|Birth: ||Mar. 17, 1957|
|Death: ||Sep. 6, 1995|
DUDLEY GEORGE A HISTORY
Dudley George came to the attention of many because he was murdered, presumably by the Ontario Provincial Police, during a confrontation at the Ipperwash Provincial Park on Sept 6, 1995. He was there with other Stoney Pointers who had occupied the park when it closed for the season to protect an ancient aboriginal burial ground from desecration. On March 17, 1957, a little brown baby boy, the eighth "Nagdoonsag," was born in Sarnia to Reginald Ransford George and Genevieve Pauline Rogers George. He was given the name of Anthony O'Brien George by mother Genevieve who thought an Irish name would be appropriate.
Dudley was always in the forefront of the fight for the land. On September 12, 1993, a group of people occupying the former base walked from Stoney Point to Ottawa to press the government to recognize their treaty right. Dudley believed that someone must stay to protect the land so he remained at home. They stopped at Trent University on the way and arranged to return to attend the 1994 Elders gathering in Peterborough.
Dudley joined veteran Clifford George and others and manned an information table. The others were kind of upset because they expected him to work, taking in all the workshops and the things that were offered. Dudley didn't seem to care about that. He was in his glory manning that information table, and coaching younger people how to get the most out of a large and complicated gathering. He was just enjoying himself. He liked beautiful women too and he saw one. So it was delightful to have him there. "So we have a lot of good memories," reported Marcia Simon.
There were record cold temperatures in the winter of 93/94. Neighboring people were taking bets as to how long the Stoney Pointers would stay in there once the cold temperatures hit. But they stayed. Dudley had a trailer right along the highway. They would congregate over there. They had a wood stove in there and were nice and toasty.
In the spring friends put together a birthday tribute to Dudley on Saint Patrick's day. The program included references to all his brothers and sisters. They picked out key things about his childhood that were amusing. Dudley was game for anything and they joked around with him and had a lot of fun.
[Never having met Dudley George, this author has gleaned the above comments from his files containing various reports all prepared since Dudley's death. On a more personal note Pat Gyenes was asked to report some personal recollections of her and her family. They made a fond acquaintance with Dudley as they camped at Ipperwash Provincial Park. Pat's presentation follows.]
In the summer of 1993, when the people moved back to Stoney Point, they performed a number of ceremonies to help them in their aim of peaceful and final reoccupation of their ancestral home land. In conjunction with these ceremonies they lit a sacred fire. That fire burned through the Summer and long into the fall. Once, during a tremendous thunderstorm, four of the fire keepers fought to keep it going through the torrential downpour. Suddenly, lightning struck the fire and the horrified people sheltering in other parts of the camp watched the blue flame dance all the way around the poles that marked off the sacred precinct. Then they rushed through the rain, sure that the four young men were dead. They found the fire keepers miraculously unhurt, and the fire still burning brightly. That Summer seemed to be one made of miracles. It made you feel that anything might be possible, when you visited Stoney Point then.
It was beside the sacred fire that I first met Anthony O'Brien (Dudley) George. My friend and I and our children had spoken frequently with the men on the barricades at the beach and had finally accepted their invitation to come to the camp and learn more about their struggle. We had spent a couple of hours speaking with the two fire keepers on duty and I had learned quite a bit about how to behave around the fire and its ceremonial significance. Suddenly a pick-up truck pulled in and a group of laughing men spilled out and came over for introductions. One of them was Dudley.
After our conversation with the fire keepers, we felt completely overwhelmed by the extent of the injury done to these people. We were amazed at how well they were doing with so little and how high their spirits were considering the constant harassment from military and civil authourities. We asked what we could do to help them. What did they need? "Women!" grinned Dudley. Then he went off and got us coffee. He may have had some rough edges, but he knew how to treat company.
We returned to the fire many times that summer and fall. Dudley was usually close by, after all his trailer, prominently marked "Dudley's Place", was just a stone's throw away. The last time we saw him that year was in October, when we brought a gift of tobacco. I had access to some chemical free plants through work, and had experimented with different ways of drying the leaves, so that they could be given to the fire keepers. It was chilly by the lake that afternoon, but Dudley had worked up a real sweat using a post-holer. He was trying to set the poles for a long house. It was a thankless job, as every other hole was stopped by a large rock. Besides, the rest of the work crew had given up and found other ways to spend their energy. Dudley wasn't convinced it was hopeless yet. A black puppy was running happily around, chewing the tools and peoples shoes indiscriminately. Dudley introduced him as the "Sacred Dog". He took the tobacco gravely. When I mentioned that I had had some difficulty finding a good drying method, he sniffed it suspiciously, "Not mouldy is it?" Then he grinned again and set the tobacco carefully aside.
He always seemed to know how to put people at ease.
Anywhere you went, people knew Dudley and his name always seemed to bring a smile. Even in the Summer of 1995, knowing Dudley seemed to break the ice. There were a lot more of the people there that year and they had had to close their beach front to outsiders, for reasons that I now know and fully understand. We had met only a handful of the people and by that summer, even the few we knew had become visibly stressed by the hostility of their neighbors and the campaign mounted by authourities to prevent them from spreading their story. Dudley became almost a password with people who didn't recognize us.
The adults in our group honored the request of the Stoney Point people to stay off the beach on their side of the pilings, but the kids traveled back and forth freely. They saw Dudley frequently. My older son joined the group of kids who used to make the run to the store in Ipperwash Park to buy the Bazooka bubblegum that Dudley was addicted to. We were in the Park camping on July 29 when the people moved back into the barracks. On our campsite, we had a quiet little celebration for them and were surprised when about half a dozen of the kids from Stoney Point drifted onto our site around 7:00 to pick up our young people. They all disappeared into the dunes to have their own party.
The police presence increased amazingly for the last part of our stay. Our children were threatened with arrest by the OPP for returning to our campsite from the reserve. This surprised me, as we had always known that we could be considered as trespassers and be arrested for going to the reserve, but we were legally registered at the Park and couldn't be called trespassers for returning to our campsite. I was very uneasy when we left, the police were not only hostile but seemed frightened. I was very worried about what would happen. Like Dudley himself, I never imagined that the aggression I sensed would result in the fatal assault of September 6th.
The last time I saw Dudley was at his funeral. The gates to the barracks area, now Auzhoodena, were lowered and there were several people on guard. We didn't know if they would let us in, considering what had happened. I'm not sure if it was the newspaper that Dudley had given us or the muffins that we brought that did it, but the gate was raised and we were admitted. There were very few non-natives. The tension in the air was the fear that the OPP massed in the surrounding fields would move again. I never thought to see that many people afraid that they would die. Most of them didn't expect to ever be able to leave. I could hardly believe that I was in Canada.
Dudley's coffin was open for display in the rooms formerly assigned to the Quarter Master. It was strange to see him in a suit. In the coffin with him was his pipe, an eagle feather, and his Bazooka gum. I couldn't understand how it had happened that Dudley, the guy who always had a joke, was lying there, shot to death even though he had been unarmed. When they had moved back in 1993, the people had taken an oath not to use violence. I vowed to his sister that I would work to see that this would never happen again in Canada and that justice would finally be given to his family and all of his people. In whatever way I can, no matter how small, I try constantly to honor that promise. I'll be at the memorial ceremonies, my husband and children with me and we'll bring tobacco, and Bazooka gum, to honor the dead. I'll be praying for the legal return of the land belonging to the people of Auzhoodena and justice for their suffering over the past 54 years and that no more blood will be shed anywhere in Canada.
Inquiry commissioner Justice Sidney Linden is expected to deliver the final report of the inquiry sometime in late 2006.
But this is not the be-all end-all of Mike Harris's public misdemeanors. He also ordered the assassination of a native rights demonstrator who was protesting on a Native Canadian burial ground. Dudley George was shot by a OPP sniper from 500 yards away. He was unarmed and was not threatening anyone. The order to kill Dudley George came from Mike Harris himself,, Premier of Ontario, who wrote in a memo to get rid of the natives "by any means necessary".
When the OPP later phoned Mike Harris's office to confirm what he meant by that, the OPP recorded their conversations with Mike Harris and his staff and learned that Harris wanted them to shoot someone to provide "an example" of them. Some of Harris's staff later claim that the Premier was on a "testosterone high".
High or not, that gives him no right to order the assassinations of Canadian citizens.
I sincerely feel and believe that Mike Harris deserves to stand trial for both the Walkerton Water Massacre and the Dudley George Assassination. He deserves to be imprisoned and treated like a deadly criminal for at least 20 to 60 years.
And even then he would be getting off easy. His actions were intention and he has caused the deaths of at least 22 people and shortened the lifespans of another 2600. He should be treated the same way we treat mass murderers and war criminals.
Specifically: sacred Aazhoodena burial ground
Created by: Angel Joe
Record added: Aug 13, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15314398