase at Chapters; I know at least one London area store carries Western Standard. 

References

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7 responses to “Truth emerges as Ipperwash Papers go ‘main stream’

  1. Outstanding!! It is about time the truth came to light.
    Keep up the awesome work!

    VoC REPLY: Thanks for writing, and for the vote of confidence, Sparky. How did you get your screen name? Regards, Mark

  2. WL Mackenzie Redux

    …good luck on getting the Ipperwash papers out to the mainstream media and under public scrutiny…it needs to happen.

    VoC REPLY: Hi WL! Sorry to take so long to get your comment up; it got overlooked for a couple of days. Thanks for the support. I have no doubt that The Ipperwash Papers will become more well known and well used. The truth always rises to the top…eventually. Regards, Mark

  3. Out of 139 local non-native residents who wanted to give testimony at the Ipperwash Inquiry “none” were allowed access, some with key evidence! Why? It seems like there is a deliberate attempt by the McGuinty government and the media to deceive the Canadian public. Thank you for releasing these documents on a dedicated website. The public does deserve s to learn the truth.

    VoC REPLY: Hi Rob. Thanks for the compliment. The Ipperwash Papers represent only a small part of the story of Ipperwash. Our project was intended to reveal the suffering of the residents that was deliberately excluded from the Inquiry. The more I learned, however, the more disgusted I became, and the more I knew that we needed to explore things like the Kenneth Deane trial and the ‘coincidences’ surrounding his death and those of 2 other officers there the day George was killed; allegations that false testimony was admitted to the Inquiry; allegations that police officers were denied the opportunity to testify.

    Even without those yet-to-be-explored angles all one has to do to know that the official Inquiry was not even close to unbiased is to simply read the report. The Commissioner practically gushes over the 14 year old kid who drove the school bus loaded with young children through the gates, but attaches no blame to him or his parents or the parents of all the other children for their role in what he makes clear was a deliberate, well thought out attack. He tries to justify native violence by outlining the following ‘reasons’ for the takeover of the barracks: 1. The natives (on July 29th!) didn’t want to be cold in the fall and winter (could I make this up?) 2. The military personnel were racist. (I guess the fact that the base commander allowed a native man to be buried on the base didn’t mean anything). 3. The natives were frustrated with the length of time it was taking for the base to be given back.

    Out of 78 recommendations for preventing future violence, not a single one of them is designed to prevent violence against innocent 3rd parties! Not one.

    That the Inquiry deliberately excluded all evidence of violence against residents is indisputable.

    The Inquiry’s Lead Counsel told a reporter who also interviewed me that Mary Lou-LaPratte, a community leader who was/is arguably the most knowledgable person in Ipperwash regarding land claim issues and native crime against residents, was not called as a witness because she didn’t live close enough to the shooting scene!

    When I was going through the Inquiry’s 150 page Exhibit List, I saw 2 entries that tipped me off that something was wrong. The first, Exhibit P-58, was a photo of a lady named Melva George. Exhibit P-59 was a certificate Melva George received from the Governor General of Canada. Out of the 400+ documents in The Ipperwash Papers only a bare few made it into the Inquiry’s list of exhibits. Mary Lou-LaPratte’s chronology, given to the Inquiry in 2004, was not one of them. Yet, Melva George and her certificate were deemed important enough to be admitted.

    I was reminded of the time, in my teens, when I read a book about the Kennedy assassination by lawyer Mark Lane in which he ridicules the Warren Commission, not only for its “magic bullet” theory, but also for including dental records of Marina Oswald, wife of alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald as if they had something relevant to offer with respect to the crime. I know now how Lane must have felt as he read the Commission’s report.

    I’m sure that Melva George was a very nice lady, but I can’t imagine how her photo and certificate could be more relevant than the evidence and testimony of the residents who were completely shut out of the Inquiry’s proceedings. In my opinion, the lies of the Ipperwash Inquiry represent the most shameful cover-up since the Warren Commission report on the Kennedy assassination.

    Thanks for writing Rob. Mark

  4. Great break down mark. However, as a military policeman posted to Ipperwash Camp and was there on the day the natives took it over in July 95.

    I was nominated for 3 commendations for that day and received none, not politically correct I was told. I could tell you story after story about violent run-ins with dudley. I volunteered information to the RCMP and the OPP, I gave depositions to the OPPA for the enquiry and was never called. I volunteered to provide testimony to the enquiry directly and was told if my testimony was deemed relevant I’d be called, I’m still waiting. I was in Ipperwash for more then a year 94/95 and had numerous confrontations with an armed Dudley George during my time there, and that was not relevant??

    Dozens, if not hundreds of Military Policeman rotated through Ipperwash from 93 to 95, yet none were called to testify? Contact me at my e-mail if you want to talk about what went on in the 2 years prior to us leaving the camp.

    Ipperwash and the aftermath has cost me my Military career (PTSD) and no paper or media has ever printed anything I have sent them regarding Ipperwash.

    VoC REPLY: Hi Johnny. Thanks so much for the information, and I will be in touch.

    UPDATE Aug 23/07: Note to readers: I contacted Johnny at the email address he provided, but I haven’t heard back from him yet, and so I have been unable to verify his information. If you’re reading this Johnny Canuck, please contact me at info@voiceofcanada.ca. I am very interested in your story.

    UPDATE 0951 Aug 24/07: I have now made contact with ‘JC’ who is promising to send more info.Mark

  5. Mary-Lou LaPratte

    Dear Mark,

    I did not know until tonight that a member of the Military at the base at the time of the takeover by the Stoney Pointers and before at Ipperwash had been refused to speak at the Inquiry. This just shows that one man in charge of all of the evidence definitely picked and choosed who would testify and it appears to be an effort to support a pre-conceived outcome. It is a disservice to the public to declare an Inquiry as a Public Inquiry and then refuse any member of the public with information concerning the event under investigation, the right to speak.

    Since Derry Millar as lead counsel was responsible for the evidence catalouging and the list of those to testify in what order as well as doing the preliminary questioning in the Inquiry, I can only assume the decision to not allow certain testimony was his. I alerted Mr. Millar of two people at the Inquiry that had not told the absolute truth regarding two circumstances. He assured me that the truth would come out probably in cross examination. This did not happen and yet knowing I knew the real story, he did not allow me to testify or others who were with me at the time and could bear witness to my version of the circumstances.

    I do not know who Johnny Canuck is, but I too have felt the frustration of not being allowed to say anything about what happened at Ipperwash. I admire his honourable intentions, and efforts to have the truth known. There were so many victims of the mess of Ipperwash, and it is sad to see that in the great scheme of our government’s aspirations we do not matter.

    We are dispensible.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Mary-Lou

    VoC REPLY: I should note that I have contacted Johnny at the email address he provided, but I haven’t heard back from him yet, and so I have been unable to verify his information. If you’re reading this Johnny Canuck, please contact me at info@voiceofcanada.ca.

    UPDATE 0951 Aug 24/07: I have now made contact with ‘JC’ who is promising to send more info.Mark

  6. Mary-Lou, I know you well through the public work you did on behalf of the people of the Ipperwash area during that difficult time and you have my utmost respect for standing up when no one cared.

    I will do my best to put on paper the accounts of my year in Ipperwash ACC. While documents are scarce as they were tightly controlled, I’ll see if I have anything. You’re right on in that this whole Inquiry was nothing more than an expensive scam, it was a controlled, public means to reach a predetermined conclusion. I know many Military Policeman who would have gladly testified but, were not allowed to by the Inquiry or by the Military Command. While I was still serving I was repeatedly reminded by NDHQ to keep quiet. Maybe one day the truth will finally come out, but I have kids and live in the area so I’m not going to endanger them unnecessarily. In time you’ll know who I am.

    I have always considered myself dispensible, that’s the nature of willing to die for your country, I just didn’t think my country would abandon me over this sham.

    VoC REPLY: Hi JC. Thanks for the tribute to Mary-Lou; she deserves it. It’s funny how we military people think alike, and it’s funny how most people don’t understand or commitment to our oaths and that we just can’t be bought off. That’s why politicians and people like Fantino are so threatened by us. They know the truth is going to come out and that we will not be stopped. You’d like Merlyn Kinrade – ex-Navy man with brass balls in Caledonia. Perhaps we’ll all meet one day. Send me what you’ve got when you’re ready. Regards, Mark

  7. Mary-Lou LaPratte

    Dear Mark and Johnny,

    Thank You both for your kind remarks.

    Imagine it is fifteen years since the West Beach Land Claim started , then the base, then the park, and some of us involved in these altercations are still terrified to speak out in order to protect our loved ones. If this is supposed to be Democracy, something is very wrong. I agree with Johnny one hundred percent. Never in my life have I had such a profound experience as my years at Ipperwash.

    Never did I believe the police would not do their job. Never did I believe that policing would become two-tier based entirely on one race. Never did I believe that all levels of the Federal and Provincial Governments would abandon us to fend for ourselves . Never did I believe a public inquiry would NOT allow any member of the public to attend and speak .

    I am learning every day of services I will not receive because I am the wrong race under the Constitution and the Charter of Rights. What is even more appalling is that I must continue to pay through taxes for these very rights I may never have the rest of my life. We have governments in place who care more about the next election, and their political career, than they ever will care about the safety of all Canadians. Those in places of authority should hang their heads in shame.

    MLL

    VoC REPLY: Mary-Lou, I can’t add anything to that, except to say that resistance to this evil will continue. Mark