Dudley George

Dudley George

Anthony O'Brien "Dudley" George (March 17, 1957September 7, 1995) was an Ojibwa protestor who was shot and killed by Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Kenneth Deane (who was later found criminally negligent) near Ipperwash Provincial Park in Ontario in 1995 during the Ipperwash Crisis. George was one of a group of natives protesting the Canadian government's seizure of the Stoney Point land [Peter Edwards, One Dead Indian. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd, 2001] . Dudley George was the only Aboriginal person killed by police during an aboriginal land claims dispute in Canada in the twentieth century. He was called Dudley because he loved to watch "Dudley Do-Right", the television cartoon about a Mountie. [ibid. p.55] Dudley was the eighth of ten children to Geneviève ("Jenny") Pauline Rogers George and Reg "Nug" (Reginald Ransford) George. [ibid. p.55]

The Ipperwash Crisis

:"Main article: Ipperwash Crisis"

In 1942, the Government of Canada appropriated the Stoney Point Reserve at Ipperwash under the "War Measures Act". [ibid. pp.47-48] On Labour Day Monday, September 4, 1995, a group of Natives started a protest in Ipperwash Provincial Park to draw attention to the decades-old land claims. About thirty-five protestors occupied the park.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was called in to deal with the crisis. The OPP prepared a plan, Project Maple, for dealing with the occupation, which stressed "a peaceful resolution" and which called for a team of thirteen negotiators to be on call around the clock. [ibid. pp.74-76]

The following day, September 5, Ontario PC M.P.P. Marcel Beaubien was in contact with the police [ [http://mail.tscript.com/trans/ipperwash/jan_19_06/text.htm Ipperwash Inquiry transcript for January 19th, 2006] . Beaubien says that although he couldn't confirm that he'd spoken to Staff Sergeant Lacroix on the morning of the 5th, he had a good relationship with Lacroix and spoke to him frequently. Also, Beaubien's constituency day planner, entered as an inquiry exhibit, confirms the meeting.] , and Beaubien also contacted the office of Premier Mike Harris [ibid. Beaubien's fax to Bill King in the Premier's office was also entered as an exhibit] in an attempt to put pressure on the government to intervene [ibid. Beaubien testified that "Well, basically I'm giving him a heads up that here's a press release that's going to go out. And, you know, when you -- you give somewhat of a quote/unquote, I guess, 'ultimatum', to somebody in the Premier's office, they may not like it. But I felt that, hey, I got to get some attention here"] . That same day, several government officials took part in a meeting in Toronto to discuss the Ipperwash protest. The meeting notes conclude that "The province will take steps to remove the occupiers ASAP." [One Dead Indian. p.80]

The next day, September 6, police riot squads stormed the park to apprehend the protestors. Various police officers fired on vehicles and buildings. Acting Sergeant Ken "Tex" Deane, fired three shots at Dudley George, who was carrying an elongated dark-coloured branch. [ibid. p.10] After repeated unanswered appeals from the protestors for the police to call an ambulance, George was finally loaded into his sister's car and driven to hospital. They were arrested and delayed for over an hour "en route" to the hospital.

George was declared dead at 12:20 a.m. on September 7, 1995 at Strathroy-Middlesex General Hospital. [ibid. p.15]

Deane was charged with criminal negligence causing death. [ibid. pp.158-198] His defence was that he believed that Dudley George had been carrying a rifle. The judge rejected Deane's claim, convicting Deane and sentencing him to two years of community service. [ibid. p.214]

Despite Deane's conviction, larger questions about the role of the office of Progressive Conservative Premier Mike Harris remained. The George family repeatedly called on the Ontario and federal governments to launch a public inquiry into the events at Ipperwash [ibid. pp.146-147] . An investigation was finally launched on November 12, 2003 [ [http://www.ipperwashinquiry.ca/mandate/index.html Ipperwash Inquiry] ] , after the Ontario Conservatives lost power to the Ontario Liberal Party in the 2003 provincial election.

Ken Deane was killed on February 25, 2006 in a car accident when his vehicle collided with a truck near Prescott, Ontario. Deane was on his way to testify in the inquiry [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060227.IPPERWASH27/TPStory/TPNational/ "Key Ipperwash witness killed in highway crash"] , The Globe and Mail, Monday, February 27, 2006] .

References

See also

*"One Dead Indian"


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