Tension at Ipperwash

If you follow my blog you will know I’ve written about the Ipperwash Inquiry and some the racial tension between natives and ‘cottagers’. (Yeah, we all know that means white people.)


Well, tension has returned at Ipperwash.   Two days ago Chief Tom Bressette took it upon himself to get some bulldozers and take down the barriers that prevented cars from driving on the beach.

Yesterday a home-made barrier went up at a friends house and he ended up on the news. I work with his wife. She came into work but broke down in tears; the fighting and yelling, dealing with police, and now fear of reprisals are weighing heavily on her. They sent her home.


After my shift was over I was in the lunch/locker room when another Ipperwash resident, a cashier, came in and started on ‘the trouble’.  Then she said, “They just want something for nothing. If they would just get jobs then they wouldn’t have the time to do this.”  I couldn’t believe my ears!  I was in temporary shock, I’m sure my mouth was hanging open,  then Marv jumped in, “Yeah, they gave them free houses to live in up north but they just ripped out the doors and windows and burned them because they were too lazy to go get firewood.”  My head is swimming but I’m gaining momentum;

“The government built some crappy houses and said they could only have them if they didn’t burn wood and used Ontario Hydro. Most of them kept their homes and used all the wood in the government houses for heat.”

I forget what was said next because I said, “I don’t like this conversation, I’m leaving”

I thought I would get that background out first. Today I’m going to the cottage with the barriers and hang around as long as I can. I need to support the beach and my friend.

It’s so sad that I have to protest against what natives are doing.

Out West, fighting the oil pipeline, it makes me happy to see them come out to support Mother Earth. But fighting to drive trucks and cars on the beach when there is a perfectly good road that’s runs along it, is wrong. Trucks bring motor boats and jet ski’s; air and noise pollution.

So I’m going today to stand up for Ipperwash Beach and for Mother Earth.