11 2 3 IPPERWASH PUBLIC INQUIRY 4 5 6 7 ******************** 8 9 10 BEFORE: THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE SIDNEY LINDEN, 11 COMMISSIONER 12 13 14 15 16 Held at: Forest Community Centre 17 Kimball Hall 18 Forest, Ontario 19 20 21 ******************** 22 23 24 March 31st, 2005 25
21 Appearances 2 Derry Millar ) Commission Counsel 3 Susan Vella ) 4 Donald Worme, Q. C ) 5 Katherine Hensel ) 6 Jodi-Lynn Waddilove ) 7 8 Murray Klippenstein ) The Estate of Dudley 9 Vilko Zbogar ) (np) George and George 10 Andrew Orkin ) Family Group 11 Basil Alexander ) Student-at-Law 12 13 Peter Rosenthal ) Aazhoodena and George 14 Jackie Esmonde ) Family Group 15 16 Anthony Ross ) Residents of 17 Kevin Scullion ) Aazhoodena (Army Camp) 18 William Henderson ) Kettle Point & Stony 19 Jonathon George ) (np) Point First Nation 20 21 Kim Twohig ) (np) Government of Ontario 22 Walter Myrka ) 23 Sue Freeborn ) (np) 24 Maureen Smith ) (np) 25 Lynette D'Souza ) (np)
31 APPEARANCES (cont'd) 2 Janet Clermont ) Municipality of 3 David Nash ) (np) Lambton Shores 4 5 Peter Downard ) The Honourable Michael 6 Bill Hourigan ) (np) Harris 7 Jennifer McAleer ) 8 9 Ian Smith ) (Np) Robert Runciman 10 Alice Mrozek ) (np) 11 Harvey Stosberg ) (np) Charles Harnick 12 Jacqueline Horvat ) (np) 13 Douglas Sulman, Q.C. ) Marcel Beaubien 14 Trevor Hinnegan ) (np) 15 16 Mark Sandler ) (np) Ontario Provincial 17 Andrea Tuck-Jackson ) Ontario Provincial Police 18 Leslie Kaufman ) (np) 19 20 Ian Roland ) (np) Ontario Provincial 21 Karen Jones ) Police Association & 22 Debra Newell ) (np) K. Deane 23 Ian McGilp ) (np) 24 Annie Leeks ) (np) 25
41 APPEARANCES (cont'd) 2 3 Julian Falconer ) Aboriginal Legal 4 Brian Eyolfson ) Services of Toronto 5 Julian Roy ) (np) 6 Clem Nabigon ) (np) 7 Adriel Weaver ) Student-at-Law 8 9 Al J.C. O'Marra ) (np) Office of the Chief 10 Robert Ash, Q.C. ) (np) Coroner 11 12 William Horton ) Chiefs of Ontario 13 Matthew Horner ) 14 Kathleen Lickers ) (Np) 15 16 Mark Frederick ) (np) Christopher Hodgson 17 Craig Mills ) (np) 18 Megan Mackey ) 19 20 David Roebuck ) (Np) Debbie Hutton 21 Anna Perschy ) (np) 22 Melissa Panjer ) (np) 23 Danya Cohen-Nehemia ) 24 25
51 TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Page 3 Exhibits 6 4 5 GORDON BURTON PETERS, Resumed 6 Cross-Examination by Mr. Murray Klippenstein 7 7 Cross-Examination by Ms. Jackie Esmonde 24 8 Cross-Examination by Mr. Anthony Ross 35 9 Cross-Examination by Mr. William Henderson 45 10 Cross-Examination by Mr. Brian Eyolfson 55 11 Cross-Examination by Mr. Walter Myrka 59 12 Cross-Examination by Ms. Andrea Tuck-Jackson 75 13 Cross-Examination by Ms. Karen Jones 109 14 Cross-Examination by Mr. Peter Downard 127 15 Cross-Examination by Mr. Douglas Sulman 175 16 Cross-Examination by Mr. Matthew Horner 180 17 Re-Direct-Examination by Ms. Susan Vella 186 18 19 OVIDE WILLIAM MERCREDI, Sworn 20 Examination-in-chief by Mr. Donald Worme 197 21 22 Certificate of Transcript 277 23 24 25
61 EXHIBITS 2 No. Description Page 3 P-302 Document 1010587, September 26/'95 4 Minister's note from Ron Vrancart, Deputy 5 Minister, Natural Resources re: 6 Occupation of Ipperwash Provincial Park 21 7 P-303 Document 1011557 July 10/'95 Ontario 8 Native Affairs Secretariat Briefing note 9 for the Honourable Charles Harnick, 10 Minister responsible for Native Affairs 152 11 P-304 Document 1001680 September 08/'95 draft 12 transcript-conference call with First 13 Nations leaders. 162 14 P-305 Document 100908 September 12/'95 Statement 15 by Premier Harris. 164 16 P-306 Document 2001618 September 08/'95 CFRB 17 A.M. Toronto Radio News 6:00 p.m. 18 interview with Gord Peters 175 19 P-307 Document 14000065 179 20 P-308 Document 1003570 September 18/'95 draft 21 update Ipperwash from the Ministry of 22 the Attorney General 188 23 P-309 CD Rom and transcript of telephone call 24 between Ovide Mercredi and mark Wright 25 O.P.P. September 06/'95, 23/31/18 260
71 --- Upon commencing at 9:00 a.m. 2 3 THE REGISTRAR: This Public Inquiry is 4 now in session. The Honourable Mr. Justice Linden 5 presiding. Please be seated. 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 7 morning. Mr. Klippenstein, I think you're first up. 8 9 GORDON BURTON PETERS, Resumed 10 11 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: Good morning, 12 Commissioner. 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 14 morning. 15 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: Good morning, 16 Mr. Peters. 17 THE WITNESS: Good morning. 18 19 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN. 20 Q: I would like to ask you if you could 21 possibly elaborate on a comment you made in your 22 testimony yesterday about an injunction that the 23 Provincial Government was apparently working on. 24 Yesterday you mentioned that right after 25 the shooting of Dudley George, when you became involved,
81 you became aware of the Province's court action towards 2 obtaining an injunction and with respect to the 3 protesters in the Park; is that -- is that right? 4 A: That's correct. 5 Q: I believe you then commented on a 6 sense that you apparently felt that there was an 7 intention with respect to the injunction that it would be 8 enforced against the protesters in the Park. Is -- is 9 that what you said and -- and can you comment on that? 10 A: Yeah. I said -- I was talking about 11 people that were inside the barracks and I said yesterday 12 that there was great concern amongst them that -- that 13 the OPP were going to come in again; that once they had 14 been able to get an injunction that they were going to 15 enforce the injunction. 16 Q: And is that something you had a sense 17 of -- from beyond the occupiers as well? You mentioned 18 that you had had discussion with Mr. McCabe (phonetic), I 19 believe, who was a lawyer for the Province; is that 20 right? 21 A: Yes, I did. And -- and it became 22 such an issue with people that I wanted to verify that -- 23 that the -- the process that was going to be engaged in 24 by the Ontario Government, it was understood that there 25 was no injunction for the -- for the action that was
91 taken and that an injunction was -- was going to be filed 2 with the court the following morning. 3 I did -- I did, by virtue of that, call 4 ONAS offices, get a -- get a home telephone number for 5 Mr. McCabe and I subsequently called Mr. McCabe at home 6 and he apprised me of the -- of the process of the 7 injunction. 8 Q: Can you remember anything either 9 specifically or generally in terms of the information 10 that he provided to you or the impression you had after 11 that phone conversation? 12 A: The impression that I got from Mr. 13 McCabe was that this was a formality that they were going 14 through and that -- I believe, if I remember correctly, 15 he tried to assure me that -- that the police were not 16 going to take any further action but he also had a 17 responsibility to uphold the law and order, and -- and 18 that they were going to continue their -- their watch 19 over the -- over the area. 20 Q: And this was after the shooting of 21 Dudley? 22 A: Yes, it was. It was late in the 23 afternoon. 24 Q: Okay. 25 A: I think maybe around 5:00 or six
101 o'clock, maybe even later. 2 Q: Okay. I then would like to ask you 3 some questions related to treaties. And is it fair to 4 say that, based on your experience as something like 5 eleven (11) years as the Elected Senior Chief for the 6 Ontario Region and your work on the Executive of the 7 Chiefs of Ontario before that and your other work, that 8 you have a fairly wide experience with treaties in 9 Ontario and beyond; would that be fair? 10 A: Yes. 11 Q: I'd like to just very quickly 12 summarize to you a couple of points about the situation 13 here at Ipperwash that have come out in evidence and then 14 ask you about that. 15 The evidence so far in the Inquiry here is 16 that there was a treaty in 1828 between the Chippewa 17 Nation of this area and the Crown; and that, in that 18 treaty, a more or less square-shaped area of an original 19 reserve on the shore of Lake Huron was promised to the 20 Chippewa in perpetuity as part of the treaty; and that 21 that original reserve, at least the Stoney Point Reserve, 22 included what later became the Army Base and what later 23 became the -- the Provincial Park; and that in 1928 there 24 was a -- a surrender of lands of those original reserve 25 lands that became the Provincial Park, among other
111 things. 2 And the evidence has also been that -- 3 that Dudley was shot while demonstrating on the Park 4 lands that were part of those original treaty reserve 5 lands. Now I believe that's a fair statement of the 6 evidence or at least part of the evidence heard so far. 7 Now, is that evidence compatible with your 8 own knowledge of the circumstances in this area, not that 9 you would know that all but it -- is there any conflict 10 between what -- 11 A: In -- in general, in -- in a general 12 -- in my general understanding, yes. 13 Q: Yeah? 14 A: That's -- 15 Q: Okay. 16 A: -- that's compatible. 17 Q: And in terms of your broader work 18 over the many years in Ontario and -- and elsewhere, 19 would you agree that -- would you agree with me that the 20 treaties in general and treaty land promises by the Crown 21 are usually considered very, very important in Native 22 communities in Ontario and -- and the rest of Canada; is 23 that fair? 24 A: Yes, absolutely correct. 25 Q: Now, you were serving, as I
121 understand from your evidence, on the Executive for the 2 Chiefs of Ontario in 1982, when the Canadian Constitution 3 was amended so as to give specific special constitutional 4 protection to -- to treaty rights of First Nations 5 people. 6 Is that -- is that what you were doing in 7 1982? 8 A: Yes. 9 Q: And am I correct in recalling that 10 there was a very major campaign and effort by First 11 Nations people and communities and leaders across Canada 12 at that time to -- to push for an amendment to the 13 Constitution so that those treaty rights would actually 14 be recognized at that level; is that right? 15 A: That's correct. 16 Q: And did you participate in some way 17 in that campaign at that time? 18 A: Yes, I did. 19 Q: And as a result of that campaign, 20 treaty rights became recognized in the Constitution of 21 Canada in Section 35, is that right? 22 A: Yeah, there were two (2) processes. 23 The first round was they were recognizing Section 34, 24 they were -- that section was removed with negotiations 25 with the Federal Government, Alberta, and Ontario and
131 subsequently based on the activity by numerous people 2 including First Nations, Section 5 was -- was reinserted 3 into the Constitution. 4 Q: Section 35? 5 A: Section 35, yes. 6 Q: So, it was quite a -- quite a battle 7 by First Nations communities to -- to have that finally 8 accomplished; is that fair? 9 A: Absolutely, yes. 10 Q: Now, in this Inquiry we've heard a 11 lot about what happened at the Park. We've not actually 12 heard any evidence that Dudley George talked about 13 Section 35 of the Constitution or Constitutional 14 protection of treaty rights. And we've not actually 15 heard evidence that I can recall that Dudley George 16 referred to the Ipperwash Park lands that he was 17 demonstrating about as specifically being treaty lands. 18 We have heard evidence that Dudley George 19 referred to the Provincial Park lands that he was 20 occupying as "our lands," to use his phrase. Is it fair 21 to say that it's a -- it's a common and a fundamental 22 belief in many First Nations communities that lands 23 guaranteed to them by treaties are "our lands," to use 24 Dudley's phrase? 25 A: Yes, both -- what people would
141 categorize as treaty lands and traditional land. 2 Q: Hmm hmm. And even though Dudley 3 George never talked, as far as we know from the evidence, 4 about Section 35 and the specifics of the treaty, when he 5 talked about the Ipperwash Park lands being "our land," 6 to use his phrase, is it fair to say that that would have 7 been solidly rooted in the concept of treaty rights, 8 whether he articulated it that way or not? 9 A: I would assume so. I would assume 10 that in the -- in the greater scale of things when people 11 were talking about our lands, they would have -- they 12 would have understood that process that there was some 13 connection to how reserves were set aside. There was 14 some connection to being able to deal with treaty lands 15 in general. 16 And I would also assume that he would 17 understand that there was a spiritual connection to the 18 land and a responsibility that indigenous people have 19 regarding the land. 20 Q: I'd like to ask you a few questions 21 in relation to the idea of the surrender that I mentioned 22 before briefly. I take it that you're familiar with the 23 concept of surrender of lands that were guaranteed by 24 treaty; is that correct? 25 A: Yes.
151 Q: Yeah. Now, if you could turn to your 2 document binder, and Tab 36, which is a document dated 3 September 26th, 1995 and headed as a Minister's Note. I 4 believe it's Inquiry Document 1010587 -- 1010587. 5 Do you have that? 6 A: Yes. 7 Q: Now, this appears to be -- and so I 8 anticipate the evidence will be that this is a note from 9 the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Ron Vrancart, 10 to the then Minister of Natural Resources, and the issue 11 identified is the occupation of Ipperwash Provincial 12 Park. 13 And if I could just direct your attention 14 to paragraph number 4 and 5 which aren't numbered but 15 paragraph 4 begins, "Ontario still views." 16 Do you have that? 17 A: Yes, I do. 18 Q: And I just want to read those two (2) 19 short paragraphs, quote: 20 "Ontario still views the occupation of 21 the Ipperwash Provincial Park as an act 22 of illegal trespass. On behalf of the 23 people of Ontario, the Province has a 24 clear title to the one hundred and nine 25 (109) acre property that the Park sits
161 on. 2 This land was surrendered by 3 Aboriginals to the Federal Government 4 in 1928 and sold to private third party 5 owners in 1929. Ontario purchased this 6 property and followed all the legal 7 requirements to obtain title in the mid 8 1930's." 9 End of quote. Was it fair to say, based 10 on this, that it appears that the -- that the surrender 11 in 1928 appeared to play some significant role in the 12 thinking of the Provincial Government in around September 13 of '95? 14 A: Yes. 15 Q: Now I would like to again just point 16 out to you a couple of -- of bits of evidence that have 17 been put forward to the Inquiry and I would like to ask 18 whether you, from your experience, can comment on that. 19 Is it fair to say, first of all, that in 20 your years of various positions of leadership in Ontario, 21 you came across the idea and the reality and instances of 22 surrender of Treaty lands; did you come across that and 23 deal with it a fair bit? 24 A: Yes, we have. 25 Q: Now in -- in this particular
171 situation in this Inquiry we've heard evidence that 2 during the time period of the alleged 1928 surrender of 3 lands that became the Ipperwash Park, there was often 4 intense pressure from Indian agents to surrender Treaty 5 lands. 6 And that at that time it was part of 7 official Federal Government policy to assimilate Indians 8 so that they disappeared. And the -- the evidence has 9 also been put forward in this Inquiry that it was very 10 difficult for any First Nation at that time to 11 successfully resist pressure to surrender Treaty lands. 12 Can you comment at all from your 13 experience and knowledge on the extent to which that's in 14 accordance with your understanding? 15 A: I said yesterday from 1867 at the 16 time of Confederation until 1951, the Federal Government 17 became sole trustees for First Nations across -- across 18 the country. I also indicated by that process they 19 installed Indian agents into the community who ran the 20 total affairs of the community. 21 Also during that period of time, it was -- 22 it was illegal for indigenous people to practice their 23 customs and ceremonies. It was illegal for them to be 24 able to meet and to talk about the future of their -- of 25 their -- of their communities and they also didn't have
181 access to legal counsel during that period of time. 2 And there were many what I would probably 3 term "sweetheart deals" that were conducted between the 4 Federal Government, some of its corporations, the 5 churches were involved in -- in accessing lands, leases 6 were struck for ninety-nine (99) years and a dollar ($1) 7 a year with renewals. 8 There was a lot of activity and as a 9 result of that process that the government undertook 10 because it was an assimilation problem and their main 11 focus was how to deal with the Indian problem in Canada. 12 Many lands were alienated and I said 13 yesterday, the Royal Commission said about 75 percent 14 indigenous lands were removed. 15 Q: In your testimony yesterday you also 16 said that after the shooting of Dudley George in some of 17 your conversations with, and I think you mentioned the 18 Federal Government, you suggested to them at some point 19 that part of the solution was that the Federal Government 20 should buy back the Provincial Park lands from the 21 Province and restore them to the First Nation people; is 22 that fair? 23 A: Yes; that is -- that is fair. 24 Q: Now you also mentioned, I think, that 25 in some situations of First Nations people you've seen
191 the Federal Government, when it doesn't want to deal with 2 an issue, say that's provincial jurisdiction and the 3 Province, when it doesn't want to deal with something, 4 say that's federal jurisdiction. 5 Is that roughly what you were talking 6 about? 7 A: Yes, it was. 8 Q: And is it fair to say that sometimes, 9 because of that -- that division of jurisdiction, it is 10 harder for First Nations people to get their problem 11 solved in a what would otherwise be considered a fair or 12 practical way? 13 A: Yes, it is. In fact, I can refer you 14 to a statement made by one (1) of the Premiers who said 15 their goal as -- as Premier of the province of Ontario 16 was to end the game of -- I think he referred to it as 17 Gaston and -- and Alphonse -- 18 Q: Oh, yes. 19 A: -- in a game of Ping-Pong, so. 20 Q: A number -- a number of witnesses in 21 this inquiry have agreed with the suggestion that part of 22 the solution or part of a -- of the steps forward for the 23 situation at Ipperwash is that the Province give up 24 whatever claim it might have to the Ipperwash parklands 25 and return them to -- to Native people; does that sound
201 like a -- a fair and -- and sensible thing to do? 2 A: It's what I recommended to the 3 Province on several occasions. 4 Q: If -- if you could turn to your -- 5 your document book again, at Tab 42. Do you have Tab 42? 6 A: Yes, I have. 7 Q: That is -- I apologize, Commissioner, 8 I realize I forgot to request an exhibit number for the 9 previous document I referred to, the briefing note of 10 September, and I wonder if I could have a -- an exhibit 11 number for that. 12 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That was Tab 13 26? Was that the one (1) we were just talking about? 14 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 36. 15 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I'm sorry. 16 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: Tab 36 being -- 17 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Tab 36. 18 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: -- being a 19 minister's note dated September 26, 1995, document 20 1010587. 21 THE REGISTRAR: P-302, Your Honour. 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: P-302. 23 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: I apologize for 24 that confusion. 25
211 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-302: Document 1010587, September 2 26/'95 Minister's note from 3 Ron Vrancart, Deputy 4 Minister, Natural Resources 5 re: Occupation of Ipperwash 6 Provincial Park 7 8 CONTINUED BY MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: 9 Q: Then going back to Tab 42, which is a 10 document entitled, "Minutes of the Support Group, 11 Occupation of Ipperwash Provincial Park" -- appear to be 12 some typing errors there -- and it's Inquiry Document 13 Number 1012118. I anticipate this will be introduced as 14 minutes, apparently not approved yet, of -- of a meeting 15 of November 15th, 1995, discussing the occupation of 16 Ipperwash Park. 17 And I wonder if you could turn to the 18 second page, under the heading, "B - Responses," and the 19 second bullet point under that, I'd just like to read, 20 quote: 21 "ONAS (John Van West) (phonetic) 22 pointed out that the fact that the 23 Federal Government was willing to 24 relinquish land that was surrendered, 25 re: the private land that was added to
221 the Army Base, puts pressure on the 2 Province to consider relinquishing its 3 legal title to the Park to the Stoney 4 Pointers." 5 Now, we don't know exactly what the 6 discussion of that was until the evidence but would you 7 agree with me that this appears to be referring to the 8 concept that you've just talked about, which is the 9 Province waiving its claim to the Park and returning it 10 to Native people? 11 A: Yes. 12 Q: Now, the other thing that could be 13 noted about this comment, it says -- talks about the 14 return of the Park, quote, "To the Stoney Pointers," 15 close quote. Now, it's not secret that the question of 16 who should control or occupy or have possession of the 17 original Stoney Point Reserve is a matter of some intense 18 difference of opinion in the community or communities 19 around here. 20 Would you agree with me that returning the 21 Ipperwash Park lands to Native people would be a step 22 forward, even if it was done through a mechanism that 23 didn't specify exactly which group would be the final 24 recipients? 25 A: I think it would be a step forward.
231 Q: There's been some discussion in this 2 Inquiry and -- and for years about the pain and discord 3 that's been caused in the community here and about 4 healing that. 5 Would you agree with me that return of the 6 Stoney Point treaty lands might be an important part of 7 healing? 8 A: Probably an element of that process. 9 Q: And would you agree with me that 10 attempting to heal some of the -- the pain and the wounds 11 in this area without returning the treaty lands, doesn't 12 have as likely a chance of good results? 13 A: I think it would always be an 14 outstanding issue if it's not dealt with. 15 Q: Would you agree with me that if the 16 outcome of the shooting of Dudley George at Ipperwash 17 Provincial Park is that the Provincial Government says to 18 native people at Ipperwash, You folks do some healing, we 19 keep the land; that is not likely to be -- to be either 20 fair or effective? 21 A: No. 22 Q: You'd agree with that? 23 A: I'd agree with that, yes. 24 Q: Thank you, Mr. Peters, I have no 25 further questions. Thank you, Commissioner.
241 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 2 Mr. Klippenstein. 3 Yes, Ms. Esmonde...? 4 5 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. JACKIE ESMONDE: 6 Q: Good morning, Mr. Peters. 7 A: Good morning. 8 Q: My name is Jackie Esmonde, I'm one 9 (1) of the lawyers representing the Aazhoodena and George 10 Family Group. I just have a few questions for you this 11 morning. 12 Now, you've been very clear in your 13 evidence, particularly yesterday, that there should be a 14 political response and a political solution when there 15 are disputes over land claims. 16 A: Yes. 17 Q: That such disputes should not be 18 treated as a policing matter? 19 A: Absolutely. 20 Q: And you, in fact, spent considerable 21 energies in the days and weeks following the shooting 22 trying to assist in achieving a political solution to the 23 dispute? 24 A: Yes. 25 Q: Now, we looked yesterday at a letter
251 that you wrote to Ron Irwin, which is at Tab 11 of your 2 book. It's Inquiry Document 1009017, Exhibit 297 and 3 there's just -- I wanted to ask you a few questions about 4 the first paragraph of that letter. It states: 5 "Dear Mr. Irwin, 6 I am hereby requesting your immediate 7 involvement in the Ipperwash situation. 8 Some form of senior Canadian political 9 involvement is required. So far, 10 Premier Mike Harris has shirked his 11 responsibility even though I believe 12 his government's anti-native policies 13 are at least partly responsible for 14 what has happened." 15 Now, first of all, you would agree with me 16 then, you viewed Premier Mike Harris' government as being 17 anti-native? 18 A: Yes. 19 Q: And it was hostile to First Nations 20 issues and First Nations rights? 21 A: Yes. 22 Q: And would you agree with me that the 23 Mike Harris government had taken what could be called a 24 "get tough" approach to native issues? 25 A: It was based on their -- their
261 ideology that -- that everybody in the province was equal 2 and everybody should be treated equally and so what that 3 doesn't do is, it doesn't take into account any treaty 4 relationship, it doesn't take into account that -- that 5 there are jurisdictions that are exercised by indigenous 6 people. 7 Q: So, the Mike Harris government took 8 this approach not just with the Ipperwash situation, but 9 will all issues that arose during his government's tenure 10 with respect to First Nations issues? 11 A: That's correct. Well, I shouldn't 12 say through the entire tenure because I only know -- I 13 only know about the few years that I was there. 14 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Excuse me, 15 just hold up, Mr. Peters. Just one (1) second. 16 Yes, Mr. Downard? 17 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Sir, yesterday you 18 stated the -- the importance of which I think we're all 19 aware of keeping a -- a focus on the mandate of this 20 Inquiry. 21 And this last question raises a great deal 22 of issues which we can address but which are well beyond 23 the scope of the Inquiry, in my respected submission. 24 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I don't 25 think you're going to go any further.
271 MS. JACKIE ESMONDE: No, I -- I wasn't 2 intending to go further than that. 3 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Mr. Commissioner, I 4 recognize that there's no further question, but I do want 5 to record in case it does come up again, and it may well 6 come up again, that I don't agree with the position that 7 Mr. Downard has just stated. 8 And this is part -- partly attributable to 9 the fact that we have to hear evidence in sequence. And 10 we may not have heard the evidence that forms the 11 foundation for this question yet. But we know, in the 12 documentary record, that it is coming. 13 That we will hear evidence that either Mr. 14 Harris himself or members of his government tried to 15 justify what was being done here on the basis that people 16 were being treated equally. 17 And the position that we're going to take 18 and I believe this witness has already stated, is that 19 that is merely a code for disregarding the -- the legal 20 rights, the Treaty rights of First Nations people. 21 And that it is actually not an equal 22 treatment at all but actually a racist policy in its 23 effect. And that is at the very heart of what this 24 Inquiry is about from our perspective. 25 So while there may be no further questions
281 at this point, the issue about the Harris government 2 cloaking its policy with respect to First Nations under 3 the guise of equal treatment is very much at the heart of 4 all this. 5 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, we'll 6 deal with that when we come to it. 7 Yes, Ms. Esmonde, you want to continue 8 with your cross-examination? 9 10 CONTINUED BY MS. JACKIE ESMONDE. 11 Q: Now you had a great deal of experience 12 during your time as the Regional Chief with several 13 different Provincial Governments, and you listed them 14 yesterday; that's right? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: And you saw a number of different -- 17 I think -- I believe you saw every different political 18 party in power during that time. 19 A: Yes, I have. 20 Q: Now would you agree with me that one 21 (1) of the barriers that you found to reaching a 22 political solution to the dispute at Ipperwash was the 23 hardline stance being taken by the Provincial Government 24 of the time? 25 A: Yes, it was.
291 Q: And would you agree that the 2 Conservative Government led by Premier Harris was in fact 3 one (1) of the most difficult governments that you had to 4 work with in your capacity as Regional Chief? 5 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Mr. 6 Downard. 7 MR. PETER DOWNARD: It's the same 8 objection, Commissioner. The -- the public record's very 9 clear that in September 1995 this government, the first 10 of two (2) governments had only been in office for two 11 (2) months. 12 And My -- My Friend is seeking to illicit 13 sweeping statements about the regime. We're hearing 14 calls -- the regime's being labelled a racist regime by 15 My Friend, Mr. Horton which is very offensive. 16 And we are getting into a very wide area 17 and it has nothing to do -- and with my respectful 18 submission to approach so broadly the terms of reference 19 of this Inquiry. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Ms. 21 Esmonde? You -- 22 MS. JACKIE ESMONDE: Well, I mean I would 23 strongly disagree with that statement. I -- I've asked 24 this witness to comment on his experience with -- he's 25 had experience with a variety of different governments.
301 And I'm asking about his experience with respect to the 2 Ipperwash dispute and the difficulty he had in reaching a 3 political solution to that crisis. 4 I -- I don't think it's a broad sweeping 5 statement of '95. 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: In 1995. 7 You're referring to the specific -- 8 MS. JACKIE ESMONDE: Yes. 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: -- time 10 right after -- let's try and take it one (1) step at a 11 time. 12 MR. PETER DOWNWARD: Yes. I -- I did not 13 hear that question as being any way confined to the 14 relevant time frame. 15 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, I 16 understand your objection and we do have to try to remain 17 focussed but I expect at some point we're going to have a 18 broader discussion of this issue. But for the time being 19 try to keep your questions as focussed as you can, 20 because I think you can. 21 I don't think you're trying to -- 22 MS. JACKIE ESMONDE: I was -- I believe 23 that my question was very clearly focussed on the 24 Ipperwash crisis. 25 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Let's try
311 to. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. 2 THE WITNESS: Do you want me to respond 3 to that question or is that off the table or -- 4 5 CONTINUED BY MS. JACKIE ESMONDE. 6 Q: No, I would ask that you please do 7 respond to it. Do you -- do you need me to repeat the 8 question for you or do? 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Do you want 10 to repeat the question and try to be as focussed as you 11 can be at the moment? 12 13 CONTINUED BY MS. JACKIE ESMONDE. 14 Q: Would you agree with me that in your 15 experience in trying to find a solution to the Ipperwash 16 crisis that the Conservative Government as led by Premier 17 Harris was one (1) of the most difficult governments that 18 you had to work with in your capacity as the Regional 19 Chief? 20 A: Yes. We've had, with -- with 21 successive governments that have come in to power in 22 Ontario, we have generally had forums, places to be able 23 to talk, we've had meetings with the Premier, we've had 24 meetings with Cabinet, we try to establish close access 25 for working relationships. And -- and in my short time
321 with the Harris government, we were unable to achieve 2 that. 3 We did start to talk about a relationship 4 because the previous relationship which we established 5 with the NDP, called the Statement of Political 6 Relationships, was not something that was being put on 7 the table. They said that -- to us that it had not been 8 rescinded, but yet, in practice, it wasn't being dealt 9 with. And, at the same time, they were trying to sort 10 out another way of being able to deal with -- with issues 11 that arose. 12 Q: Now, in your evidence yesterday you 13 referred to the -- to the fact that, I believe it was the 14 portfolio for dealing with First Nations issues had -- 15 had changed during the Harris Government and it was the 16 Attorney General that was now responsible for those 17 issues; is that -- is that correct? 18 A: That's correct. 19 Q: And you had suggested that that 20 signalled a policy change by the government? 21 A: Yeah. In -- in our opinion at the 22 time, we saw that as a change of -- of venue. We seen it 23 going from -- from being a place with a minister that had 24 a portfolio for that area and was attached to MNR or 25 might have been attached to ONAS. We seen that as a
331 direct change because we seen that as an enforcement of 2 provincial law, and that anybody that followed that -- 3 that responsibility would be tied directly to the AG's 4 office. 5 Q: So you saw that as a change in that 6 the government would treat First Nations issues as a law 7 and order issue rather than a natural resources and 8 regulation issue; is that correct? 9 A: Yes. We saw it more as a legal 10 process. 11 Q: I see. Now, in your letter to Ron 12 Irwin that I have referred you to, you say that: 13 "Premier Harris's anti-Native policies 14 are at least partly responsible for 15 what has happened." 16 And I just wanted to ask you what you 17 meant by that? 18 A: Well, I think the -- the notion that 19 we've talked about, about the equality process is one (1) 20 of them. And by evidence that we seen in the early 21 goings, there was a -- there was a process that was 22 established by the Treaty weigh in group about harvesting 23 that was cancelled upon the arrival of the -- of the 24 Conservative Government. 25 Our inability to be able to meet and to be
341 able to talk were some of those issues that we seen as 2 being not conforming with -- with past practices and -- 3 and it was labelled in those terms. 4 Q: You also told us yesterday that you 5 were involved in a number of meetings with the OPP in -- 6 in the days and weeks following the shooting? 7 A: Yes. 8 Q: And do you recall whether, during any 9 of those meetings, any reason was given for the OPP 10 marching on the Park at eleven o'clock at night on 11 September 6th? 12 A: There was never a reason that was 13 given to us. In fact, there was never a reason given to 14 us why the police felt it was necessary to use force or 15 it was necessary for as many officers to be there as was 16 there; why there was no mechanism to try to talk to other 17 people about what was going, why they -- why they raid 18 the place in the middle of the night; we never got a 19 response to those. 20 People continue to ask, especially Elders 21 who ask those questions on a very frequent basis. And it 22 was a very emotional process that we went through in 23 being able to have the kind of discussion about what 24 happened. 25 Q: So I understand from your evidence
351 that the proper response to First Nations disputes, as 2 we've gone over, is through negotiation with the various 3 levels of government? 4 A: Yes. 5 Q: And I take it you would agree with me 6 that it's in fact the failure of government -- 7 governments to address First Nations issues and rights 8 through negotiation that has left First Nations citizens 9 to take action, such as reclaiming their territory in the 10 first place? 11 A: Well -- well, yes, I would with that, 12 yeah, and I won't go any further than that. 13 Q: Did you want to comment further on 14 that? 15 A: No. 16 Q: Okay. Thank you very much, sir. 17 Those are all of my questions. Thank you. 18 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you. 19 I think you're up, Mr. Ross. 20 21 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. ANTHONY ROSS: 22 Q: Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. Good 23 morning, Chief Peters. 24 A: Good morning. 25 Q: Good running into you again. Mr.
361 Commissioner, I think I will be a little shorter in that 2 some of my areas have been touched by other people. 3 Chief Peters, prior to the 1993 occupation 4 at the range, I take it that you were aware that there 5 were concerns about the lands at Stoney Point? 6 A: Yes, I was. 7 Q: And in that regard, I don't want to 8 walk you through every page, would you agree with me that 9 most of the information in that letter which was just 10 referred to you by the last Counsel, Ms. Esmonde, your 11 letter to Ron Irwin September 8th, 1995, a lot of that 12 information could have been written to him in 1993; isn't 13 that correct? 14 A: Yes. 15 Q: So, this is a problem that had been 16 sitting around and festering for a long while, and until 17 somebody gets killed, the Federal Government does not 18 want to look at it. Is that a fair way to put it? 19 A: It's probably a fair way of being 20 able to look at it. 21 Q: Yeah, so that prior to 1993, the 22 problem was just brushed aside and ignored, correct? 23 A: I believe there were some 24 negotiations that took place -- 25 Q: Yeah.
371 A: -- prior to '93. 2 Q: This question is between 1942 -- 1945 3 the lands were to be returned and then up to 1993 the 4 lands were still not returned. 5 A: Yes, that's correct. 6 Q: And would you agree with me that 7 there's been a substantial flurry of paperwork after 8 September -- after the 6th of September, 1995 on the 9 Ipperwash matter? 10 A: I can't comment on that because I've 11 -- I've only seen parts of the distribution that have 12 taken place. I'm not -- I don't -- I don't see the 13 information that's sent directly to the Bands or -- 14 Q: Sure. 15 A: -- or anyone else. 16 Q: But even just the parts of the 17 information that you've seen is substantially more that 18 what was happening prior -- back in 1993. 19 A: Yes, that's correct. 20 Q: Or, indeed, 1994? 21 A: Yes. 22 Q: Yeah. So, what we do know is that 23 there's an outstanding grievance which the Federal 24 Government is aware of? 25 A: Yes.
381 Q: And the Provincial Government is 2 aware of? 3 A: Yes. 4 Q: And then just going back for a minute 5 to the so-called surrender -- sorry, the surrender back 6 in 1928 of the -- the -- the end of the beach lands at -- 7 at Stoney Point IR 43, everybody seems to think that the 8 purchasers got a very good deal when those lands were 9 sold. 10 Do you agree with that? The people who 11 acquired it pretty well got it for nothing. 12 A: Well, I guess that's a good deal if 13 you could get land for that -- for that -- 14 Q: Okay, fine. Is it -- am I to 15 understand that you're not acquainted with the financial 16 aspects of that surrender? 17 A: I was briefed on it at one (1) point, 18 but I'm not -- I'm not able to talk about it at this 19 point. 20 Q: But from the level of briefing, would 21 you say that it was a good deal for the purchasers and a 22 bad deal for the First Nation? 23 A: Yes. 24 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes? 25 MS. SUSAN VELLA: I'm sorry, I'm a bit
391 slow on my feet there, but I thought that Chief Peters 2 just indicated that he didn't recall -- 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: He wasn't 4 familiar with -- 5 MS. SUSAN VELLA: -- the financial 6 circumstances and then to ask him to therefore comment as 7 to whether it was a good or bad deal, perhaps was 8 stretching it. 9 MR. ANTHONY ROSS: I do not accept that 10 objection, but we will go on. 11 12 CONTINUED BY MR. ANTHONY ROSS: 13 Q: So, Chief Peters, then after -- 14 between 1993 and -- and September 1995, the -- the 15 barracks were occupied. Did you know that the barracks 16 were occupied around the end of July 1995? 17 A: Yes, I did. 18 Q: And even then, a lot that is in your 19 letter to Minister Irwin would have been applicable? 20 A: Yes. 21 Q: But still nothing was done? 22 A: No. 23 Q: And everybody -- 24 A: Nothing -- nothing concrete. 25 Q: Nothing concrete?
401 A: Yeah. 2 Q: And then we've got the unfortunate 3 killing of Dudley George in September of 1995? 4 A: Yes. 5 Q: Yeah. Now, Ms. Esmonde asked you 6 about the relationship with the Provincial Government. 7 Now, is it fair to say that between 1993 and 1995 -- the 8 election in 1995 -- that your offices were -- was 9 developing a fairly good working relationship with the 10 government? 11 A: That's correct. 12 Q: And would you agree that the hard 13 line position, after the election in 1995, was really 14 consistent with the pre-election statements of the 15 government which came to power? 16 A: Yeah, we were concerned about the -- 17 the platform that was being espoused. 18 Q: And the -- the policies that were 19 followed after the election were, to a large degree, 20 consistent with what had been promised by the Tory 21 government? 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: Now, it appears to me, sir, that 24 between 1995 and now, there's been a lot of discussion 25 but no real action on the return of the lands; would you
411 agree with that? 2 A: Yes. 3 Q: Now, I take it from that, that the 4 dominant society has really failed to properly address 5 the problem so that failure to come to a solution is 6 really a natural consequence of how your problem is 7 approached; will you agree with that? 8 A: It's probable, you know? 9 Q: Yeah. Now, would you go further and 10 say that this is a First Nation type problem which 11 requires much more First Nation involvement? 12 A: Well I've -- I've always advocated 13 that First Nations had to be involved in developing all 14 kinds of solutions that impact our community, especially 15 our lands. 16 Q: Yeah. Now, just to complete 17 something on the record here, I would ask that Document 18 Number 9000028, which is Exhibit P-205, be shown to the 19 Witness. 20 A: Where are you at? 21 Q: No, it's -- 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: It'll be 23 shown. It'll be put on the screen and you'll get a copy 24 of it. 25
421 (BRIEF PAUSE) 2 3 CONTINUED BY MR. ANTHONY ROSS: 4 Q: What I'd like you to do, Chief 5 Peters, is if you'll refer to your -- your book of 6 documents under Tab 1 there is the draft working 7 agreement dated July 13, 1993; do you remember that 8 document? 9 A: Yes, I do. 10 Q: And I take it that your good officers 11 were, to a large degree, involved in getting that 12 document structured the way it is? 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: And then I refer you now to the 15 Exhibit P-205. 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Can you put 17 that on the screen, please? Are you putting it on? 18 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Well, we're trying. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: You're 20 trying to get it? Okay, that's fine. 21 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Well, we're trying to 22 find the number, the Inquiry document number. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: 900028's the 24 wrong number? 25 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Well, yeah, it doesn't
431 appear to be -- I'll find it. 2 3 (BRIEF PAUSE) 4 5 CONTINUED BY MR. ANTHONY ROSS: 6 Q: I will try to -- so, what we've got 7 here is the document that was prepared as a result of 8 some level of involvement at your offices, which is -- 9 and the document is dated July 13 -- it's July, no -- 10 July 13, 1993 and appears under Tab 1 in your book of 11 documents. 12 A: That's correct. 13 Q: Yes. And then we've got the Exhibit 14 P-205, which relates to a meeting on July the 22nd, 1993 15 and there's a list of the Stoney Point members who 16 attended that meeting in Toronto. 17 A: I'm searching for this -- 18 Q: No, the -- the list is Exhibit 205. 19 I think that's -- 20 A: I've got a letter. 21 Q: No, well you've got the wrong 22 document. Just hold for a minute please. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: The document 24 you should have, I presume, corresponds to the one on the 25 screen. If it doesn't, you've got the wrong exhibit
441 number. 2 THE WITNESS: No, I don't have that 3 document. 4 MR. ANTHONY ROSS: Well, we'll get that. 5 Mr. Commissioner, the purpose for this is 6 just to clarify the number of meetings. There was a 7 question whether there was one (1) or two (2) and I think 8 this would be helpful to the witness. 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's fine. 10 11 CONTINUED BY MR. ANTHONY ROSS. 12 Q: Do you recall that meeting, Chief 13 Peters? 14 A: Yes, I do. 15 Q: So does this help you then as far as 16 the number of meetings? Number one, we had the first 17 meeting as a result of which the document which appears 18 under Tab 1 was created. 19 And then there was another meeting on July 20 the 22nd at your offices in Toronto and you've got the 21 list in your hand. 22 A: Yes. 23 MR. ANTHONY ROSS: Okay. Thank you very 24 much, Mr. Commissioner. 25 Thank you, Chief Peters, those are my
451 questions. 2 THE WITNESS: Thank you. 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 4 Mr. Ross. 5 Mr. Henderson...? 6 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Thank you, 7 Commissioner. Good morning, Mr. Peters. 8 THE WITNESS: Good morning. 9 10 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON. 11 Q: I believe we've met before. I'm here 12 this morning representing the Chippewas of Kettle and 13 Stony Point First Nation. 14 You indicated that your community is the 15 Moravian of the Thames -- Moravian of the Thames? 16 A: Yes, it is. Yes. 17 Q: And as I understand it the Moravians 18 were actually a church group? 19 A: Yeah. Missionaries, yes. 20 Q: Moravian missionaries who spoke the 21 German language I believe. 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: And were active in Pennsylvania 24 historically in colonial times? 25 A: That's correct.
461 Q: And they organized several 2 communities including communities with the Delaware 3 Nation? 4 A: That's correct. 5 Q: And what happened in some of those 6 communities in Pennsylvania? And we're talking in the 7 1780's now. 8 A: Some of those communities were -- 9 were annihilated by troops. Some of those -- some of 10 those communities were -- were on the force march to 11 Oklahoma, some to Kansas, some -- some remained in Ohio, 12 some were in Michigan and two (2) groups that came north 13 that settled in -- in what is now Moravian and Muncey and 14 part of those groups settled in Six Nation. 15 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Commissioner, you 16 indicated yesterday that you were interested in some of 17 the history in southwestern Ontario. This history is 18 rather unique. 19 You also heard similar history or heard 20 history of the -- how the Oneida settlement came to be in 21 southwestern Ontario. So I'm just touching on this 22 briefly. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's fine. 24 Some of this is helpful. 25
471 CONTINUED BY MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON. 2 Q: And roughly in the early 1790's, the 3 Moravians were entitled to a license of occupation for 4 the Delaware settlement in -- is it Southhold (phonetic)? 5 No, not Southhold, but the township. 6 A: In -- 7 Q: Two (2) townships actually. 8 A: Orford (phonetic) and part of Orford 9 Township and well I guess it's all encompassed in Orford 10 Township, what's left of it. 11 Q: Right. We'll come to that in a 12 moment. As of 1812 the -- the settlement itself was 13 named Fairford? 14 A: Fairfield (phonetic). 15 Q: Fairfield, I'm sorry. Thank you for 16 the correction. And it was north of the Thames River? 17 A: Yes it was. The bulk of it was north 18 of the Thames River. 19 Q: And what happened to that community? 20 A: It was destroyed in the war of 1812. 21 Q: During the Battle of the Thames? 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: And that's the battle at which 24 Tecumseh was killed? 25 A: Yes.
481 Q: Okay. And what lands do the 2 Moravians have north of the Thames now? 3 A: We have none. 4 Q: None? And of the land south of the 5 Thames you said what's left; what happened to the bulk of 6 the land south of the Thames? 7 A: Well, it starts early. 8 Q: Yes. 9 A: You know, with the -- with the advent 10 of Talbot Road and actually that's how we ended up on the 11 north of the river. When Talbot Road was built by 12 Colonel Talbot, all lands were seized to build the first 13 road going Westward. 14 And so our access to lands that were -- 15 that were south of that which included the lakes, access 16 to Lake Erie, those were -- those were, by their 17 provisions, transferred to the north of the Thames River. 18 Q: So the result out of the original 19 grant less than half are -- are now the Moravians of the 20 Thames Reserve? 21 A: The original grant, I would probably 22 say that we'd be lucky to occupy 5 percent. 23 Q: And the existing reserve is about 24 four (4) square miles? 25 A: Yeah, it's about three thousand
491 (3,000) square acres. 2 Q: Three thousand (3,000) acres? 3 A: Yeah. 4 Q: Hmm hmm. So, it's slightly larger 5 than the Stoney Point Reserve would have been in its -- 6 as originally set aside by treaty -- a reserve from the 7 treaty. 8 A: Hmm hmm. 9 Q: How many people live at Moraviantown 10 now? 11 A: Total population is over a thousand. 12 About -- probably about four hundred and fifty (450) 13 people live in the community. 14 Q: On reserve, yes. 15 A: Yeah. 16 Q: Thank you. You talked -- I'm -- I'm 17 going take you to a document and I believe it's Exhibit 18 P-278. This is not a document you created, I hope you've 19 seen it. 20 21 (BRIEF PAUSE) 22 23 Q: I think if we scroll down there's a 24 reference to a conversation -- oh no, there it is right 25 there. If you see it about two-thirds (2/3) of the way
501 down, Mr. Elijah advised that he was no longer doing 2 local negotiations and that Gord Peters was; do you see 3 that reference there? 4 A: Hmm hmm. 5 Q: It's -- it's in the line: 6 "Calling -- calling from Toronto." 7 A: Okay. Yeah, I've got it. Yeah. 8 Q: Mr. Elijah testified with respect to 9 that document and he indicated that that was his 10 understanding even though, of course, this is somebody 11 else reporting a conversation with him. 12 Would you like to comment on whether or 13 not you saw yourself as a negotiator at Stoney Point 14 after -- this would be around November 29th, I believe? 15 A: I indicated yesterday that I never 16 ever viewed myself as a negotiator. I acted as a 17 liaison, I -- I acted as a go-between between groups. 18 The only time that I acted in a capacity 19 of negotiator when I was requested by the community to 20 work with the -- with the two (2) parties to try to find 21 arrangements. But I did act -- I did act as a part of a 22 group in negotiations with the police to bring down the 23 barriers, to be able to create the investigation, to 24 bring in the -- the Special Investigative Unit, but I 25 didn't see myself in -- in that sense as being a -- a
511 negotiator on behalf of Stoney Point or anybody else. 2 Q: Okay. I thought you might like the 3 opportunity to clarify that, since that's part of the 4 Commission's record. So, your -- your indication is that 5 you did not see yourself as a negotiator; did you 6 understand that anyone did see you in that role? 7 A: I didn't think so. I don't think 8 that people saw me in that role, because I -- I did go 9 back and forth and then as we started -- as we started to 10 be able to deal with some of the issues people from 11 Stoney Point were in the meetings themselves, being able 12 to address their own issues. 13 Q: Thank you. I wonder if Commission 14 Counsel could put Document Number 14000065 up on the 15 screen? Now, I don't have a printed copy of that to hand 16 you, but I think it will -- 17 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: 14000065? 18 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Yes, 19 Commissioner, that's it there. 20 21 CONTINUED BY MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: 22 Q: I don't -- I'm not going to ask you 23 if you recognize the document, but do you recall the 24 event to which it -- to which it refers? 25 A: Yes, I do.
521 Q: And it's a Williams Treaty community 2 protest. What were they protesting; do you recall that? 3 A: They had been in negotiations with 4 the previous Provincial Government on harvesting rights; 5 that -- that process that they had been involved in was 6 cancelled by the incoming Conservative government. 7 Q: Would it be fair to say that the 8 community harvest agreements were negotiated with the Rae 9 government? 10 A: Yes, that's correct. 11 Q: And that when the Harris government 12 came in, those agreements were cancelled? 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: And that, of course, occurred prior 15 to September the 15th, 1995? 16 A: Yes. 17 Q: In the few months that the government 18 -- that that government had been in office? 19 A: Yes. 20 Q: And this, of course, if you see the 21 date, Commissioner, is virtually contemporaneous with the 22 events that we're looking at. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, I 24 noticed that. 25
531 CONTINUED BY MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: 2 Q: So, the -- the view that you 3 described earlier with respect to the general policies 4 and approach of the Harris government were known and 5 communicated even then? 6 A: Yes, they were. 7 Q: As of mid-September. You also 8 indicated that you saw the -- the role of the Attorney 9 General also being the minister responsible for 10 aboriginal affairs as possibly a negative step in the 11 context of the -- the Harris government appointment? 12 A: Yes, definitely a conflict of 13 interest. When the processes we were engaged in was 14 being able to try to change the current policies and, in 15 fact, the -- the jurisdiction stance of the Ontario 16 government, we were now dealing with someone who was to 17 uphold the -- the laws of the province. 18 Q: Now, in -- in fairness, when the 19 Peterson government was in office, Mr. Ian Scott was both 20 the -- the Attorney General and the minister responsible 21 as well? 22 A: Yes. There was a couple of switches 23 there and at one (1) point he was, yes. 24 Q: And did you see him as effective in 25 that role or did you see that as a conflict at the time
541 as well? 2 A: No. We identified that as a conflict 3 as well. 4 Q: Right. And under the Rae government 5 I believe Bud Wildman was the minister responsible for 6 aboriginal affairs? 7 A: Yes, he was. 8 Q: But he was not the Attorney General? 9 A: No, he was the Minister of Natural 10 Resources. 11 Q: And did you consider him to be more 12 effective in that role? 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: Do you want to add any comment to 15 that organizational issue of the Provincial Governments 16 since -- 17 A: No. We've -- we've had a variety of 18 people who have held those -- those portfolios. And in 19 the past, prior to the -- prior to the -- the Liberal 20 government, when -- when Peterson was in power, it was 21 held by the Minister of Natural Resources as well. 22 And so there was always cause for us to be 23 -- to be concerned anytime that the Attorney General's 24 office became involved in -- in the -- the kinds of -- of 25 relationships that we were trying to build.
551 Q: You also had occasion to refer to, I 2 believe it was then Premier Bob Rae and his description 3 of the -- the Federal and Provincial Governments looking 4 at First Nations issues and playing a game of 5 constitutional ping-pong? 6 A: Yes. 7 Q: Was that statement made by him at a - 8 - at a dinner shortly after he was elected? 9 A: I believe it was. 10 Q: At the University of Toronto and the 11 Federal Minister of Indian Affairs was present? 12 A: Yes, I believe he was. 13 Q: And the Premier said at that time 14 that that -- that situation was going to change? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: Has it to this day? 17 A: No. 18 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Thank you, sir. 19 Those are my questions. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I think Mr. 21 Eyolfson has some questions. 22 23 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BRIAN EYOLFSON: 24 Q: Good morning, Mr. Peters. 25 A: Good morning.
561 Q: My name is Brian Eyolfson and I'm one 2 (1) of the lawyers for Aboriginal Legal Services of 3 Toronto. 4 A: Yes. 5 Q: And I just have a couple of questions 6 for you now in light of some of the questions that have 7 already been asked. 8 Now, in your evidence you referred to 9 trying to get the OPP to de-escalate in the days 10 immediately following September 6th; correct? 11 A: That's correct. 12 Q: Okay. And you also referred to 13 "wanting to get our own constables in place", and I 14 understand that you mean constables who were part of the 15 Indian Policing Program? 16 A: That's correct. 17 Q: And that would include the 18 Anishnaabek Police Services? 19 A: Yes. 20 Q: And I take it from your -- from your 21 evidence, that this was an important objective? 22 A: Yes, it was. 23 Q: And can you clarify why this was an 24 important objective? 25 A: Well, the concern was that the -- the
571 OPP again were going to make another strike at people 2 that were -- that were in the Park. Also because there 3 were a lot of people that were coming to the Park and 4 people that were coming to the barracks from different 5 communities, that were coming to be able to support. 6 And -- and we also knew that -- that the - 7 - the police were escalating at the time. And we wanted 8 to be able to create a -- a buffer zone, a safety zone. 9 And we -- we thought the only way that we could create 10 that was by having our own police patrol, especially the 11 road that -- that was along the barracks. 12 Q: Okay. Thank you. And at a couple of 13 points in your evidence yesterday you mentioned media 14 coverage of the incidents at Ipperwash; do you recall 15 that? 16 A: Yes. 17 Q: Okay. And did you have any concerns 18 about any media coverage of the incidents at that time? 19 A: We had a lot of concern with that. 20 In fact -- in fact, we -- we had a couple of individuals 21 tracking the media, trying to help us to -- to ascertain 22 what the -- what the spin was that was being put on -- on 23 information that was being presented to the media. 24 And then subsequent to that we went and we 25 met with the editorial board of the London Free Press as
581 one (1) example of -- of our understanding because what 2 we did was, we took documents to them and showed them the 3 -- the changes in the process; and that it was -- it was 4 our contention that -- that whenever an incident occurs, 5 when -- when everything -- when anything occurs that's 6 related to indigenous people, whoever from -- from the 7 perspective of authority puts out a press release, 8 they're going to be believed automatically. 9 In this case, the police put out a 10 document that said that they were fired upon; that became 11 the -- that became the -- the standard format that the 12 media used until -- until we were able to talk to the 13 media -- members of them and to be able to -- to give our 14 side of the story. 15 And I don't think a lot of the media 16 really, really changes gears until the Federal Government 17 issues the document that there's a burial ground in the 18 Park. I think at that stage a lot of media then started 19 to backtrack and to be able to start -- to be able to 20 ascertain whether or not the information that they had 21 was -- was 100 percent correct. 22 Q: Okay. And were there, in your view, 23 were there any portrayals of First Nations people in the 24 media that you found problematic at the time? 25 A: There was always portrayals in the --
591 in the -- it was consistent -- it was consistent with the 2 other incidents that had taken place, renegades, rebels, 3 dissidents, breakaway groups, general -- general 4 terminology such as that that would say that -- that 5 people had -- that indigenous people, in general, have no 6 legitimate claim to be doing anything beyond cooperating 7 with provincial authorities. 8 Q: And I take it from what you're saying 9 this is something you've observed at other situations, 10 not only Ipperwash? 11 A: Yes. It -- it's -- the media's been 12 fairly consistent in their approach. 13 Q: Okay. Thank you very much. Those 14 are all my questions. 15 A: Thank you. 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 17 Mr. Eyolfson. Mr. Myrka, I think you're up next on 18 behalf of the Province. 19 20 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. WALTER MYRKA: 21 Q: Good morning, Mr. Peters, my name's 22 Walter Myrka and I represent the province of Ontario. 23 A: Good morning. 24 Q: I just -- I just have a few questions 25 for you. In your evidence you talked about being asked
601 to negotiate some issues between the -- the Chief at 2 Kettle Point and the Council, and the people at Stoney 3 Point? 4 A: That's correct. 5 Q: Can you assist me in understanding 6 what some of the points of differences were? 7 A: The question of -- of whether or not 8 there was one (1) community, whether or not there was one 9 (1) -- there were two (2) communities that operated under 10 one (1) government, or there were two (2) separate 11 individual communities were -- were the basic premises 12 that I heard. 13 Q: And is it fair to say that the 14 central dispute, then, concerned whether the people at 15 Stoney Point should, amongst other things, be represented 16 as a separate Band from that at Kettle Point? 17 A: Yes; that was the -- that was the -- 18 that was the view of the people from -- 19 Q: Okay. 20 A: -- from Stoney Point. 21 Q: Now, at the time of the -- the 22 negotiations and -- and these other meetings in Toronto 23 that happened, in your evidence the other day, you 24 indicated that Chief Bressette and Councillors were there 25 as representatives of Kettle Point; is that fair?
611 A: I remember -- I remember the Chief 2 being there. 3 Q: Okay. 4 A: I remember other individuals there, I 5 can't tell you whether specifically or not they were 6 councillors, but I -- I do believe they were. 7 Q: And for the people at Stoney Point, 8 your evidence the other day was, if I remember it 9 correctly, was that you couldn't recall specifically who 10 was at the meetings. 11 A: That's correct. 12 Q: Okay. Now, this morning Mr. Ross 13 directed you to Exhibit P-205, that was the one that was 14 on the screen. 15 A: Hmm hmm. 16 Q: And that contains a list of the 17 Stoney Point members who were present at the second 18 meeting on July 22. 19 So, I take it that document refreshes your 20 memory as to who was there as members of the Stoney Point 21 Group? 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: Okay. Does it help you at all in -- 24 in recalling who was present at the earlier meeting? 25 A: No, it doesn't. I -- I just know
621 that -- I just know in the earlier meetings that we had a 2 lot of people, same as this session that there were quite 3 a few people there. 4 Q: Of the people who were present, that 5 is the members of the Stony Point group, do you recall if 6 anyone identified themselves as an Elder or a leader of 7 the group; or as a representative of the community? 8 A: I can't recall. 9 Q: Okay. Now the -- the discussions 10 that happened, there was no reference or discussion at 11 all to Ipperwash Provincial Park; that was your evidence, 12 is that correct? 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: Okay. And at the time, it was July 15 of 1993 that these discussions were going on, the members 16 of the Stoney Point community, do I take it that -- that 17 would describe the people who, at the time, had chosen to 18 reside within the Canadian Forces Base at Camp Ipperwash? 19 And who had moved there earlier that year. 20 A: I don't know that to be true. 21 Whether or not they were actually inside the barracks or 22 -- or within that area or not, no. 23 Q: Okay. Now if you can look at your 24 book of documents, I'd like to take you to Tabs 1 and 2. 25 And, Commissioner, these -- Tab 1 was introduced as
631 Exhibit P-291 and Tab 2 as Exhibit P-292. 2 Now, Mr. Peters, you were very much 3 involved in drafting the terms of this draft agreement, 4 is that fair? 5 A: That's correct. 6 Q: Okay. And do I understand that it 7 was the central point of this document or what was -- 8 what was hoped to be agreed to amongst the participants, 9 is that there would be further research and analysis that 10 would be undertaken co-operatively and jointly with the 11 view to resolving the issue of whether there was one (1) 12 community or there was two (2) communities. 13 A: That was a central issue. 14 Q: Okay. And that was something that 15 would take some time to hopefully achieve a resolution? 16 A: Yes. 17 Q: Okay. Now once the draft agreement 18 was at least put on paper and would that have been as a 19 result of the two (2) meetings? Or would -- would this 20 draft have been prepared in advance of the meetings or 21 perhaps after the first meeting, but before the second 22 one? 23 A: It would have been prepared after the 24 first meeting I -- I would assume. 25 Q: Okay.
641 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Just to clarify. Just 2 -- I mean it's obvious from the fact sheet, which is 3 dated July 14th and therefore prior to the July 22nd 4 meeting, that at minimum it was drafted before the second 5 meeting. 6 MR. WALTER MYRKA: Thank you. 7 8 CONTINUED BY MR. WALTER MYRKA. 9 Q: If I can ask you then to look at the 10 document at Tab 2. And this is the fax from Mr. Ronald 11 George. If you can just take a moment and look at the 12 first sentence of that letter. 13 In that sentence, Mr. Peters, Mr. George 14 refers to the July 22 meeting between members of the 15 Kettle Point and Stoney Point Councils. And he goes on 16 in the letter, particularly at page 2, to refer to the 17 Stoney Point Council. And I take from his letter that he 18 is taking instructions from what he describes as the 19 Stoney Point Council. 20 What was your understanding of what was 21 the Stoney Point Council and who were the members? 22 A: I knew that at the time that they had 23 a number of people who -- who were trying to organize 24 themselves, I don't know -- I don't know the process that 25 they took in organizing themselves, I only know that they
651 were trying to organize themselves into a representative 2 body. 3 Q: So I take it that -- is it fair to 4 say that at the time it was at least unclear to you who 5 the members of this Council might be, if indeed there was 6 a -- a formal Council or an elected Council within the 7 Stoney Point group? 8 A: I believe -- I believe some were 9 identified in the course of the -- of the meetings that 10 took place. 11 Q: But you don't recall who those would 12 be? 13 A: No, I don't recall exactly who they 14 were. 15 Q: Okay. 16 A: We would have gone through that 17 process of introductions and -- and people identifying 18 themselves. But because of the -- of the kind of process 19 that we were engaged in, we didn't record those sessions. 20 Q: Hmm hmm. Okay. Now, looking at page 21 2 of Mr. George's letter, and if you can look at the 22 first full paragraph which begins, "The Stoney Point 23 Council." And Mr. George in his letter states: 24 "The Stoney Point Council has further 25 instructed me to advise you of the
661 following fundamental principles 2 embraced by their membership which must 3 at least be recognized and respected 4 throughout the process." 5 And the very first point is as follows: 6 "The Stoney Point Band must be given 7 full Band status pursuant to the 8 provisions of the Indian Act." 9 And then in the second point: 10 "The Stoney Point Reserve Number 43 11 must be returned to the Stoney Point 12 Band." 13 Now, wasn't at least the second point, and 14 perhaps both points, the central dispute between the two 15 (2) groups at the time? 16 A: As I indicated earlier, there was a 17 number of -- a number of positions that were being 18 espoused at the time and -- and definitely from the 19 perspective of -- of the people at Stoney Point, their 20 perspective was that they had a single community and they 21 should be recognized as such. 22 Q: And that wasn't the position of Chief 23 Bressette? 24 A: No, it wasn't. They -- their 25 perception was that they've always had one (1) governing
671 Council. 2 Q: Okay. Now, I'd like to change the 3 subject and ask you to move to Tab number 11. 4 And, Commissioner, this was Exhibit P- 5 297, Inquiry Document 1009017, if I have that right. 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, okay. 7 8 CONTINUED BY MR. WALTER MYRKA: 9 Q: And this is your September 8, 1995 10 letter to Minister Irwin. Now, as I recall your 11 evidence, you were not advised, consulted in any way, 12 about Ipperwash Provincial Park and the events there 13 prior to the death of Dudley George on September 6th; is 14 that fair? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: Okay. And you first arrived at Camp 17 Ipperwash and the provincial Park the next day, it was 18 September 7th? 19 A: Yes, that's correct. 20 Q: Okay. And you wrote this letter the 21 next day? 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: Okay. Now, if I can just take you to 24 the last paragraph on the first page of the letter. And 25 my question concerns the second sentence in that
681 paragraph. And I'll just read it to you: 2 "The Elders have said that sacred 3 burial grounds are located in the 4 Park." 5 Can I ask you first who you meant by the 6 Elders when you wrote that letter? 7 A: Some of the older people that were 8 around. 9 Q: And would these have been members of 10 the Stoney Point group? 11 A: Some were, some weren't. 12 Q: Okay. And do you recall any of their 13 names? 14 A: Not offhand, I couldn't give you any 15 names. 16 Q: Okay. And do you recall what they 17 told you about burial grounds at Ipperwash Provincial 18 Park? 19 A: They told me where the burial grounds 20 were. And, in fact, the morning that I was there, on the 21 7th, I was taken and I was shown the areas inside the 22 Park where the burial grounds were. 23 Q: And do you recall today where those 24 areas were; can you describe them in any way? 25 A: They were situated on -- on the east
691 portion of -- of the Park. 2 Q: Now, there's -- there's quite a few 3 acres that comprise the Park; do you remember what the 4 land was like? Can you be more specific than the east -- 5 that simply the east portion; are -- are you able to 6 assist? 7 A: No. 8 Q: Okay. 9 A: I've -- I haven't been in the Park 10 for -- you know, since -- since probably that fall. 11 Q: Okay. 12 A: It was probably the last time I was 13 in the Park. 14 Q: Okay. And so, it was on September 15 7th that you were taken around the Park and shown these 16 areas? 17 A: Yes. 18 Q: And do you recall if it was one (1) 19 area, if it was three (3) areas or how many areas were -- 20 A: I can't recall. I only remember the 21 one (1) area that -- that I can recall at this point and 22 that was -- that was what I have indicated to you thus 23 far. 24 Q: And was it one (1) person who showed 25 you this area? Was it a group of people?
701 A: No, I was with a group of people 2 because they -- we were doing the -- we were doing the -- 3 the follow-up to the activities that had taken place the 4 night before. 5 So they were taking me through the Park, 6 they were taking me through the area outside the Park 7 where -- where Dudley had been shot and showed me the 8 buses, the car and they had showed me the burnt building. 9 They showed me -- and they showed me where the burial 10 grounds were. 11 Q: Okay. Now, there's a diagram that's 12 just been placed before you; it's a diagram of the 13 campground and the Park. It's Exhibit P-61. Now, does 14 that assist your recollection in being able to show us 15 where it was you were shown that there were burial 16 grounds at the Park? 17 A: It doesn't help me at all, I don't 18 know which direction is what on here, I'm sorry. If you 19 could tell me which direction is what. 20 Q: Okay. 21 22 (BRIEF PAUSE) 23 24 Q: All right. I'm -- I'm told that if 25 you look at the -- the map that's on the screen, north is
711 pointing upwards, therefore east would be pointing to the 2 right, towards you. If it helps you, fine, if it doesn't 3 then you can just tell us. 4 A: I'm sorry, no. I'm -- I -- 5 physically I could -- I could show you, but not on the 6 map I can't. 7 Q: Okay. Now, were you told, when you 8 were shown where these areas were, were you told what the 9 basis was for the belief by one (1) or more people there 10 that there were burial grounds at those locations? 11 A: Historical knowledge. 12 Q: And what do you recall that they told 13 you about what they -- what they'd been told in the past? 14 A: They'd been told -- I was told a 15 number of things about the area. Number 1, I was told 16 that it was a gathering area for people to come to be 17 able to do healing work, that -- that there were specific 18 energies within that area that were -- that were -- that 19 people came. 20 I was also told that -- that -- that not 21 only were Stoney Point people buried there, but other 22 people from other communities that -- that were buried 23 there as well. 24 And when -- and when people tell me that, 25 I -- I believe that. If they have historical knowledge,
721 I mean that's the way that our history is transmitted 2 through stories and -- and oral understanding so -- 3 Q: Hmm hmm. 4 A: -- I'm not going to challenge them 5 and say -- 6 Q: Yeah. 7 A: -- you know, I don't -- I know your 8 territory better than you that there's no burial ground 9 here. I accept the fact that they tell me there's a 10 burial ground, so there is one. 11 Q: Okay. And after you were there, 12 starting September 7th, were there any discussions that 13 you had or investigations that took place that you recall 14 concerning the issue of burial grounds at Ipperwash Park? 15 A: Can you repeat your question again, 16 please? 17 Q: All right. After you were shown 18 these -- these areas, these burial grounds on September 19 7th, did you hear anything further about the burial 20 grounds while you were there? 21 A: Yes, I did. 22 Q: Okay. And can you just tell us what 23 it was that you were told or that you heard? 24 A: Just from -- from a variety of people 25 that -- that they were going to still maintain their
731 connection to the burial ground and that they weren't 2 prepared to be able to give up the burial grounds. 3 Q: Okay. Did you hear anything about 4 any investigations as to locating the burial grounds? 5 A: No, I did not. 6 Q: Okay. And as far as you recall, was 7 anything done after September 7th to locate burial 8 grounds, to confirm that they indeed existed in any way? 9 A: I don't think that there was any need 10 for me to confirm that the burial grounds were there. I 11 mean, obviously that report was issued by the Federal 12 Government. It was tabled by the Federal Government that 13 -- that indicated the burial grounds were in fact there. 14 And then some of the spiritual Elders who 15 came to -- to Ipperwash did ceremonies there. So I mean 16 that's all -- that's all in accordance with our -- with 17 our culture and traditions that those things are done. 18 Q: Okay. And can you help me in 19 understanding what kind of ceremonies would be -- were 20 done after September 7th? 21 A: There were -- there were -- well one 22 in particular that relates specifically to the burial 23 ground is that there were bones that were re-buried. And 24 there's a particular ceremony that goes -- goes with that 25 because once -- once you disturb those -- those bones,
741 they have to be put back in a place in a particular 2 manner and that's what the Elders did. 3 Q: And do you recall when that happened 4 and if you were there? 5 A: I was still there, but I can't tell 6 you a specific date. But I was still in the Park at the 7 time. Q: Were you there at the ceremony? 8 A: Yes, I was. 9 Q: Okay. And this was a re-burial of 10 bones? 11 A: Yes. 12 Q: And do you know where the bones came 13 from? 14 A: No, I don't. 15 Q: Okay. And you don't recall if that 16 was in September, October; was it still in the fall? 17 A: It was still in the fall. It 18 would've probably been -- it would've probably been still 19 in September. 20 Q: Okay. 21 A: It may have been right shortly around 22 the time of the funeral, maybe right after. 23 Q: Okay. All right. Thank you very 24 much. Those are my questions. 25 A: Thank you.
751 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you 2 very much, Mr. Myrka. 3 I think we'll take a morning break now. 4 THE REGISTRAR: This Inquiry will recess 5 for fifteen (15) minutes. 6 7 --- Upon recessing at 10:26 a.m. 8 --- Upon resuming at 10:44 a.m. 9 10 THE REGISTRAR: This Inquiry is now 11 resumed. Please be seated. 12 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I think 13 Andrea Tuck-Jackson is next and you're up, ready to go. 14 MS. ANDREA TUCK-JACKSON: I am, sir. 15 Good morning, Commissioner. 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 17 morning. 18 19 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. ANDREA TUCK-JACKSON. 20 Q: Good morning, Mr. Peters. 21 A: Good morning. 22 Q: My name is Andrea Tuck-Jackson and 23 I'm going to be asking you some questions on behalf of 24 the OPP. And I wanted to begin if I may, sir, in 25 clarifying two (2) aspects of your evidence.
761 First of all -- and I may have mis-heard 2 you yesterday and that's what I wanted to -- to revisit. 3 I understood you to testify yesterday that there was an 4 OPP presence at Ganisatage (phonetic) or Oka; did I hear 5 that correctly? 6 A: I don't recall. 7 Q: Then I may have mis-heard you. 8 Because it -- 9 A: I guess you did. 10 Q: It -- it was my understanding that 11 the OPP did not have any -- 12 A: No, they didn't have any role in it. 13 Q: -- presence there. 14 A: It was -- it was the Surete 15 (phonetic). 16 Q: Exactly. All right. Good enough. 17 And I also understood, sir, you testified yesterday that 18 during Red Squirrel that the Commissioner of the OPP 19 attended there and that you had some contact with him; do 20 I have that correct? 21 A: Yes. I believe it was the 22 commissioner, I -- if I remember correctly, he came in by 23 helicopter. 24 Q: It may be, sir, that it was not the 25 commissioner but it was the Chief of the region in
771 question; is that possible? 2 A: It's possible. 3 Q: All right. It has admittedly been a 4 long time ago. 5 A: Yeah. 6 Q: All right. I want to move forward 7 then, if I can, sir, to your role as mediator in the 8 Ipperwash-related issues. And as you've stated very 9 clearly and very definitively, the only time that you 10 served as a mediator was during the summer of 1993? 11 A: That's correct. 12 Q: All right. And you told us yesterday 13 that before you, in your capacity as Regional Chief, can 14 intervene to try and mediate some type of a dispute, you 15 have to be requested to do so by the First Nations 16 community or communities in question? 17 A: That's correct. 18 Q: All right. And I also understood you 19 to say yesterday that -- that with the benefit of 20 hindsight, had the OPP invited you to intervene during 21 the occupation of the Park, you would have certainly have 22 come down to assist; is that correct? 23 A: That's correct. 24 Q: But I trust, sir, you'd agree with me 25 that you would not be able to do so unless, indeed, you
781 had also received a request or, at the very least, the 2 consent of the First Nations communities involved? 3 A: I would have come to talk to the 4 communities, definitely, yes. 5 Q: And but my point is, is that you 6 couldn't actually come in to -- to assume a role as 7 mediator unless you had their consent? 8 A: Yes. I would have went to them and I 9 would have talked to them about that. 10 Q: All right. And if there had not been 11 a willingness to have you there to mediate, for whatever 12 reason, you could not have done so even if the OPP had 13 wanted you to assist? 14 A: That's correct. 15 Q: All right. And as we know, sir, at 16 no time during the Park occupation were you asked by 17 those occupying those lands or the area that is often 18 described as Stoney Point, you were not invited to come 19 down and attempt to mediate? 20 A: No, I wasn't. I was asked -- I was 21 asked to assist them. 22 Q: That's after the fact on September 23 the 6th? 24 A: After -- after September 6th, yes. 25 Q: All right. I'm actually limiting --
791 and I should be more specific in my question, I'm sorry - 2 - I'm limiting to the time of the Park occupation but 3 prior to the shooting of Dudley George, so in that time 4 frame you were not invited to intervene? 5 A: No, I wasn't. 6 Q: And you also were not invited to 7 intervene by the Chief and Council of Kettle and Stony 8 Point? 9 A: No, I wasn't. 10 Q: All right. And we know, sir, that 11 the last time that you had been asked to -- to work as a 12 facilitator or a mediator, more to the point, a mediator, 13 was the summer of 1993? 14 A: That's correct. 15 Q: We also know that you had attended, 16 in an unofficial capacity, but nonetheless attended at 17 the area that's sometimes described as the Army Base in 18 the summer of 1995; correct? 19 A: In -- I couldn't be specific in terms 20 of where I was but, yes, I had been there. 21 Q: All right. And I trust that during 22 your attendance there, at no time did any of the 23 occupiers or Stoney Pointers, if I may refer to them that 24 way, approached you and asked you to return to your role 25 as mediator to try and resolve issues that related to the
801 occupation of that land? 2 A: There were individuals who did ask me 3 to do certain things and I wasn't clear on what role that 4 they were playing. 5 Q: Okay. 6 A: You know, so some I followed up on, 7 some I didn't do anything with. 8 Q: I'm sorry, your voice dropped, I 9 couldn't hear. 10 A: Some I followed up on and some I 11 didn't do anything with. 12 Q: All right. The point is that you 13 weren't asked to assume any type of a formal role to try 14 and mediate the issues that were still outstanding 15 between the Kettle and Stony Point community and those 16 who were occupying CFB Base? 17 A: No, I was not. 18 Q: Thank you. Would it be fair to say, 19 sir, from what you could observe at your attendance there 20 in 1995, that there didn't seem to be a impetus or an 21 interest, for whatever reason, and I don't say it 22 critically, but there didn't seem to be an impetus or an 23 interest on the part of those people at the Base to try 24 and mediate a resolution of the issues and the 25 differences that existed between the two (2) communities.
811 A: I think they -- what I -- what I -- 2 what I observed was that they were trying to get 3 organized. 4 Q: And they weren't yet at a stage to 5 try and mediate? 6 A: I believe that's what happened. 7 Q: Thank you. 8 A: Those people who had been part of the 9 process earlier were no longer part of the process. 10 Q: Thank you. And would it be fair to 11 say, sir, that you were aware that an offer by Ovide 12 Mercredi to come in and mediate during the summer of 1995 13 had been rejected by those at Stoney Point? 14 A: Yes, I was aware of that. 15 Q: All right. I trust, then, in light 16 of -- of knowing that it didn't come as a surprise to you 17 that you were not asked to try and serve as a mediator 18 during that time frame? 19 A: That's correct. 20 Q: Thank you. And would it be fair to 21 say, sir, that upon your arrival on September the 7th, 22 1995, no one from the group of occupiers, the Stoney 23 Pointers, either at the Park or in combination at the 24 Base, no one self-identified as a leader or spokesperson 25 for that group?
821 A: There was no one that self- 2 identified? 3 Q: As a leader or spokesperson for that 4 group? 5 A: No, the first people that I met were 6 a group of individuals. 7 Q: All right. But my point is that -- 8 that no one identified as a -- as individual leader. I 9 think you've actually answered my question. 10 A: No, they identified themselves as a 11 group process. 12 Q: All right. I want to take you then, 13 if I could, to the transcript of your conference call 14 that occurred on the morning of September the 7th. And I 15 wonder if Exhibit P-252 could be placed before Mr. 16 Peters? 17 18 (BRIEF PAUSE) 19 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Do you know 21 what tab it is in our binder so -- 22 MS. ANDREA TUCK-JACKSON: I believe it's 23 Tab 75. 24 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Yes. 25 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you.
831 MS. ANDREA TUCK-JACKSON: I apologize, I 2 don't have the document number at the tip of my tongue. 3 4 CONTINUED BY MS. ANDREA TUCK-JACKSON: 5 Q: And I'm particularly interested, sir, 6 at page 2 of the transcript or the notes, in fairness, 7 the -- the notes. And you'll see, sir, about halfway 8 down the second page there is a comment that has been 9 attributed to Chief Mercredie to the effect that: 10 "Has anyone emerged as a leader or is 11 there just a general feeling?" 12 And Chief Bressette replies to the effect 13 of: 14 "Just a feeling, no real spokesperson." 15 And I trust that those were observations 16 that -- that you also agreed with at the time? 17 A: Group process, I think, was -- was a 18 valid form of them trying to be able to organize 19 themselves. 20 Q: I'm not -- I'm not criticizing the 21 form, sir, but perhaps I -- I could put this in a bit of 22 context for you that might -- might assist you. 23 We've heard evidence from a number of 24 those individuals who were occupying the Park during the 25 -- the 4th, 5th, and 6th, that attempts were made by the
841 OPP to try and speak to someone there to open up a 2 dialogue and that, for example, those efforts were 3 regarded as harassment by the police. 4 And we've also heard evidence from a 5 number of the Occupiers that no one wished to self- 6 identify as a leader or a spokesperson for a variety of 7 reasons to deal with the police. 8 And I was interested, sir, in your 9 observation as to whether or not, indeed no single person 10 appeared to be coming forward, again for whatever reason 11 to speak on behalf of the group of people at Stoney 12 Point? 13 A: Didn't know if it required a single 14 person to be able to do that when they were working as a 15 group. 16 Q: Okay. You've answered my question, 17 I'm going to move on, sir. 18 A: Okay. 19 Q: I want to move on, if I can, to the 20 meetings that I understand you participated in with 21 various other leaders of First Nations communities and 22 also members of the OPP and the purpose of these 23 meetings, I'm going to suggest to you, was to work out in 24 a conciliatory fashion, a variety of policing operational 25 issues. Would that be fair to say?
851 A: I don't know which meeting you're 2 talking about. 3 Q: I'm referring to meetings that took 4 place on September the 8th, a meeting that took -- 5 meetings that culminated in the signing of the memorandum 6 of understanding which I understand was signed on 7 September the 17th. 8 A: Are you talking about the meeting 9 that took place in Grand Bend in the evening? 10 Q: There was a meeting that took place 11 following the talking circle on the evening of September 12 the 7th; that I suppose we could classify as the first 13 meeting. 14 I understand, sir, there was also a 15 meeting on the early evening of September the 8th and 16 that there were various other meetings that occurred from 17 time to time. 18 Another on the 16th of September which 19 again culminated in the signing of the memorandum of 20 understanding on the 17th of September. It may be, sir, 21 that you weren't attending all of those meetings. 22 A: I don't know if I attended them all 23 but I did attend meetings with the -- with the police. 24 Q: All right. And I'm going to suggest 25 to you that the purpose as you saw it of those meetings
861 was to discuss and work out a number of outstanding 2 policing operational issues. And I'm happy to go through 3 those. So let's do that if it assists. 4 A: Sure, go ahead. 5 Q: So for example one (1) of the issues 6 that had to be resolved was access to what had been 7 identified as a crime scene at the intersection of Army 8 Camp Road and East Parkway Drive. 9 A: That's correct. 10 Q: Okay. Another issue that had to be 11 worked out was who was going to police the area. The 12 perimeter to the Park and the Base and the area along the 13 beachfront that extended by East Parkway Drive; that was 14 another issue. 15 A: Yes; that's correct, yes. 16 Q: How checkpoints were going to be 17 handled was another issue. 18 A: Yes. 19 Q: Another issue, for example, was the 20 police presence or lack thereof at the time of the 21 funeral of Dudley George. 22 A: Yes. 23 Q: Another issue for example was the 24 presence of the police boat offshore approximate to the 25 Park.
871 A: Yes. 2 Q: All right. So I'm going to suggest 3 to you again that it was these kinds of issues as you saw 4 it that had to be resolved and the purpose of those 5 meetings were to resolve those issues. 6 A: Yeah. The purpose of those were to 7 be able to de-escalate the -- the police presence. 8 Q: That's a much better way of 9 articulating it, all right. So the purpose of those 10 meetings was to find a way to de-escalate the situation 11 such that all of those people who had an interest would 12 be de-stressed and satisfied to -- to the best 13 possibility. 14 A: Yes. 15 Q: Okay. And I understand, sir, I want 16 to take you through just a number of those meetings that 17 -- I want to begin with -- with what occurred on the 18 evening of September the 7th. 19 And I understand, sir, that a talking 20 circle was held up at -- I think it's called the Pinedale 21 Motel up near Grand Bend. 22 A: Pine something. Yeah, I went to 23 that. 24 Q: Something like that. All right. And 25 I don't want to ask you about anything that was said or
881 specifically occurred during the talking circle. Because 2 I understand that's not appropriate to do so. 3 But I trust, sir, that what you can 4 confirm for me was that Paul Trivett was in attendance 5 during that talking circle. 6 A: Yes. We didn't know who he was. 7 Nobody knew who he was, but yes, he was there. 8 Q: Did you later come to learn, sir, 9 that he was a member of the OPP? 10 A: We knew that evening he was. 11 Q: All right. You also understood that 12 he was a First Nations person? 13 A: We didn't know that. 14 Q: At the time? 15 A: At time. 16 Q: You later came to learn that? 17 A: Yes. 18 Q: All right. I also understand, sir, 19 that Chief Superintendent Chris Coles was in attendance. 20 A: That's correct. 21 Q: Superintendent Tony Parkin (phonetic) 22 was in attendance? 23 A: I can't confirm that. 24 Q: Fair enough. And I also understand, 25 sir, that Inspector Jim Potts was in attendance?
891 A: I can't confirm that either. I don't 2 know when Jim Potts actually came around. 3 Q: All right, fair enough. You 4 understood that Jim Potts, when he ultimately did come 5 around, was there on behalf of the OPP? 6 A: That's correct. 7 Q: And you understood, sir, that he was 8 there because he had involvement in First Nations 9 policing within the OPP? 10 A: Yeah. After -- after he had left the 11 RCMP. 12 Q: That's right. Okay. Had you -- had 13 you known Inspector Potts for some time? 14 A: Yes. 15 Q: You had had an opportunity to work 16 with him in other contexts? 17 A: No. I didn't. I just -- I just knew 18 -- I knew him and I had spoken with him on a number of 19 times. 20 Q: All right. Would it be fair to say, 21 sir, that in all of your dealings with Jim Potts, you 22 found him to be a very reasonable person? 23 A: Reasonable from the context of -- of 24 why he was -- he was there. 25 Q: Reasonable in the sense of his
901 approach or his manner in dealing with things; he wasn't 2 a strident individual? 3 A: No. No, he wasn't but -- but we 4 understood very clearly that his mandate that would -- 5 actually, we shouldn't say mandate -- we understood very 6 clearly that when he came -- when he came on the scene, 7 his job was to be able to find out information. I mean, 8 he came and he -- he talked to people about what was 9 happening, what was going on with people. 10 Q: All right. I trust, sir, that in his 11 dealings you saw him to be fair? 12 A: I can't attest to that. I didn't -- 13 I didn't do any negotiations with him or discussions. 14 Q: All right. So you've never had an 15 opportunity, even since that time, to see him as he 16 interacts with other individuals? 17 A: No, I haven't. 18 Q: Fair enough. All right. Going back, 19 then, to the talking circle, September the 7th, I 20 understand that the talking circle lasted for several 21 hours? 22 A: Yeah. 23 Q: And -- 24 A: And I don't know -- I don't know 25 where the concept of the talking circle came from.
911 Q: All right. Fair enough. It may have 2 been the -- the idea of Mr. Trivett. In any event, I 3 understood -- understand, rather, that at the end of the 4 talking circle there was a meeting of the minds. 5 And, in effect, a to-do list was generated 6 about issues that -- that had been identified and -- and 7 had to be acted on; is that fair? 8 A: Yeah. 9 Q: Okay. 10 A: Let me -- let me clarify that because 11 you keep referring to this as a talking circle, and it 12 wasn't a talking circle from our perspective. We were 13 coming to a -- we were coming to a meeting and -- and our 14 assumption was that once -- once those sacred items were 15 brought into the room, it was -- it was a format to keep 16 us from being able to address the heavy issues. 17 Q: It was a format to...? 18 A: It was -- it was a mechanism to try - 19 - try to keep us in a -- in a very controlled 20 environment. People assumed that if the -- if the pipe 21 was brought into the room, that we were going to act in a 22 certain manner; that, I mean, that's what we talked about 23 amongst ourselves. 24 Q: All right. The pipe was brought into 25 the room by Constable Trivett?
921 A: That's correct. 2 Q: And a talking cent -- talking circle 3 did commence following that? 4 A: I still wouldn't consider that to be 5 a talking circle. 6 Q: All right. Again, without trying to 7 -- attempting to breech any of -- 8 A: We had a -- we had a dialogue, yes. 9 Definitely, we had a dialogue that evening. 10 Q: Was it a dialogue or was it an 11 opportunity for each individual in the room to express 12 his views? 13 A: It was an opportunity for each 14 individual in the room to express their view. 15 Q: All right; that is what I understood, 16 and I may be misnaming it but that is what I understood. 17 A: Hmm hmm. 18 Q: All right. Is it fair to say, sir, 19 that, at the end of the evening, one (1) of the issues 20 that had clearly been identified that had to be 21 addressed, was who was going to police the area near the 22 intersection where the shooting had taken place? 23 A: Absolutely. I mean, the -- the 24 fundamental views that -- that was expressed that evening 25 was that the people wanted the police out.
931 Q: Yes. 2 A: In my mind was they wanted all the 3 police out. 4 Q: Yes. And we've already heard, sir, 5 from Bruce Elijah that he did request that the OPP 6 retreat and that was met with a favourable response, that 7 the OPP did pull out; do you have any reason to disagree 8 with that? 9 A: No. Over a period of time they did 10 pull out but -- but in the days -- in the days 11 immediately following, we observed a number of -- of 12 continued escalation. 13 Q: But not near the intersection in 14 question? 15 A: Well, the whole notion was to de- 16 escalate the entire police force and presence that was 17 there. 18 Q: Yes. 19 A: But the fact that police were still 20 increasing was of concern. It didn't matter -- it didn't 21 matter how far away they were, they were only a short 22 distance away from the Base. 23 Q: All right. But you don't disagree 24 that the checkpoints had been pushed back so that there 25 was --
941 A: Yes. 2 Q: -- increased distance between the 3 police presence -- the OPP presence I should specify, and 4 the area approximate to the Base? 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: All right. Good enough. And one (1) 7 of the solutions to this issue as to who should police in 8 -- in the area of some sensitivity, one (1) of the 9 proposed solutions was -- is that the First Nations 10 police, whether it be the Kettle and Stony Point police 11 or the Anishnaabek police, would serve a role in policing 12 that area? 13 A: That's correct. 14 Q: All right. And I understand, sir, 15 that as of that night, the night of the 7th, the OPP were 16 receptive to that idea? 17 A: They were. 18 Q: All right. And I also understand, 19 sir, that as of September the 8th, that is when policing 20 of that nature, so in other words, a First Nations police 21 officer began to patrol as of September the 8th? 22 A: I think they did, and I don't know if 23 it was a -- I'd have to -- well, I don't know, but I 24 think there were some joint processes that we -- we -- 25 some joint patrolling that we did.
951 Q: Yes; that's very fair. Indeed, we've 2 heard that initially it was a peacekeeper in conjunction 3 with a First Nations officer and then, as I understand 4 it, it was -- it was just the -- the First Nations 5 officer and then there may have been a combination of 6 First Nations police officers and OPP. 7 A: Yes. 8 Q: All right. But, in any event, you 9 don't disagree that as of September the 8th, it was First 10 Nations police in some combination with others who were 11 patrolling what I would describe as the sensitive area? 12 A: Yes. 13 Q: All right. And fair to say that the 14 need for the First Nations police served two (2) 15 objectives. As you've already described, I believe in 16 response to my Friend Mr. Eyolfson's questions, the 17 presence of the First Nations police served to de- 18 escalate tension that was felt by the Occupiers because 19 they presented a buffer zone for them -- they created a 20 buffer zone for them. 21 A: That's correct. 22 Q: And by the same token, I'm going to 23 suggest to you that the police had made it clear that 24 they needed some type of a policing presence in order to 25 reduce fears that had been conveyed to them by the local
961 cottagers? 2 A: That's correct. 3 Q: All right. And I'm going to suggest 4 to you, sir, that you were aware of this issue that the 5 cottagers were expressing concerns about physical safety 6 and safety of the property as early as your telephone 7 call with fellow Chiefs on the morning of September 7th. 8 And to assist you I want to take you back to Exhibit P- 9 252 and in particular, page 4. I believe you have the 10 transcript just to your left, that's it. 11 You may recall, sir, that earlier in the 12 conversation, Chief Mercredie conveyed that he had 13 received a telephone call from Chris Coles at or around 14 5:00 in the morning? That appears at page 2, if it's of 15 assistance? I'm sorry, I'm -- I'm asking you to bounce 16 around in the document. A little more than halfway down 17 the page. 18 A: Yeah, I have it. 19 Q: All right. So, that had been drawn 20 to your attention. And if we then move on to page 4, 21 sir, you'll see again, just above halfway down the page, 22 the following that's been attributed to Chief Mercredie: 23 "Inspector Cole will let Elder Bruce 24 Elijah in. His major concern is 25 protecting the cottagers who are still
971 behind the lines. He is willing to 2 back off, but he will need assurances 3 of the cottagers' safety. Once they 4 have that, they will pull back." 5 Now, it -- 6 A: I guess he's referring to cottagers 7 that are still behind the police lines. 8 Q: Exactly, the cottagers that were down 9 by the lake along East Parkway Drive. 10 A: Because the police were right up 11 against the -- the barracks on the barracks road. 12 Q: Exactly. 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: You were aware, sir, that the OPP had 15 fled from the area proximate to that intersection in the 16 late morning of September the 7th? 17 A: Yes, I understood that. 18 Q: All right. And you were aware, then, 19 that an issue about the safety of cottagers and their 20 property then, was an issue that was at the forefront as 21 early as the early morning of September the 7th? 22 A: The issue from the perspective of the 23 police. 24 Q: As had been conveyed to them by 25 cottagers.
981 A: I don't know that. I only understand 2 what Ovide had said to the -- 3 Q: I understand and -- and I trust in 4 the distinction you're trying to draw with -- with me is 5 that from your perspective, the First Nations people 6 obviously didn't present any type of a threat to the 7 cottagers -- 8 A: That's correct. 9 Q: -- but there was a different 10 perspective that had been conveyed through the OPP. 11 A: And the media. 12 Q: Fair enough. Fair enough. All 13 right. So, again, I gather, sir, you're agreeing that 14 the role of the First Nations police then was to serve 15 these dual purposes, one (1) is to ameliorate the 16 concerns as expressed through the OPP of the cottagers, 17 but also to ameliorate the concerns that were being felt 18 by the occupiers? 19 A: That's correct. 20 Q: All right. Now, another point that I 21 understand emerged from that September the 7th meeting, 22 and you referred to it yesterday and -- and I think that 23 there may be some confusion as to who Chief 24 Superintendent Coles was going to bring forward to 25 potentially assist and clarify some of the factual issues
991 related to the shooting. 2 A: Hmm hmm. 3 Q: You referred yesterday to an offer by 4 him to have the coroner come to, perhaps, answer some of 5 those questions; do you recall that evidence? 6 A: Yes, I do. 7 Q: May I suggest to you, sir, it wasn't 8 the coroner that was being proposed but it was a man by 9 the name of Bob Goodall (phonetic), who at the time was 10 in charge of all of the criminal investigations related 11 to whatever had occurred that night of September the 6th; 12 is that possible? 13 A: It's possible. 14 Q: Fair enough. And perhaps the most 15 important outcome of that meeting on September the 7th 16 was that there was an agreement that there would be a 17 further meeting the following day? 18 A: That's correct. 19 Q: Would it be fair to say, sir, that at 20 all times, in your dealings with the senior people from 21 the OPP, they were always willing to come and talk and 22 come to the table to discuss issues? 23 A: Yeah. The circumstances were such 24 that it was in their best interest to come to the table. 25 Q: And more to the point, they were
1001 simply -- they showed a genuine willingness to do so? 2 A: Well, I guess so. I mean, I'm not -- 3 I don't know from their perspective what they were 4 thinking or -- or how they were approaching the 5 situation. I know it was in their best interest to come 6 to the table. 7 Q: And just as it was in the best 8 interest of the First Nations people to come to the 9 table? 10 A: Absolutely. 11 Q: And certainly you were willing to do 12 that? 13 A: Yes. 14 Q: Yes. Now, I understand, sir, that 15 there was another meeting that took place on the evening 16 of September the 8th, took place at the school at Kettle 17 Point, if that refreshes your memory? 18 A: Yes, it does. 19 Q: And you were in attendance, sir? 20 A: Yes, I believe I was. 21 Q: And I understand, sir, that Chief 22 Superintendent Coles was also in attendance; does that 23 refresh your memory? 24 A: Yes. 25 Q: Superintendent Parkin (phonetic)?
1011 A: I don't remember him at all, I'm 2 sorry. 3 Q: That's all right. I also understand 4 that Inspector Potts was in attendance at that meeting? 5 A: Nor do I remember Potts, Mr. Potts. 6 Q: Fair enough. And Constable Trivett? 7 A: No. I knew there were -- I knew 8 there were a number of people that were there but I -- I 9 don't recall their names or who was present, I just 10 remember Inspector Coles was there. 11 Q: Fair enough. And was it at this 12 meeting, and I understand that it was, that there was an 13 issue raised about potential damage to the cottages in 14 terms of vandalism? 15 A: I couldn't tell you that either, I 16 don't recall the substance of the discussion other than 17 to be able to say that we were still in that mode of de- 18 escalating and trying to figure out how we were going to 19 be able to come to some kind of constructive arrangement 20 about how the investigation was going to take place. 21 Q: All right. And as we know, those 22 discussions continued right up until September the 16th? 23 A: That's correct. 24 Q: And culminated in the signing of the 25 Memorandum of Understanding on the 17th?
1021 A: Yes. 2 Q: And no doubt -- and it's in no way 3 attempting to ascribe blame, it's just acknowledging the 4 realities of the situation -- there was a funeral that 5 played a very significant role in the community that took 6 place on September the 11th? 7 A: Yes. 8 Q: And no doubt that -- and again I'm 9 not ascribing any criticism for it -- that -- that 10 resulted in some delay in trying to finalize some of 11 these issues? 12 A: That's correct. 13 Q: Yes. 14 A: You know, that's -- one of the things 15 that we needed to be able to do was to remove police 16 presence. 17 Q: Yes, I understand. And indeed I also 18 understand that the police did not interfere with the 19 funeral, in the sense that they didn't engage in any 20 types of checks of cars that went into the Base for that 21 purpose? 22 A: I can't say that's entirely accurate. 23 Maybe not in -- maybe not right there at the gate -- 24 Q: That's what I'm referring to. 25 A: -- but a lot of people had indicated
1031 they had been stopped on the way into the -- to the 2 Ipperwash area. 3 Q: Yes. I don't -- I don't doubt that. 4 What I'm more interested in is knowing that there was not 5 -- there had been a request that came up during these 6 discussions you and I alluded to it earlier. 7 That there was not to be an OPP presence 8 very approximate to where the funeral was going to take 9 place. And I understand, sir, that that was honoured. 10 A: It was. I think they were on -- I 11 think there were cruisers that were on -- on the highway, 12 on Highway 21. 13 Q: Do you remember where near Highway 14 21? 15 A: Highway 21 on the -- on the east side 16 of the Base. 17 Q: Okay. 18 A: I remember -- I remember somebody 19 coming reporting to us that there were cruisers there. 20 Q: Okay. If I could take you, sir, to a 21 chronology that appears at Tab 4 of your materials. And 22 in particular, for the benefit of My Friends it's 23 Document 2000709. 24 And if I could take you, sir, to page 13 - 25 - excuse me, fourteen (14) of that document. And you'll
1041 note, sir, that this appears to be, I just wanted to get 2 a reference in the chronology. There's an entry for 3 Friday, September the 8th, 1995. Do you see that at the 4 top of page 14? 5 A: Yeah. 6 Q: And what I'm interested, sir, is on 7 the next page and I can advise you, sir, that this 8 document was generated by the OPP. Just so that you know 9 its source. 10 You'll notice, sir, at the top of page 15 11 an entry to the following affect. 12 "Negotiations continued between the OPP 13 and First Nations representatives. No 14 violence or serious confrontations have 15 occurred since the events of September 16 the 6th. Also only damage to private 17 residence is one (1) broken door at a 18 cottage." 19 And I trust, sir, that mirrors what you 20 told us yesterday which was as a result of your 21 inspection you noticed one (1) damaged door? 22 A: That's correct. 23 Q: And it would appear then that this 24 issue was resolved as of -- around September the 8th? 25 A: That's correct. We did -- we did do
1051 the door to door check. 2 Q: All right. And quite clearly this 3 appears to confirm that indeed you did convey to the OPP 4 the extent of the damage as is reflected in this 5 document? 6 A: Yes. 7 Q: Thank you. 8 A: I thought you were -- I thought you 9 were doing a summary there. I didn't know it was a 10 question. I'm sorry. 11 Q: No. There was -- there was a passive 12 question mark at the end there, sir. 13 A: Okay. 14 Q: If I could take you further in that 15 document, sir, to the entries for September the 9th and 16 they appear at page 16, and what have been identified as 17 concerns by either the First Nations community or the 18 policing community. 19 And I just want to ask you if -- if you 20 agree that by the 9th, this was the state of affairs, if 21 I can put it that way? 22 A: That's correct; that what was the 23 general state of affairs. 24 Q: All right. So for the purposes of 25 the record, the -- there was still a live issue that
1061 ultimately as we've discussed, was resolved about the 2 presence by the OPP at the funeral on September the 11th; 3 that was a live issue that had to be resolved and 4 ultimately was? 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: And -- and to be clear it -- it was 7 my understanding that it was only First Nations police 8 who were actually present at the funeral? 9 A: It was -- it was only First Nations 10 police that we had immediately at the gate. 11 Q: Exactly. 12 A: Yes. 13 Q: Thank you, sir. And another issue 14 was the presence of the boat that was cruising, excuse 15 me, -- too close to First Nations territory? That was a 16 live issue? 17 A: Yes, it was. 18 Q: But as you note -- as you will note 19 below, sir, there -- agreement had been reached that the 20 boat was going to be removed? 21 A: Yes. 22 Q: And as far as you were aware, it was? 23 A: Yes. 24 Q: Yes; that checks have stopped 25 proximate to the area by police -- check stops?
1071 A: I can't confirm that. 2 Q: Fair enough. That -- there's a -- a 3 reference here to community policing mode in place and I 4 suspect that what that refers to is that the First 5 Nations police were engaged in a regular general patrol 6 in the more sensitive areas that have been identified. 7 A: That's correct. 8 Q: Thank you. A reflection that checks 9 and stops are a last resort only, but the OPP total 10 numbers are to remain, but the checks are to back off 11 away from the sensitive area? 12 A: That's correct. 13 Q: You understood that as of the 9th, 14 that was the state of affairs? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: Thank you. And again a confirmation 17 at the very bottom that: 18 "There has not been an OPP police 19 presence [oh, excuse me] there has not 20 been a police presence on Beach Road 21 since losing the talk." 22 And I can advise you that the talk refers 23 to the MNR parking lot area and -- and the -- the trailer 24 that had been set up there. 25 A: I'm -- I'm sorry, I -- I don't know
1081 where you're reading from. 2 Q: I'm at the very last bullet of that 3 list, sir. It's a confirmation that there hadn't been a 4 police presence since the OPP had left on the morning of 5 September the 7th, but a confirmation that First Nations 6 police were taking a position and had done so. 7 A: That's correct, yes. 8 Q: Thank you. You'll be please to know, 9 sir, I'm moving on to my final area. Thank you for your 10 patience. 11 A: All right. 12 Q: You'd indicated yesterday that you 13 had worked previously with Bruce Elijah. 14 A: That's correct. 15 Q: And that you were, in effect, pleased 16 to see that he was involved as -- perhaps as a negotiator 17 or go-between at Ipperwash? 18 A: Yes. 19 Q: Fair to say, sir, that you trusted 20 his judgement? 21 A: That's correct. 22 Q: Fair to say that you regarded him as 23 someone who could quite fairly and accurately assess 24 people's character, their motivations? 25 A: Yes.
1091 Q: We've heard evidence from Mr. Elijah 2 that during his contact with members of the OPP, that he 3 found them to be respectful of the process of discussions 4 that were underway, respectful of him and sensitive to 5 the First Nations issues that had been identified and 6 brought to the table. 7 I trust, sir, that you'd have no reason to 8 disagree with that assessment by Mr. Elijah? 9 A: No, I don't. 10 Q: Thank you, sir, those are my 11 questions. 12 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you 13 very much. Ms. Jones...? 14 15 (BRIEF PAUSE) 16 17 MS. KAREN JONES: Good morning, Mr. 18 Commissioner. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 20 morning. 21 22 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS. KAREN JONES: 23 Q: Good morning, Mr. Peters. 24 A: Good morning. 25 Q: My name's Karen Jones, I'm one (1) of
1101 the lawyers who represents the Ontario Provincial Police 2 Association. 3 Mr. Peters, I just wanted to -- to take 4 you back quite briefly, you had talked a little it about 5 your involvement in Oka and you had spoke about it taking 6 place at the treatment centre. 7 A: Yes. 8 Q: And one (1) of the thing that's 9 sometimes a little difficult for people, especially if 10 they weren't involved in the event, and given that it 11 happened fifteen (15) years ago now, is to place that in 12 timing and context in what happened with Oka. 13 And I wondered if I can just take you 14 briefly through a few of the events that happened there 15 so we can get a better sense of where you came into the 16 picture -- 17 A: Sure. 18 Q: -- and what had preceded it. 19 A: Yes. 20 Q: I understand that there had been a 21 land dispute that had been going on for some time in and 22 around Oka? 23 A: That's correct. 24 Q: Yeah. And that one of the things 25 that had happened was there was a proposal for the
1111 expansion of a golf club on disputed land? 2 A: That's correct. 3 Q: And there had been a moratorium on 4 that expansion which had been lifted in 1990? 5 A: That's correct. 6 Q: And because the moratorium had been 7 lifted, that Mohawks in the area put up a barricade? 8 A: Yes. 9 Q: And -- and I really want to make sure 10 that is sort of accurate, so if you disagree with -- 11 A: Yeah. But why I -- 12 Q: -- what I'm saying -- 13 A: -- why I'm smiling, because -- 14 Q: Okay. 15 A: -- the barricade was not on the main 16 road -- 17 Q: Right. 18 A: -- it was on a path that led in -- 19 back towards some of their recreation grounds, and it was 20 two (2) sticks crossed over. 21 Q: Okay. 22 A: So the description of a barricade, 23 you know, was -- 24 Q: Okay. 25 A: -- kind of misleading if you don't
1121 know what it was. 2 Q: Well, that's why I -- I wanted to 3 walk through this with you because if -- if there's 4 things that I've characterized from your perspective 5 incorrectly or you think something should be added, you 6 ought to feel free to do that. 7 Injunctions were then obtained to have the 8 barricade removed? 9 A: Yes, they did. 10 Q: Yeah. And I understand at or about 11 that time there was some dispute or some disagreement 12 between -- 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Mr. 14 Henderson? Just a minute, Ms. Jones. 15 MS. KAREN JONES: Sorry. 16 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Commissioner, 17 with respect, I -- I appreciate that -- that the Witness 18 does have considerable knowledge of this particular event 19 but we're out of time and out of province with respect to 20 the -- 21 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. 22 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: -- mandate of the 23 Commission. 24 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I don't 25 understand why the detail --
1131 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: It's five (5) 2 years earlier. 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: -- I know 4 that he indicated he had some involvement in Oka and what 5 his involvement was may be relevant, but reliving all of 6 Oka certainly isn't. 7 MS. KAREN JONES: Oh, Mr. Commissioner, I 8 -- I don't intend to, at all, relive all of Oka. It's 9 just in terms of where the treatment centre came in and 10 what the issues were there that he was dealing with. 11 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Why don't 12 you ask -- 13 MS. KAREN JONES: I thought we could very 14 briefly put that in context. 15 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well -- 16 MS. KAREN JONES: I don't -- I don't 17 intend to be long, Mr. Commissioner. 18 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: All right. 19 That's fine. 20 21 CONTINUED BY MS. KAREN JONES: 22 Q: Okay. And at that time, Mr. Peters, 23 I understand that there was some disagreement as between 24 the Band Council and the longhouse about the approach to 25 take in the circumstances?
1141 A: I can't verify that. 2 Q: Okay. In any event, we know that the 3 Surete came in? 4 A: Yes. 5 Q: And that there was a confrontation 6 and a gun battle between the police and people 7 identifying themselves as the Mohawk Warriors -- 8 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: You 9 indicated you weren't going to go through this and that's 10 exactly what you're doing, Ms. Jones, with all due 11 respect. I mean, if you want to get to the treatment 12 centre and his involvement with it, I think you should do 13 that. 14 MS. KAREN JONES: Okay. 15 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: The fact of 16 the gun battle, that doesn't strike me as being all that 17 relevant to what we're doing here now. 18 19 CONTINUED BY MS. KAREN JONES: 20 Q: Okay. A number of events took place 21 after that, including the police leaving and the Military 22 moving in? 23 A: Yes. 24 Q: Okay. And then I understand that 25 around September the 1st of 1990, that there was an
1151 engagement between the Military and the warriors and the 2 warriors then retreated and barricaded themselves in a 3 treatment centre that was on the disputed land? 4 A: That is correct. 5 Q: Okay. And is it at that point that 6 you come in, so after the -- 7 A: I was actually -- I was actually 8 there twice. 9 Q: Okay. 10 A: First time I went in, we went in to - 11 - to see where the barricade was and those issues. And I 12 think at the time it was -- it was a roadblock that was 13 up. 14 Q: Okay. 15 A: There was a roadblock, there was a 16 police car that was turned over and -- 17 Q: Right. 18 A: -- and trees on top. Second time we 19 went in, I can't tell you if the Army was there or who 20 was there. We did go into the treatment centre, we did 21 meet with -- with the individuals within the treatment 22 centre, including the lawyers that were -- that were in 23 the room -- the lawyer that was in the room, pardon me, 24 there was only one (1) lawyer I think that was present. 25 And our main purpose of being there was to
1161 talk to them and -- and talk about what kind of a 2 resolution might -- might come to. 3 Q: Okay. 4 A: I can't tell you the date that it 5 was, I can't tell you any more than that. 6 Q: Okay. And at that point in time, as 7 I understand, the resolution would be something that 8 would have involved the Federal Government, the 9 Provincial Government, the Band Council and the warriors. 10 Was that -- were those the -- essentially the four (4) 11 parties that had to be involved in the -- in the 12 resolution? 13 A: I don't know how many parties there 14 were in the process. I know there were multiple parties. 15 Q: Yeah. 16 A: Our main objective was to talk to the 17 people that were in the treatment centre. 18 Q: Okay. I wanted then, Mr. Peters, to 19 take you to September the 7th when you first got to 20 Ipperwash Park. And you've told us that you got there 21 about mid morning. 22 We've heard some evidence earlier that 23 there was a march that took place between Kettle Point 24 and the Base. Do you if that happened before you 25 arrived?
1171 A: Before I arrived, yes. 2 Q: Yeah. Okay. So by the time you got 3 there I take it there was a fairly large number of people 4 in and around the Base? 5 A: Yeah. And on the road on Highway 21. 6 And there was a -- there was a fire on Highway 21. 7 Q: Right. And the people who had been 8 marching were already at the Base? 9 A: Yes. 10 Q: Okay. 11 A: And some of them already returned to 12 Kettle Point. 13 Q: And had already gone back. So people 14 were moving in and out of the Base. Okay. And you've 15 told us that when you were at the Base, you were there 16 for about an hour and a half and you were taken back to 17 the Park and shown some things. And you told us this 18 morning you went as a group. 19 I want to see if I could get a bit of a 20 better sense about how many people you were with and 21 where you went to and what you did. You've told us that 22 you had a -- saw the bus and the car? 23 A: Yes. 24 Q: And we heard some evidence, earlier 25 in this Inquiry, that the bus was actually being used to
1181 transport people from the barracks area back to the Park; 2 did you see that? 3 A: Did I see the bus being -- 4 transporting? 5 Q: Yeah. 6 A: I don't recall. 7 Q: Okay. And were you with a large 8 number of people or can you tell us how many people you 9 were with, about, when you were going in? 10 A: I don't remember -- I don't remember 11 how many we were with, maybe three (3) four (4) five(5). 12 I don't know. 13 Q: Okay. You also told us that you went 14 with that group I think to the area where the shooting 15 had taken place? 16 A: That's correct. 17 Q: And were there more people that were 18 going between the barracks area and the Park during the 19 period of time that you were there? 20 A: There wasn't very many that I 21 encountered. 22 Q: Okay. And when you went back and you 23 looked at the area where the shooting took place, did you 24 and others go throughout the area, through the sandy 25 parking lot and the road?
1191 A: I don't believe we walked through the 2 area. 3 Q: Okay. 4 A: I think we were off to the one (1) 5 side in the Park and they explained what had transpired 6 that evening. 7 Q: Okay. You had told us in your 8 evidence yesterday about a video tape that had been taken 9 of the cottages. And one (1) of the documents that we've 10 been provided by the Commission speaks of another video. 11 And I wanted to pass up that document to 12 you and let you have a look at it and see if you can help 13 us understand a bit about the video that's mentioned 14 there as well. 15 MS. KAREN JONES: Mr. Commissioner, I'm 16 referring to Inquiry Document Number 1008975. It's not 17 one that is in your Commission Counsel brief. So I have 18 a copy of it for you and a copy of it for Mr. Peters. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 20 Ms. Jones. 21 MS. KAREN JONES: I wonder if I could 22 hand that up? 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you. 24 MS. KAREN JONES: You're welcome. 25
1201 CONTINUED BY MS. KAREN JONES: 2 Q: And what I wanted to ask you about, 3 Mr. Peters, is you'll see that there's two (2) articles 4 on this page. The one on the left-hand side says: 5 "Leaders say violence still a threat." 6 From the London Free Press dated September 7 8th, 1995. And if you go down almost to the very bottom 8 of the left-hand column and I'm sorry that the 9 photocopying's a bit rough. It's difficult to read. 10 But you'll see three (3) paragraphs from 11 the bottom. It says: 12 "Gordon Peters, Ontario Regional Chief, 13 said the Native community has video 14 taped evidence of the shooting and will 15 make public their version of events." 16 And I wanted to ask you about that -- is 17 first of all, was that something that -- that you did 18 tell the media around that time? 19 A: I may have, but it wasn't a -- it 20 wasn't a video of the -- of the actual event that took 21 place in the night. 22 Q: Okay. 23 A: I was talking about the videos of the 24 -- of the -- of the area and -- and items that were being 25 discussed, shell casings, buses, cars, all those -- all
1211 those items. 2 Q: Okay. And those were videos that 3 were taken by who? 4 A: I don't remember. There was an 5 individual that was doing the -- 6 Q: Going around doing that? 7 A: Yeah. 8 Q: So, when you said that, you weren't 9 talking about video tapes that were taken at the time of 10 September the 6th? 11 A: They were taken on the morning of 12 September 7th. 13 Q: Okay. I wanted to also ask you, Mr. 14 Peters, just a few questions. You were earlier -- 15 yesterday you were asked about your response after 16 September the 6th and you were taken to the documents 17 that are at Tab 6 of your binder and that's Document 18 1011862 and it's Commission Exhibit 295. 19 What I wanted to ask you to turn to, Mr. 20 Peters, was the third page in, which is the Chiefs of 21 Ontario bulletin. 22 A: Hmm hmm. 23 Q: And I think you told us yesterday 24 that this was something that you wanted to use to 25 distribute the story of the Stoney Pointers?
1221 A: Hmm hmm. 2 Q: And I had some questions about it, 3 but first of all I -- I wanted to ask you, I take it that 4 the information contained in here was information that 5 you were provided by the Stoney Pointers? 6 A: That's correct. 7 Q: Okay. And did you draft this or 8 would you have reviewed it before it went out to make 9 sure it was reflective -- reflected that? 10 A: I would -- I would have probably 11 reviewed it. 12 Q: Okay. And I just -- I -- I -- is 13 there something -- did the information that you get -- 14 that you got from the Stoney Pointers, was that 15 information that you obtained after you got to the Base 16 on September the 7th in -- in your hour and a half or so 17 when you were doing your tour around? 18 A: That's correct. 19 Q: Okay. So, that would have been some 20 time around noon or the early afternoon. 21 A: Hmm hmm. 22 Q: Okay. And I just wanted to check 23 some things in this bulletin with you. In the first 24 paragraph, you'll see at the top, it says: 25 "The police also shot and critically
1231 injured two (2) other First Nation 2 citizens, Bernard George, in his late 3 thirties and Nick George, a youth of 4 thirteen (13) or fourteen (14)." 5 I take it the information that the people 6 at the Base provided you was -- was that three (3) people 7 had been shot that night? 8 A: I -- I think they -- I recall that. 9 Yeah, I think there were two (2) people that they said 10 had gotten shot that evening. 11 Q: Okay. Because you have listed down 12 in the first paragraph, three (3) people as having been 13 shot, Anthony George, Bernard George, and Nick George. 14 15 (BRIEF PAUSE) 16 17 Q: So the information that you had was 18 that three (3) people had been shot by police. 19 A: That's correct. 20 Q: Okay. And then if we move down to 21 the bottom paragraph on the first page starting with the 22 paragraph: 23 "The Province adopted a get tough 24 attitude from the very beginning." 25 And it says the OPP, in full riot squad
1241 gear, were moved in immediately. And I wonder if you can 2 explain to us, if you can recall what you were told at 3 the Base about when the police moved in immediately; did 4 that refer to September the 4th? 5 A: No, I was referring to the evening. 6 Q: Of September the 6th? 7 A: That's correct. 8 Q: Okay. And the reason I -- I was 9 asking that, Mr. Peters, is -- is when I look at -- at 10 the paragraph and it talks about adopting a get tough 11 attitude from the very beginning and moving in 12 immediately; given that the occupation of the Park 13 started on September the 4th, it appeared as though that 14 reference was to when the occupation first started in the 15 Park. 16 A: Well, if you look at other actions 17 that have taken place throughout the country and two (2) 18 days is fairly quickly to the -- for the police to be 19 able to move into any situation. 20 Q: Okay. And if you turn over to page 2 21 on the second paragraph, it talks about: 22 "In spite of the police actions, the 23 occupation remains in place. An 24 uncertain number of First Nations 25 citizens have been imprisoned
1251 within the Park by the OPP." 2 And can you tell us what you were 3 referring to in that paragraph, Mr. Peters? 4 A: Individuals who had been in the Park 5 had been imprisoned. 6 Q: I'm sorry? 7 A: Individuals, that evening, who had 8 been in the Park were imprisoned. 9 Q: Okay. So, you weren't talking about 10 citizens being imprisoned within the Park? 11 A: No. 12 Q: You were talking about people who had 13 been in the Park -- 14 A: That's right. 15 Q: -- were subsequently imprisoned? 16 A: That's correct. 17 Q: Okay. And Mr. Peters, I just wanted 18 to ask you one (1) more question. There were some 19 questions raised this morning about healing and what it 20 would take to heal the community or heal the 21 circumstances. 22 And it sounded to me like, from your 23 answer, you had given some thought to that and I wanted 24 to ask you what your views were; what you thought would 25 be of assistance.
1261 A: I was asked, you know, about specific 2 questions and -- and about if the land was returned that 3 would be part of the process. I said it would be an 4 element of healing. 5 I'm not -- I'm not able to tell you what 6 would be a process that anybody would engage in, what 7 would be helpful to the communities to be able to do 8 that; that would be strictly up to them to be able to 9 decide how they wanted to be able to -- to deal with 10 their relationships. 11 Q: Sure it would, Mr. Peters, but one 12 (1) of the things that often assists people is when 13 others with expertise or who have been in other 14 circumstances can say, based on my experience, these are 15 some things that may be helpful and I'm just wondering if 16 this is an opportunity that you'd like to take to do 17 that. 18 A: I don't think so. 19 Q: Okay. 20 A: I think at this stage, you know, I 21 said earlier that the land being returned was a major 22 item and -- and I think that's where -- that's where as 23 far as I -- I think that I'm capable of going with the 24 community. 25 Q: Okay, thank you.
1271 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you 2 very much, Ms. Jones. 3 Mr. Downard...? 4 5 (BRIEF PAUSE) 6 7 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 8 Q: Sir, my name is Peter Downard and I 9 appear for the former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and I'd 10 just like to ask you a few questions about your evidence. 11 Now, I take it that on the basis of your 12 involvement in the Ipperwash situation from 1993, you 13 understood that the position of the Kettle and Stony 14 Point Band was that it constituted the -- the one (1) 15 governing body for communities at both Kettle Point and 16 the Stoney Point lands; right? 17 A: I understood their perspective, yes. 18 Q: And I take it you understood that the 19 perspective of the Kettle and Stony Point Band, the -- 20 the Indian Act Band, was that it wished to act in the 21 best interests of all of the Kettle Point and Stoney 22 Point people; is that fair? 23 A: I would assume so; that would be 24 their position. 25 Q: All right. Now, I'd like to refer
1281 you to a document that's been previously marked as an 2 exhibit, Exhibit 261. Perhaps if it could go up on the 3 screen. 4 5 (BRIEF PAUSE) 6 7 Q: You may want to take a minute to -- 8 to read the document, sir. 9 A: If I had the lights on I could do 10 that. 11 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Could you put the 12 lights on please? 13 14 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD. 15 Q: I intend to ask you just about the 16 first few paragraphs but feel free to read the entire 17 document. 18 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: You 19 indicated this was Exhibit 261. Is it in our binder? 20 MS. SUSAN VELLA: It's not in the binder. 21 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: It's not in 22 the binder. It's just Exhibit 261. 23 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Oh, yes. The 24 document number is 1010240. 25 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: 1010240.
1291 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD. 2 A: Okay. I've read the document. 3 Q: Thank you, sir. Now you'll see that 4 this document is on its face, an e-mail from an MNR 5 Native Liaison Officer named Dan Elliott. 6 And you will see that in the first few 7 paragraphs it reads and I quote: 8 "A contact was made with Elizabeth 9 Thunder, the Band Administrator for 10 Kettle and Stony Point Band today at 11 09:30 hours." 12 Now, I digress a moment to note that the 13 e-mail was dated September 6th in the late afternoon 14 approximately 4:52 p.m. Coming back to the text. 15 "The Chief is not supporting the Native 16 occupants in Ipperwash Park. A 17 position statement for Chief Tom 18 Bressette has been requested and a 19 response is expected tomorrow. 20 Chief Bressette has tried to contact 21 the occupants of the Park without 22 success. He is being ignored by the 23 occupants of the Park and the Military 24 Base. The Band Administration has no 25 land claims in Ipperwash Provincial
1301 Park. The Band Administration is not 2 aware of any burial grounds within 3 Ipperwash Provincial Park. This 4 question will be raised at a Council 5 meeting this evening." 6 And I'll -- I'll stop there. Now after 7 you arrived on the Ipperwash scene on September 7th, were 8 you made aware that the Provincial Government had 9 previously sought to establish a contact with the Kettle 10 and Stony Point Band regarding the occupation, and to 11 determine the position of the Kettle and Stony Point Band 12 regarding the occupation and issues such as a land claim 13 on the Park or the existence of a burial ground in the 14 Park? 15 A: No, I was not. 16 Q: And, sir, as I understand it, your 17 evidence yesterday was that after you arrived in the 18 Ipperwash area on September 7th, was -- pardon me -- you 19 attended a meeting later in that day with the Kettle and 20 Stony Point Band Council or at least members of the 21 Council and the Chief? 22 A: That's correct. 23 Q: And at that meeting you said there 24 was a land claims person there? 25 A: Yes.
1311 Q: And the land claims person there -- 2 and I have the benefit of your transcript for page 148 3 yesterday, quote: 4 "Came in and indicated that there was 5 no -- there was no burial ground in 6 that area." 7 Unquote. Now do you recall anything else 8 that this land claims person said on that issue? 9 A: No. 10 Q: Okay. Does the name Victor Gulevitch 11 ring a bell? He's a person who has been identified as a 12 historian working for the Band at this time. 13 A: It rings a little bit of a bell. 14 Q: But you're not sure that that was the 15 person who spoke to you? 16 A: No, no, I'm not. 17 Q: Now, sir, if I could, I'd like to 18 refer you to the press release that's at Tab 6 of your 19 binder, it's been marked as Exhibit 296, I believe. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I think it's 21 295. 22 MS. SUSAN VELLA: 295, I believe. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. 24 25 (BRIEF PAUSE)
1321 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 2 Q: Now, I want to refer you to the -- 3 the bulletin which, at least in my book, is the fifth 4 page under the tab. 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: Yes. And it's on the screen. Now, 7 clearly, this is a bulletin that -- that you approved, 8 before its issue, on behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario; 9 right? 10 A: Correct. 11 Q: And in the third paragraph it is 12 stated, and I quote: 13 "The First Nations citizens said that 14 the Park lands included traditional 15 burial sites. This claim was 16 immediately dismissed by the Provincial 17 Ministry of Natural Resources even 18 though the entire area has been 19 occupied by the ancestors of the First 20 Nations for time immemorial. 21 Provincial officials could only point 22 to an archeological study completed 23 over twenty (20) years ago (1972) to 24 substantiate the assertion that the 25 Park did not contain First Nations
1331 burial sites." 2 Unquote. Now, sir, I take you would agree 3 with me that it was clear to you, as at September 7th, 4 that not all First Nation citizens in the Ipperwash area 5 believe there were burial grounds in the Park; right? 6 A: That's correct. 7 Q: And would you agree with me that this 8 bulletin presents the issue in a somewhat simplified 9 fashion because it does not make any reference to First 10 Nations people in the area who did not believe there was 11 a burial ground; is that fair? 12 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Do we have any -- 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I'm sorry, 14 Mr. Henderson. 15 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Do we have any 16 evidence, Commissioner. Mr. Peters has testified that 17 he, late in the day on September the 7th, he attended a 18 meeting at Kettle Point where a non-identified researcher 19 made a statement. 20 And he's fairly conceded that as of that 21 time he was aware of what My Friend is suggesting; do we 22 know that this statement came out after that meeting 23 rather than before of it -- rather than before the 24 meeting on September 7th? 25
1341 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 2 Q: Sir, did this statement -- that -- 3 that's a fair concern. 4 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: It's the 5 same date, is it? 6 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes, indeed, it's the 7 same day. 8 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: It is the 9 same. 10 MR. PETER DOWNARD: And I appreciate My 11 Friend's point. 12 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. Please 13 proceed. 14 15 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 16 Q: Was this issued before or after your 17 meeting with the Kettle Point people? 18 A: I can't tell you that but I would 19 assume -- I would assume it would be later in the day. 20 Q: That the meeting was later in the day 21 or the -- the bulletin was issued later in the day? 22 A: The bulletin would probably have been 23 later in the day. 24 Q: Okay. And, sir, would -- would you 25 agree with me that, as I -- I asked you before, that this
1351 bulletin presents the burial ground issue in a somewhat 2 simplified fashion, in that it does not refer to the 3 apparent belief by some First Nations people in the area 4 that there was not a burial ground in the Park? 5 A: I -- I was trying to address the 6 issue of Stoney Point at the time and that's the reason 7 why it's indicated as such. 8 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Now, sir, I could be 9 wrong but I don't recall any evidence of First Nations 10 people who did not believe there were burial grounds in 11 the Park. There may be people who -- who were -- who had 12 different realms of information about it. 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, I 14 think that you can answer that, Mr. Downard. 15 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I thought I had the 16 admission -- 17 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: The document 18 that you had on the screen before. 19 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes. And I -- and 20 also, I -- indeed, and I thought I had the admission as 21 well from the witness. And we have other exhibits of 22 contemporaneous media articles where Mr. Gulevitch talks 23 -- makes statements to that effect, as the historian for 24 the Band, and Ms. Thunder so. 25 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Mr.
1361 Henderson...? 2 OBJ MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Yes, 3 Commissioner, my -- my objection is slightly different. 4 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, let's 5 deal with that one first, okay? 6 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Of course. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Mr. Horton, 8 I think there is some evidence of some First Nations 9 people. I'm not -- 10 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: I'm in your hands, 11 but I don't recall any evidence that -- that there were 12 First Nations people who believed that there were no 13 burial grounds in the Park in terms of an affirmative 14 belief that there were no burial grounds -- 15 MR. PETER DOWNARD: All right. For the 16 record, Commissioner, the exhibit and I beg your pardon, 17 I don't -- 18 MS. SUSAN VELLA: It's Exhibit 261 that 19 Mr. Downard put up which indicated that Chief Bressette, 20 in any event, did not believe that there were a burial 21 sites in the grounds. 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's what I 23 thought. 24 MS. SUSAN VELLA: And I believe that's the 25 first document that was shown.
1371 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's what 2 I thought. 3 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes. And -- and the 4 evidence of Ms. Thunder on cross-examination about -- she 5 moved a bit back and forth on the issue -- was that the 6 position of the Band was that there was no burial ground. 7 And we've had marked as exhibits the 8 articles, "Rebels Without A Cause," dated September 7, 9 1995. And I don't have the number at hand, I can provide 10 it, which quotes Ms. Thunder as saying that there has 11 been no historical land claim on the Park land and she 12 added that Native Elders are unaware of any burial 13 grounds there. 14 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Commissioner, I will 15 just add that if we're going to refer to Ms. -- to Chief 16 Bressette's evidence, Chief Bressette did state that at 17 that time he was not aware of the evidence that 18 subsequently was produced by Minister Irwin with respect 19 to that fact. 20 So to -- to present to this witness as if 21 there are First Nations witnesses out there who, in light 22 of that, of all the information that is before this 23 Commission believe that there is no burial ground in the 24 Park, is totally misleading. 25 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I'm not making --
1381 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Chief Bressette 2 himself said that they were not aware of it at the time, 3 they were now aware of it and that that was the basis on 4 which in part the claim to be made. 5 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I'm -- I'm not 6 talking about what -- what people know now or -- 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Believe now. 8 You're talking about the -- 9 MR. PETER DOWNARD: On September 7th 10 nobody knew about the 1937 correspondence then; that will 11 be very clear. 12 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: All right. 13 Now let's deal with Mr. Henderson's objection. 14 OBJ MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Thank you, 15 Commissioner. My objection is to the question that My 16 Friend is phrasing saying that the press release that was 17 issued by the Chief's office on -- on September the 7th 18 is somehow a simplified version of the actual facts. 19 If the press release was being prepared 20 later in the afternoon and is released later in the days 21 as Mr. Peters has testified likely occurred and the 22 meeting at which Mr. Peters acquired the facts to which 23 My Friend refers is also later in the day. 24 This merely indicates the state of 25 knowledge that the Chief's office had and could
1391 distribute in a convenient fashion at a point later in 2 the day on September the 7th. It's not simplified, it's 3 not distorted, it's the knowledge they had at the time. 4 And I think it's unfair to suggest to the 5 Witness that -- that it's a distorted or simplified 6 version of actual facts as he knew them. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Ms. 8 Vella? 9 MS. SUSAN VELLA: Having heard all the 10 submissions, Commissioner, I only want to observe that 11 this witness, I think, is more than capable of responding 12 to the questions of Mr. Downard and to putting them into 13 context if necessary. 14 But I think the -- the questions posed by 15 Mr. Downard are fair questions and that the Witness is 16 going to be able to answer those. 17 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Do you want 18 to try to put the question again, Mr. Downard, so the 19 Witness can answer it? 20 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Sure. And perhaps 21 just to -- 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Having 23 regard to some of the comments that have been made? 24 25 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD:
1401 Q: To try to step back a little bit. My 2 -- my understanding of your evidence is that you -- you 3 had this meeting we spoke about where the land claims 4 person was there with Kettle and Stony Point Band and 5 it's likely that this bulletin was issued after that 6 meeting; right? You have to verbalize your answer, sir. 7 A: Yes. I would assume so. 8 Q: Thank you very much. And I take it 9 you would have also reviewed and approved that bulletin 10 after the meeting with the Kettle and Stony Point Band? 11 A: As I indicated to you earlier, this 12 paragraph is specifically dealing with First Nation 13 citizens within the Stoney Point area who have indicated 14 to me that they were -- they were -- there were burial 15 grounds within the Park. I have indicated that in 16 relation to the relationship vis-a-vis the Province. 17 And that's all I'm trying to get across to 18 people in that -- in that document. 19 Q: Okay. My -- my point is, sir, just 20 to cut through it, is that I'd suggest to you that as the 21 issue is presented in this bulletin, it appears to be a 22 simpler issue and I would suggest a more polarized issue 23 than was in fact the case at the time in that the 24 bulletin presents the issue as being one between the 25 First Nation on the one (1) hand and the Provincial
1411 Government on the other? 2 A: I think the -- the current situation 3 dictated that. It was the provincial police who were 4 there, it was the provincial police who had just murdered 5 Dudley George, and that is a provincial agency. 6 And so I am assuming that the people in 7 Stoney Point who we're speaking of were directly the ones 8 who were to be identified in this correspondence. 9 Q: Okay. Sir, I just wanted to hear 10 what you had to say on that suggestion to you. Now, did 11 you -- well, let me ask -- show you another exhibit. 12 This is Exhibit 125 in these proceedings, which is 13 Inquiry Document 1007820, and it's a letter dated June 14 14th, 1993, to Maynard T. George from one Ron G. Baldwin 15 (phonetic), a district manager of the Ministry of Natural 16 Resources, with a copy to Howard Hampton (phonetic), who 17 was then Minister of Natural Resources. 18 And perhaps if -- it's -- it's on the 19 screen. Perhaps it's possible to get a copy for the 20 Witness? Or is -- sir, is -- 21 MS. SUSAN VELLA: We're getting it. 22 We're getting it. 23 24 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 25 Q: Okay. Is it convenient for you to
1421 read the letter on the screen, sir? 2 A: Either way is fine with me. 3 Q: Okay. Well -- fine. Thank you. 4 5 (BRIEF PAUSE) 6 7 A: As long as you don't keep moving it 8 around. 9 10 (BRIEF PAUSE) 11 12 Q: All right. Now, there's a second 13 page to the -- the letter that -- that's very brief, that 14 you might also want to look at, if that can be brought up 15 on the screen. 16 A: Could I have a copy of the letter 17 then, please? 18 Q: Sure. Sure. 19 20 (BRIEF PAUSE) 21 22 Q: I'm concerned that I may have an 23 incorrect exhibit number marked on this document and that 24 may be the reason for some delay. My apologies for that. 25 THE REGISTRAR: It's a drawing, 125 is
1431 Stan Thompson drawing. 2 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Right. So I've got 3 the wrong number. I apologize. 4 5 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 6 Q: Sir, in fact, I can just hand you my 7 copy of this -- this letter and I can work with the 8 screen. 9 A: Thank you. 10 11 (BRIEF PAUSE) 12 13 A: Okay. 14 Q: Thank you, sir. Now, you'll see, in 15 particular on the last paragraph of the first page, after 16 some discussion of the historical transactions regarding 17 the parkland, it is stated, quote: 18 "Accordingly, through a third party 19 purchase the Ontario Crown is in lawful 20 possession of those lands comprised in 21 the Ipperwash Provincial Park." 22 Unquote. The remaining sentence is not -- 23 A: I -- I think that's the heart of the 24 dispute. 25 Q: Indeed it's the heart of the dispute.
1441 What I'm simply -- 2 A: And I would assume that -- 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Mr. 4 Henderson apparently has some objection. 5 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I haven't even asked 6 a question. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I know that; 8 that's why I'm wondering if it's an objection or an 9 observation. 10 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to 11 cut you off in asking the question. 12 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: There was a start 13 of an answer, so I assume that there was a question in 14 there some place, Commissioner. We have a letter dated 15 1993 that's addressed to Mr. Maynard T. George. 16 Questions are being put to this witness on the basis of a 17 letter. We haven't even gone through the pretense of 18 asking whether or not he's ever seen a copy of it. 19 It's addressing an issue as to Ontario's 20 position with which he is generally familiar, but what 21 does it have to do with this letter or the way that it's 22 stated in this letter? Ontario says it came into 23 possession of the Park in a particular way, everybody 24 knows that, you know. This letter, with or without Mr. 25 Peters' comments on it, is not going to add anything to
1451 our knowledge. This -- this is wasting the time of this 2 Commission with all due respect. 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Mr. 4 Downard. You could ask the question without having to 5 refer to the letter. 6 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Indeed, I just 7 provided the -- the letter as -- as background and 8 context to my -- my question. 9 And I'm -- I simply wanted to ask the 10 Witness whether he became aware when he arrived in the 11 Ipperwash area on September 7th or -- or in the -- the 12 period following that the position of the NDP government 13 under Bob Rae had been that the Province was in lawful 14 possession of Ipperwash Provincial Park, notwithstanding 15 questions raised from within the First Nation. 16 THE WITNESS: No, I wasn't aware of it. 17 18 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 19 Q: Now, sir, as -- as I understand your 20 evidence, you have referred to a position that has been 21 taken from time to time by governments in situations 22 involving aboriginal blockades or occupations, that the 23 authorities would not negotiate the substance of the 24 particular First Nations issue being raised as long as 25 the blockade or occupation was in place.
1461 Is -- am I correctly understanding your 2 evidence that that is a position that has been taken from 3 time to time by governments? 4 A: That has been a position that's been 5 taken from time to time. 6 Q: All right. And were -- were you 7 aware that that position had ever been taken by the NDP 8 government under Premier Bob Rae? 9 A: I'm not certain if it has been or 10 not. 11 Q: Are you familiar with -- and I'm 12 saying this because I anticipate we'll hear evidence from 13 -- at least from one Yan Lazor who is the Ontario 14 government representative on discovery in civil 15 litigation arising from this matter; that in August of 16 1991 the -- the Poplar Point Nation, which was apparently 17 not a -- a recognized Band under the Indian Act with its 18 leader, Theron McCready (phonetic) had put a blockade in 19 place in connection with a hydroelectric project near 20 Beardmore (phonetic), Ontario. 21 Are you familiar with those events? 22 A: No, I'm not. 23 Q: All right. Then we'll come back to 24 it at a later time. 25
1471 (BRIEF PAUSE) 2 3 Q: Let me -- actually, let me just ask 4 one (1) question in terms of evidence I anticipate we 5 will hear. I anticipate we will hear evidence that at 6 that time, Mr. Wildman -- C.J. Bud Wildman was the 7 Minister of -- of -- responsible for Native Affairs in 8 the Rae government, yes? 9 A: That's correct yeah. 10 Q: I anticipate that we'll hear evidence 11 that at that time Mr. Wildman took the position that the 12 Provincial Government could not and would not negotiate 13 with the Poplar Point First Nation while the blockade was 14 in place. 15 Would that be consistent with -- with the 16 -- the sort of approach that governments had taken from 17 time to time in your experience in cases involving First 18 Nation blockades? 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes, Mr. 20 Klippenstein? 21 MR. MURRAY KLIPPENSTEIN: Mr. 22 Commissioner, this might be a significant point, and Mr. 23 Peters addressed it in his testimony, but if my Friend is 24 going to refer to anticipated evidence of this nature, I 25 suggest it be, out of fairness, put to the Witness on
1481 paper. 2 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Oh, absolutely, I'm 3 entirely content to do that. Mr. Henderson was 4 complaining before -- 5 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Mr. 6 Henderson was objecting. 7 MR. PETER DOWNARD: -- that I was 8 referring to paper, so -- 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I'm not sure 10 -- do you feel you need this document to answer that 11 question? If you do -- 12 THE WITNESS: I don't know. I -- I 13 wasn't involved in that particular situation, so. 14 MR. PETER DOWNARD: All right. I -- I'm 15 going to deal with this with -- 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I think you 17 can -- 18 MR. PETER DOWNARD: -- another witness, 19 it would be more appropriate, I think. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's fine. 21 22 (BRIEF PAUSE) 23 24 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 25 Q: Sir, if I can -- this time I'm going
1491 to try to balance the competing objections and -- and 2 refer to the document. This is Document 1011557 -- 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: 101557. 4 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Hopefully I have the 5 number right. 6 7 (BRIEF PAUSE) 8 9 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 10 Q: And you -- you'll see, sir, and I -- 11 I'm going to give you an opportunity to read the document 12 but you'll see that this is, on its face, a -- a document 13 dated July 10, 1995, which is stated to be an Ontario 14 Native Affairs Secretariate briefing note for The 15 Honourable Charles Harnick, Minister responsible for 16 Native Affairs. 17 And just for a point of reference, it's -- 18 it's clear that the -- the first Harris majority 19 government was elected on June 30th, 1995; right? 20 A: Yes. 21 Q: So perhaps if you can just take a 22 moment to read the document and I'm just going to ask you 23 about something on the second page, at the bottom. 24 25 (BRIEF PAUSE)
1501 THE WITNESS: Okay. 2 3 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 4 Q: Sir, you'll see at the bottom of the 5 second page there's a -- a last paragraph that reads, and 6 I quote: 7 "The principles guiding the response to 8 emergencies are: The prevention of 9 violence, property damage or personal 10 injury; a -- secondly, a timely lifting 11 of the blockades during negotiations; 12 third, a review of the aboriginal 13 grievances and issues and the 14 establishment of processes to address 15 them. However, no substantive 16 negotiation is to occur under after the 17 blockade is lifted." 18 Now, is that consistent with your 19 understanding of an approach to First Nations blockades 20 that had been taken by governments, in your experience, 21 prior to September of 1995? 22 A: I think the key is when it says "no 23 substantive negotiations," because what it does allow for 24 and what has occurred in the past is dialogue, to try to 25 find solutions that -- that could be found before any
1511 other action is taken. And I think that is the 2 consistent approach that this indicates, is that -- is 3 that the issue itself will not be addressed but certainly 4 the processes of how to resolve and bring down the 5 blockades are certainly part of other actions that can be 6 -- can be addressed. 7 Q: And would -- would you agree with me 8 -- well, would you agree with me that in the case of the 9 Ipperwash Park occupation the substantive issues were the 10 validity of the claim to the Park land or the existence 11 of a -- a burial ground and what -- what one would do to 12 protect that? 13 Is it fair to say those are the 14 substantive issues in that situation? 15 A: From whose perspective? 16 Q: Well, I'm just asking you from your 17 perspective, it may be something that -- that people 18 could debate, there may be room for conflicting views. 19 A: In my understanding, yeah, that's -- 20 those are major issues. 21 Q: All right. And the -- and would you 22 agree with me that -- that reasonable people could take 23 different views in any particular case as to what process 24 should be followed for ending the blockade, out -- apart 25 from negotiating substantive issues?
1521 A: Yeah, they could in -- in the context 2 of discussions with people who would be involved in the 3 process. 4 Q: Commissioner, could this document be 5 marked as the next exhibit for -- for identification? 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Which 7 document? 8 MR. PETER DOWNARD: The document I just-- 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: The briefing 10 note? 11 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes. 12 THE REGISTRAR: P-303, Your Honour. 13 14 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-303: Document 1011557 July 10/'95 15 Ontario Native Affairs 16 Secretariat Briefing note 17 for the Honourable Charles 18 Harnick, Minister responsible 19 for Native Affairs 20 21 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 22 Q: I'm carefully noting the number. 23 Now, sir, to you knowledge, prior to 24 September 4, 1995, what attempts had been made by any of 25 the persons who occupied the Park commencing September
1531 4th to initiate negotiations with provincial authorities 2 over a land claim to Ipperwash Provincial Park? 3 A: I don't know what the parties did up 4 to that point. 5 Q: To you knowledge, what attempts did 6 any of the people occupying the Park make to negotiate 7 with provincial authorities over the protection of the 8 burial grounds that they said were in the Park? 9 A: I have no knowledge of that. 10 Q: All right. So, if we can come back 11 to Tab 6 for a minute, and this is the -- what I want to 12 refer you to is the second -- pardon me -- it's the 13 document headed, "News Release" under the tab. So, under 14 my tab it follows the bulletin. 15 A: Where are you at? 16 Q: I'm at Tab 6 of your book. 17 A: Okay. 18 Q: And -- 19 MS. SUSAN VELLA: It's Tab 9. It's Tab 20 9 in your book. 21 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much. 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you. 23 24 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 25 Q: And in that news release you'll see
1541 that in the second paragraph it reads -- oh, and by the 2 way, I -- I take it you -- you approved this press 3 release, of course, before it was issued on September 4 7th? 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: And in the second paragraph it reads: 7 "Chief Gordon Peters stated that the 8 heavy-handed tactics by the OPP can 9 only widen the gap between First 10 Nations and the Canadian governments. 11 Mr. Peters indicated that it is the 12 failure of governments to properly 13 address the First Nations rights 14 through negotiation that has led First 15 Nations citizens to take action such as 16 the occupation of Ipperwash Park." 17 Now, sir, when you approved this press 18 release, in fact you did not know whether the Occupants 19 of the Park had made any efforts to initiate negotiations 20 with the Province about Ipperwash Provincial Park? 21 A: I wasn't talking about the Park. 22 Q: You weren't talking about the Park? 23 A: I was making a general statement 24 about -- about the gap that exists between ourselves and 25 Canadian governments and being able to resolve any issues
1551 and I just simply used -- used the -- the Park as an 2 action that had been undertaken. 3 Q: Well, let me just suggest this to you 4 and -- and find out what you way. I mean, I -- I'd 5 suggest to you that this paragraph would create an 6 impression upon a reasonable reader that the Ipperwash 7 Park situation was a situation where the occupation had 8 occurred because provincial authorities had refused to 9 negotiate the issues. 10 Now, would you agree with me that a 11 reasonable person would have that impression from reading 12 your news release? 13 A: I don't know. If that's your opinion 14 of how you read it, then that's fine. It's my opinion 15 how I understood it and read it at the time, that is what 16 I -- what I intended to be able to say. 17 Q: Now, sir, I would like to take you to 18 the conference call with Solicitor General Runciman. 19 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Commissioner, I'm 20 afraid I've gone over my time a little bit. 21 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. Are 22 you going to be a lot longer because we've got to decide 23 about lunch and finishing? 24 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I don't think I'm -- 25 I'm going to be a lot longer. I -- I would be shooting
1561 for ten (10) minutes. 2 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Apart from 3 Mr. Horton, is there anybody else who -- Mr. Beaubien, 4 you had some questions? 5 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: I don't think I got 6 on your earlier list but. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: You didn't? 8 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: Maybe one or two -- 9 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Is there 10 anybody else? Because if there isn't, depending on Mr. 11 Horton, we might be able to finish. I'm not sure how 12 long you're going to be. You haven't indicated yet so. 13 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Mr. Horner will be 14 asking the questions but we -- we might need ten (10) or 15 fifteen (15) minutes, sir. 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, I 17 would like to try to finish this witness before we have a 18 lunch break because we'd like to call Mr. -- Mr. 19 Mercredie, our next witness who's been waiting. So let's 20 try, let's carry on and see if we can finish before 21 lunch. 22 23 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD. 24 Q: All right, sir. Now in my -- 25 apparently somewhat unreliable brief at Tab 16 I have the
1571 transcript of the conference call with Solicitor General 2 Runciman of September 8th. We're on the same page? 3 Great. Okay. 4 Now, all right. Now, sir, Ms. Vella 5 reviewed with you at the bottom of this -- this page the 6 portion which states that Solicitor Runciman said, and I 7 quote: 8 "The Premier's made it clear that he 9 will not attend a meeting until the 10 occupation of the Provincial Park is 11 resolved." 12 Unquote. And then if you could turn over 13 the page, sir, you will see that there is a -- a 14 statement at the third passage in which the Solicitor 15 General reiterated the government's position on the 16 meeting. 17 Now what I want to do though is -- is to 18 review with you, briefly, a portion of this transcript 19 that we haven't gone through before. And you will see 20 that you are quoted as stating, and I'm just going to go 21 through the dialogue hopefully to save a little time. 22 But there's a reference to you -- it's the 23 second reference to you on the page and about the middle 24 of the page. A little bit above which starts -- 25 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: Commissioner, I just
1581 -- I just to make it clear. At the first page of this 2 document it makes it clear this is not an exact 3 transcript of the conversation. 4 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: No. 5 MR. WILLIAM HORTON: So when we're 6 talking about quoted as saying, it's -- it is someone's 7 summary of what was said. 8 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. 9 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes, the document 10 quotes people and what they said and I -- and I want to 11 ask the Witness whether it's substantially accurate in 12 his recollection. 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yes. 14 15 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD. 16 Q: Now the portion that I wish to -- 17 that I will now quote reads: 18 "(Complained re lack of support by the 19 government). The only minister he's had 20 a conversation with is Chris Hodgson 21 regarding the Williams Treaty. During 22 this conversation he indicated his 23 support for the Stoney Pointers." 24 Now before I move on, I take it that's a 25 conversation well before the occupation of the Park;
1591 right? 2 A: Yes, that's correct. 3 Q: And we may come -- we may come back 4 to that. Carry on, Minister, quote. 5 "We have made it clear we do not think 6 it is appropriate for the Stoney 7 Pointers to occupy the Park. We can 8 arrange, within a matter of days, 9 meetings with government officials 10 after the occupation is ended." 11 Then there's a statement attributed to a 12 Mr. Hehr (phonetic) -- 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: You're 14 quoting the document. But the document isn't necessarily 15 a quote. 16 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Well, that's right 17 and that's -- I can either put it all to the Witness, or 18 do it step by step. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Yeah. Okay 20 then. Do it the way you're doing it as long as we 21 understand what you're doing. 22 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Absolutely, yes. 23 24 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD. 25 Q: And Mr. Hehr says:
1601 "MNR has cancelled the meeting. There 2 seems to be no interest in the 3 government in meeting with us." 4 The Solicitor General is quoted as saying: 5 "There is no reluctance by the 6 government to meet. I wasn't aware 7 that a meeting had been cancelled. 8 There was no reluctance to meet with 9 you. 10 You must understand we are a new 11 government with new ministers, new 12 responsibilities, we have a smaller 13 cabinet and fewer staff, but we are 14 willing to deal with your concerns." 15 Now, to your recollection, are those 16 passages of this memorandum a substantially accurate 17 record of the discussion in the course of these portions 18 of the conference call? 19 A: I can't verify that. 20 Q: Okay. One (1) -- you can't recall 21 one (1) way or the other? 22 A: I can't recall one (1) way or the 23 other but I can tell you this, I mean, if I was in his 24 shoes I would say the same thing, you know, because right 25 now you're dealing with a -- you're dealing with a
1611 tragedy, a situation has occurred and the spin that I 2 would put on it if I was in his shoes I would say, 3 Absolutely we're open to meeting. 4 Q: Okay. 5 A: Let's meet, let's do something. 6 Q: All right. Well, let -- let me just 7 put -- put to you the -- the one point. Do you recall 8 the Solicitor General indicating in the course of this 9 conference call that he and his new government were 10 willing to deal with First Nations concerns? 11 Do you recall that -- that general point? 12 A: I don't recall that in particular. I 13 know that -- I know that we still had concerns and we 14 were still trying to negotiate with the police for de- 15 escalation, and those processes were still ongoing. 16 Q: You'll see over the next page there's 17 a reference to Chief Bressette saying, quote: 18 "I feel the injunction is unnecessary. 19 Dropping it from a helicopter is an 20 insult." 21 And it goes on: 22 "Minister, the government shares our 23 concern. Efforts are underway to 24 change that condition." 25 Unquote. Do you recall that subject being
1621 discussed in this conference call? 2 A: Yes, I do. 3 Q: To your recollection, does this 4 substantially, accurately, record what was said? 5 A: I -- I recall the injunction being 6 discussed, about being dropped from a -- from a plane. I 7 don't remember the helicopter, but. 8 Q: Do you recall the Solicitor General 9 saying that it -- that the government shared a concern 10 about that and that efforts were being made to change 11 that? 12 A: About dropping it from the 13 helicopter? 14 Q: Right. 15 A: Not particularly, no. 16 Q: Okay. 17 A: I'm sorry. 18 Q: Thank you. Could this document also 19 be exhibited, again, for identification, I think. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Is this 21 document already an exhibit? 22 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I didn't think it had 23 been exhibited. 24 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I'm not 25 sure. Has this document been made an exhibit?
1631 MS. SUSAN VELLA: It could have been, 2 but I'm not sure. 3 THE REGISTRAR: No, it wasn't. 4 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: If it 5 wasn't, then we will. 6 THE REGISTRAR: P-304. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you. 8 9 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-304: Document 1001680 September 10 08/'95 draft transcript- 11 conference call with First 12 Nations leaders. 13 14 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 15 Q: Now, sir, I believe that you said 16 that you met with -- well actually, pardon me, let me 17 step back just for a moment. I'd like to refer you to 18 another document, which is Document Number 1000908. 19 20 (BRIEF PAUSE) 21 22 Q: Now, you see, sir, this is a -- a 23 statement issued by Premier Harris on September 12, 1995, 24 and you will see that -- well, I'll give you a moment to 25 -- to read the statement.
1641 (BRIEF PAUSE) 2 3 A: Okay. 4 Q: Now, sir, you will see that -- that 5 this statement, in the first few paragraphs, outlines the 6 position of the government similar to what you've 7 described, not wanting to negotiate on the Park 8 occupation, and then carrying on, in the third-last 9 paragraph on first page it says, quote: 10 "That having been said, there are great 11 many issues other than the illegal 12 occupation of Ipperwash Provincial Park 13 between the Government of Ontario and 14 the First Nations people. The process 15 over the last many years has not 16 resolved the mutual concerns of Natives 17 and non-Natives. 18 Our government is committed to 19 restoring hope, economic opportunity 20 and jobs for the First Nations people 21 of Ontario. The minister responsible 22 for Native Affairs and his officials 23 will continue to work with First 24 Nations to address these issues." 25 Now, did this press release come to your
1651 attention on or about September 12, 1995? 2 A: I don't recall this press release. 3 Q: If -- if this could be just marked 4 again for identification, please? 5 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's fine. 6 THE REGISTRAR: P-305. 7 8 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-305: Document 100908 September 9 12/'95 Statement by Premier 10 Harris. 11 12 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 13 Q: Now, sir, you did recall that you had 14 had a -- a meeting with Attorney General Harnick after 15 the events at -- at the Park in early September? 16 A: No, I suggested that I didn't recall 17 having that meeting on the date, that a meeting that was 18 scheduled was -- I think it was the 12th or the 13th of 19 September that it says in one (1) of the records that it 20 was there. 21 Q: Yes -- 22 A: I do not -- I do not recall meeting 23 with him because I knew I was in -- I was there when the 24 Minister of Indian Affairs arrived in -- in -- in Kettle 25 Point that day.
1661 Q: Well, I -- I understood that you 2 didn't recall meeting on September 13th, but I had the 3 impression that you had had -- that you recalled having 4 meetings with Mr. Harnick in the immediately following 5 period. 6 A: Oh, yes, yes. 7 Q: Okay. Okay. And during September? 8 A: I would assume so. 9 Q: And if I can refer you to a document 10 that's called, "Ipperwash Update," and this is Document 11 Number 1003570. 12 13 (BRIEF PAUSE) 14 15 Q: Now, I'd just like to put this 16 document to you. It will subsequently be referred to 17 through a witness who would know about its composition, 18 but you -- you will see -- well, actually, first of all, 19 if you just read the -- the first page of the 20 document under the heading, "Ministry of the Attorney 21 General." And this -- this document comes from the 22 office of the Attorney General. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: It isn't 24 clear who prepared it, do you know who prepared it? 25 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I don't know who
1671 prepared it. 2 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Okay. 3 MR. PETER DOWNARD: That doesn't appear 4 in the database. 5 6 (BRIEF PAUSE) 7 8 THE WITNESS: Yes. 9 10 CONTINUED BY MR. PETER DOWNARD: 11 Q: Yes, sir. Now, you'll see that the 12 document, which bears the date of Monday, September 18th, 13 1995, states under the heading, "Ministry of the Attorney 14 General," quote: 15 "Attorney General Charles Harnick, who 16 is also the Minister responsible for 17 Native Affairs, met on Thursday with 18 First Nations leaders. He told them 19 that the Ontario government is prepared 20 to discuss broader aboriginal issues 21 with the elected aboriginal leadership, 22 but that the government is not prepared 23 to discuss issues concerning Ipperwash 24 Provincial Park until the illegal 25 occupation is over. This is a matter
1681 that we dealt with by police." 2 Now, do you recall Minister Harnick saying 3 words to you to that effect when you spoke with him in 4 September? 5 A: I don't recall directly, but I know 6 that's the position that they -- they took in every 7 meeting that we had. 8 Q: All right. The meeting you had with 9 -- with Minister Harnick? 10 A: I don't know that specific meeting, 11 but meetings that we had in general with Mr. Harnick. 12 Q: Okay. And you'll see that this note 13 goes on -- pardon me, when -- when would those meetings 14 with Minister Harnick have been? 15 A: Well, as long as he was the -- he was 16 the Minister responsible for Native Affairs. 17 Q: So, at -- at some subsequent point of 18 time? 19 A: Yes. 20 Q: Okay. Now you'll see that this goes 21 on to say, quote: 22 "He indicated that if a burial site is 23 discovered within the Park boundaries 24 it will be protected under the 25 provisions of the Cemeteries Act and
1691 that many such sites have been 2 incorporated into parks across Ontario, 3 generally marked with a -- with a 4 monument and/or fenced." 5 Now, do you recall Minister Harnick saying 6 words to that affect to you when you spoke with him in 7 September? 8 A: I don't specifically recall, but I 9 know the Cemeteries Act and that process was not 10 something that we were -- we were supporting. 11 Q: Do you recall Minister Harnick saying 12 that -- that he thought the Cemeteries Act process was 13 the process that should be followed for a -- for the 14 protection of any burial ground in the Park? 15 A: He indicated it at some point, but I 16 don't know if it's in this particular meeting or before 17 for after or when it was, but I know that's one (1) of 18 the -- one (1) of the items that he had raised. 19 Q: All right. And you'll -- you'll see 20 that this goes on to say that, quote: 21 "Once the occupation is ended, Ontario 22 will cooperate in any federally funded 23 site identification process in the 24 Park." 25 Unquote. Do you recall Mr. Harnick
1701 discussing that with you? 2 A: We raised those issues with Mr. 3 Harnick. I mean this only records what the Province has 4 indicated. It never records what we're putting on the 5 table and a lot of these early meetings that we had were 6 very confrontational meetings. 7 I mean, this -- if you read this and any 8 reasonable person who would read this would think that we 9 were having a really good time talking to each other, 10 when in fact, there was -- most of the meetings that led 11 up to these discussions were, in fact, very heated and 12 confrontational. 13 Q: There was a great deal of anger. 14 A: Absolutely. 15 Q: And -- this -- this event, in -- in 16 your view, was a highly political event in itself; right? 17 A: Absolutely, yes. 18 Q: And is it fair to say that for 19 someone in your perspective, this -- this incident became 20 the -- the -- a focal point for expressing a great many 21 wider concerns apart from the actual violence at the 22 Park? 23 A: Well, it became a focal point about 24 trust, you know. And if -- if you're working with 25 somebody who has just been involved in a -- in a -- in a
1711 -- in a police action, what kind of trust are you going 2 to have with the individual if you're trying to create a 3 relationship with them and that becomes the issue. And 4 so, naturally it does broaden out to other issues. 5 Q: And you'll see this goes on to say 6 that the Minister, quote: 7 "Pointed out that no land claim has 8 been filed concerning the Park, but if 9 that one is filed, it would be 10 processed in the normal manner." 11 Do you recall him saying that to you in 12 the course of your discussions in September? 13 A: No, but I recall saying to him on 14 every occasion I met, that the process -- land claims 15 process, and you can -- you can verify with anybody 16 across the country that the claims process is not a 17 process that anybody enjoys working with or anybody feels 18 that they can have adequate resolution from. 19 And based on that, why would we want to 20 put this particular situation back into a process that 21 doesn't work and when we're at a time where there's a 22 very volatile political process going on, it would seem 23 reasonable that we would find other solutions than going 24 back into a process that doesn't produce results. 25 Q: So -- so the two (2) of you had --
1721 had different views as to -- 2 A: Oh, absolutely. 3 Q: -- as to what were adequate 4 processes, right? 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: Okay. And is -- is it fair to say, 7 sir, that in September of 1995 the -- the government was 8 saying that the occupiers should leave the Park and your 9 -- your position was that they should stay in the Park, 10 right? 11 A: Our position was that the government 12 should try to find a solution. 13 Q: All right. But wasn't it your 14 position that there was -- that as matters stood, there 15 was no reason why the occupiers should leave the Park? 16 A: No, I don't think I ever related that 17 position that nobody should leave the Park. I think if 18 you look at the policing agreement, we said that -- that 19 -- the -- the installation should be winterized and -- 20 until there is some kind of -- of agreement that should 21 be reached that the Park shouldn't be utilized. 22 Q: By -- by anyone? 23 A: By anyone. 24 Q: Well, all right. Well, let me refer 25 you -- and this is the last matter I'm going to refer you
1731 to, is Tab 14 of your book. There's a -- a pair of 2 transcripts of an interview that you gave to CFRB radio 3 and you'll see that there's a quote attributed to you, 4 presumably a tape recording, towards the bottom half of 5 the page that says, quote: 6 "We don't believe there's any reason 7 right now for us to ask anybody to 8 leave anywhere." 9 And then it goes on to say that: 10 "The goodwill is there, in fact, to 11 deal with this issue there should be 12 there, more evidence of being able to 13 meet." 14 Unquote. Now, not -- not the most perfect 15 transcript, but is that a substantially accurate quote of 16 you on or about September -- it appears to be 8th of 17 1995? 18 A: That's -- that's probably fairly 19 accurate. I mean, I think the point is that we're in the 20 midst of -- of a police escalation. There is -- there is 21 a notion that -- that people should be -- should be 22 abandoning all those areas that are -- that are there. 23 And I think -- I think, politically 24 speaking, as we were at the time, the position of the 25 government was that everybody should be -- should be
1741 vacating all those -- those areas. Our position is 2 exactly the opposite, we should be staying. 3 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Thank you very much, 4 sir. Those are my questions. My apologies for going 5 over. 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 7 Mr. Downard. 8 Mr. Beaubien, you said you had a couple 9 questions? I'm sorry, I said -- I'm sorry, forgive me, 10 Mr. Sulman, I was thinking of who you represent. 11 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: It is getting near 12 noon. 13 MR. PETER DOWNARD: I beg -- I beg your 14 pardon. I'm reminded that I didn't make that last 15 document an exhibit. 16 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: The CFRB 17 interview document? 18 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Yes. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's 20 document -- 21 THE REGISTRAR: P-306. 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: -- 2001618, 23 and you're making it Exhibit Number 306? 24 THE REGISTRAR: 306. 25
1751 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-306: Document 2001618 September 2 08/'95 CFRB A.M. Toronto 3 Radio News 6:00 p.m. 4 interview with Gord Peters 5 6 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Thank you very much. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 8 Mr. Downard. 9 MR. PETER DOWNARD: Thank you, sir. 10 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Now, Mr. 11 Sulman, I'm sorry, I called you Mr. Beaubien. 12 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: Thank you, Mr. 13 Commissioner. 14 15 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: 16 Q: Mr. Peters, as Commissioner has 17 pointed out, I represent Marcel Beaubien who was the MPP 18 for this area at the time of the incident. And I really 19 only have a few questions that I think you may be able to 20 help me with and help the Commissioner in his decision- 21 making process. 22 I take it from your involvement with the 23 Chiefs of Ontario you're aware of the Hiawatha First 24 Nation of Rice Lake (phonetic)? 25 A: Yes, I am.
1761 Q: And are -- I take it that you're also 2 aware of the Serpent Mounds Park near Peterborough, 3 Ontario? 4 A: That's correct. 5 Q: And you're therefore aware that in 6 1995 the Hiawatha First Nation of Rice Lake began to 7 manage a Park at -- in that location on Rice Lake; 8 correct? 9 A: That's correct. 10 Q: And there was a dispute, as I 11 understand it, between that First Nation and the 12 Provincial Government prior to an arrangement whereby the 13 Hiawatha First Nation would take over the management of 14 that Park; correct? 15 A: Yeah, I think there was. 16 Q: Okay. 17 A: Something -- something took place, I 18 don't know because I wasn't involved in it. 19 Q: Okay. But you're aware that 20 something occurred about 1995? 21 A: Yes, I am. 22 Q: Okay. And since 1995, sir, it's my 23 information that the Park has been open to the public 24 both for overnight use and for -- and day use and rental 25 of cottages, and that that Park is under the management
1771 of the Hiawatha First Nation? 2 A: Yes. 3 Q: And, in fact, there has been 4 cooperation in that regard for over ten (10) years now? 5 A: Yes. 6 Q: Thank you. And you're also aware 7 that the Serpent Mounds that are -- that are in the name 8 of a Park, Serpent Mound Park, are a serpentine-like or 9 snake-shaped series of mounds that by aboriginal 10 tradition are believed to be burial grounds; correct? 11 A: That's correct. 12 Q: And that the Park operates and is 13 open to the public and the mounds are protected, but 14 aboriginal persons conduct tours and explain the Native 15 traditions and the significance of those mounds; are you 16 aware of that? 17 A: It's my understanding. 18 Q: Good. Thank you, sir. It sounds to 19 me, sir, like an interesting solution to a conflict over 20 a provincial Park and an aboriginal burial site, and one 21 way for Natives and non-Natives to come together and 22 understand one another. 23 Would you agree with that, sir? 24 A: For that circumstance, yes. 25 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I'm sorry.
1781 Yes, Mr. Henderson...? 2 MR. WILLIAM HENDERSON: Sorry, 3 Commissioner. I know it's always tempting to make 4 analogies from one situation to another. Serpent Mounds 5 Provincial Park, prior to 1995, was leased, it was 6 reserve land that was leased to the Province for the 7 purpose of a provincial Park. It's not -- it's not an 8 analogy to this situation, however attractive it may 9 appear. It was always reserve land. 10 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: But I don't think 11 that -- that has any relevance whatsoever to the question 12 but if My Friend wants to give evidence, that's -- you 13 now have some information before you. 14 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Well, what 15 was the question, the last question? This was your last 16 question I gather. 17 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: That was my last 18 question and my -- and Mr. Peters was kind enough to 19 comment on it. 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: That's fine. 21 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: I hope that assists 22 you, sir, in making any decisions. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you. 24 MR. DOUGLAS SULMAN: Thank you, Mr. 25 Peters.
1791 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you, 2 Mr. Sulman. 3 Now, Mr. Horner, is it? Yes. 4 MR. MATTHIEW HORNER: Thank you, Mr. 5 Commissioner. 6 Mr. Commissioner, I have one (1) small 7 housekeeping matter that My Friend Mr. Henderson asked me 8 to deal with. He brought up Document 14000065 during his 9 examination and he would like to have that made an 10 exhibit, now I don't have a paper copy, but that's Mr. 11 Henderson's fault -- that's -- that's Mr. Henderson's 12 fault, so I won't be to blame not having a paper copy. 13 But if we could reserve a number for that? 14 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Do we have a 15 copy anywhere? Do we know what -- 16 MS. SUSAN VELLA: We'll have it -- we 17 have it in the database -- 18 MR. MATTHIEW HORNER: No, no, I don't 19 need it. I was just doing this -- 20 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Can we 21 reserve a number for it then, and then we'll -- 22 MS. SUSAN VELLA: We'll reserve a number - 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: -- connect 24 it up later? 25 THE REGISTRAR: P-307.
1801 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: P-307. Thank 2 you. 3 4 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-307: Document 14000065 5 6 MR. MATTHIEW HORNER: Thank you, Mr. 7 Commissioner. 8 9 CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. MATTHEW HORNER: 10 Q: Mr. Peters, I only have a couple of 11 questions and then subject to Commission Counsel, we'll 12 be done. 13 One (1) -- One (1) question that I wanted 14 to -- to ask you to -- you brought up when being 15 questioned by Ms. Tuck-Jackson of the OPP about the 16 meeting you had on the evening of September 7th, and 17 apparently Constable Trivett was there and you explained 18 that -- that the OPP was intending to impose a talking 19 circle. 20 Could you explain a bit more why -- why 21 you felt that way? 22 A: From my recollection we were invited 23 to a meeting and the purpose of the meeting was for us to 24 begin a dialogue about the ongoing issues that were 25 there.
1811 For us -- for us if we had been notified 2 that -- that there -- there was going to be a talking 3 circle, if we'd been notified that there was something 4 else that was going to take place, we'd have made 5 different arrangements for the -- for the process. A 6 talking circle is something that we didn't -- we didn't - 7 - we didn't know was going to happen. We knew we were 8 going to have a dialogue and that was it. 9 Q: And -- and you felt that the OPP's 10 efforts to have a talking circle was done to restrain 11 your ability to -- to -- to talk? 12 A: That's -- that's how I felt 13 personally and as I -- we spoke with other individuals; 14 we felt the same. They felt -- they felt very strongly 15 that -- that the individual bringing in the pipe was an 16 attempt to be able to -- a limited discussion; to be able 17 to put parameters on how people were going to express 18 their feelings and that, because people are -- people are 19 generally very respectful when -- when those sacred items 20 are brought into any kind of a forum. 21 Q: Thank you, Mr. Peters. Mr. Peters, 22 the other area I just wanted to cover with you -- and 23 it's been addressed in your questioning with Commission 24 Counsel and with Ms. Esmonde earlier on, but this issue 25 of -- of the government of the day's policy of treating
1821 everyone equally, and I wanted to get you to explain a 2 little bit further why it is that treating First Nation 3 peoples equally or the same as everyone else is not the 4 same thing as treating them fairly. 5 A: Thank you. If you talk about a fair 6 -- a fairness in any kind of process, you know that 7 people are going to come to the table, they're going to 8 be honourable, they're going to -- they're going to be 9 able to deal with the truth, they're going to be able to 10 work through any kind of process in good faith. And 11 that's what we understand about that part. 12 When we talk about the -- the proposal on 13 the -- on the part of the -- the -- the Conservative 14 government who, in their -- in their pre-election 15 campaign maligned the NDP about the way they handled the 16 native agenda and said that they were going to deal with 17 us in terms of equality, for us that means assimilation. 18 It means that -- that on the parts of 19 government that they're going to -- they're going to step 20 up their processes of assimilation. They're going to try 21 to bring us into the -- into the mainstream. It means 22 they're going to disregard our treaty relationships and - 23 - and virtually revert back to the 1969 White paper that 24 set out a process about how -- how indigenous peoples 25 would be swallowed up within the politic of Canada.
1831 And we had been -- we had been on a -- on 2 a growing process since the early '80's for recognition 3 of not only government-to-government process, but a 4 nation-to-nation process. There had been studies that 5 had been conducted that had already taken place by the 6 UN, validating the treaties; that the treaties were still 7 in existence that they hadn't -- they were still 8 international instruments that had to be recognized. 9 And all of a sudden we get a government 10 who said we're going to treat you equally like other 11 Ontario citizens and we're just going to disregard all 12 that, and we're going to move forward together. And -- 13 and we're going to look at economic opportunity and jobs 14 and those kinds of issues that they were dealing with -- 15 with the remainder of the Ontario public. 16 So that was our perspective from -- from 17 that agenda process that was being discussed. 18 Q: So in treating you equally, the 19 government was ignoring the historical -- your historic - 20 - First Nations historical relationships with the -- with 21 the government and their historical and constitutional 22 legal rights? 23 A: Absolutely, yes; that's -- that's the 24 perception that we had when -- when that agenda was being 25 forwarded.
1841 Q: And if I may, on the flip-side of 2 this question of equality, in your experience as First 3 Nation's leader in enforcing the laws and under the laws, 4 are First Nations people treated equally? 5 Do you think that, for instance, at 6 Ipperwash, that the government handled the situation as 7 they would have had this not been First Nations people? 8 A: Well, I think -- I think there was a 9 -- there was an attempt to be able to demonstrate that 10 this was going to be equal treatment. And if -- if there 11 was any kind of process in place, that they were going to 12 follow, it was that they were going to take immediate 13 action. 14 I think -- I think even externally there's 15 probably an ongoing record of -- of police being able to 16 be involved in -- in all kinds of standoffs where the 17 objective is to wait. It's to be able to monitor, it's 18 to be able to try to make contact, it's to try to make 19 all those kinds of situations occur. 20 And I think in this -- this escalated very 21 quickly, from our standpoint, that it -- that it took on 22 a very fast moving, fast pace flavour almost immediately 23 after people were in the Park. 24 Q: And do you think that the -- the 25 police moved faster because it was First Nations people
1851 occupying the Park? 2 A: I think in this instance, they did. 3 And I -- and I believe -- I believe that this just simply 4 became one (1) of the quick focal points of government to 5 be able to deal with an issue. Deal with it quickly. 6 Get it over with and -- and to -- to send a message to -- 7 to our First Nations communities that there was no more 8 business like we had with the NDP government. 9 And they were not going to engage in this 10 government-to-government relationship. But, in fact, 11 that we were -- we were going to be treated in a manner 12 that was consistent with -- with the perspective that 13 they were in charge and they were going to determine how 14 things were going to be dealt with. 15 Q: And so would you agree, Mr. Peters, 16 that this policy of equality on the one (1) hand did not 17 -- misunderstood or ignored the -- the rights and 18 historical rights and legal rights of the First Nations 19 people while on the other hand continuing to treat them 20 in an unequal manner? 21 A: That's correct. You know, I was 22 going to say something but I don't -- I don't think it's 23 -- will add anything more than I've already said in that 24 respect. 25 Q: Thank you very much, Mr. Peters.
1861 Those are all my questions. 2 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you 3 very much. Do you have any re-examination? Yes? We 4 have a re-examination and then you're done. 5 6 RE-DIRECT-EXAMINATION BY MS. SUSAN VELLA. 7 Q: Mr. Peters, I wonder if you can go 8 back to the newspaper article that was put to you by Ms. 9 Jones. It's Inquiry Document 1008975 and it's the 10 document entitled "Leaders Say Violence Still A Threat." 11 A: Yes. 12 Q: Thank you. And the -- the third last 13 paragraph referencing your comment that: 14 "The Native community had video taped 15 evidence of the shooting and will make 16 public their version of the event." 17 I just want to clarify what video taped 18 evidence you were referring to. Firstly, was this video 19 taped evidence you had viewed or have since viewed? 20 A: It was the -- it was the videotaping 21 that I -- well, let me step back. I clarified this 22 earlier and indicated that it wasn't of the activities 23 that occurred on that evening. 24 Q: Right. 25 A: What I then said was that it was of -
1871 - of the grounds. It was of the buses and it was of the 2 -- of the car, the surrounding area; all those kinds of 3 issues that they were documenting. 4 As well, that morning, interviews were 5 being conducted of those that were in the Park and I'm 6 not -- I can't guarantee you that those were being 7 recorded, but they were certainly being -- or videotaped, 8 rather, but they were being recorded. 9 Q: All right. So, this sounds like it's 10 a different videotape from the one which you were 11 recorded going through cottages with Bruce Elijah. 12 A: Yes. 13 Q: All right. And did you have an 14 opportunity to see this additional videotape of the 15 grounds, bus, car, and surrounding area? 16 A: I've seen numerous videos over the 17 years and I can't be sure that that's the specific one 18 that we did that morning. 19 Q: All right. 20 A: But I have seen -- I have seen some 21 of those videos. 22 Q: Did I also hear you say that the 23 videotape also recorded bullet casings? 24 A: Yes. 25 Q: And do you know who -- who had charge
1881 of that particular videotaped evidence at the time? 2 A: I don't know who ended up with them. 3 I don't know who ended up taking responsibility for them. 4 I can't tell you that. 5 Q: All right. Do you have any idea, 6 though who was associated with this videotaped evidence? 7 A: I don't remember. I think -- I think 8 the gentleman's name was Ben. 9 Q: Ben Pouget, perhaps? 10 A: Could have been. 11 Q: Thank you. And I'd like to go next 12 to Inquiry Document Number 1003570, which was placed 13 before you by Mr. Downard. It's the Ministerial -- the 14 Ipperwash Update dated September 18, 1995, and it 15 recorded points by the Ministry of the Attorney General. 16 Do you have that before you? 17 A: Yes, I do, September 18th? 18 Q: Yes, 1995. 19 A: Okay. 20 Q: First of all, I wonder if we can make 21 this an exhibit for the record? 22 THE REGISTRAR: P-308. 23 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: P-308. 24 25 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-308: Document 1003570 September
1891 18/'95 draft update Ipperwash 2 from the Ministry of the 3 Attorney General 4 5 CONTINUED BY MS. SUSAN VELLA: 6 Q: Now, Mr. Downard put some questions 7 to you with respect to this matter. One was with respect 8 to the option of the Cemeteries Act process as one (1) 9 way to dealing with the burial grounds issue at Ipperwash 10 Park and you said that that was not acceptable. 11 I wonder if you would advise as to why 12 that process was not acceptable for this particular 13 dispute from your perspective? 14 A: I think the -- well, I think from my 15 perspective, had the -- had the burial grounds been 16 identified, and you know the process that they go 17 through identifying burial grounds are a very invasive 18 process that -- that's conducted. 19 I think if those had been undertaken it 20 would have been -- it would have been simply good enough 21 for the Province to be able say, Well, we're not going to 22 deal with anything else. We've identified this -- we've 23 identified where -- where the burial ground is and we're 24 going to leave it at that. 25 But from my knowledge -- I shouldn't say
1901 my knowledge -- from my understanding of, you know, the 2 maps that we were shown this morning when I said -- when 3 I said the eastern portion of that, when I was standing - 4 - when I was standing on the -- by -- just between where 5 the burnt building was and the -- and the fence that led 6 to the beach area; when I indicated that they were in 7 that area, I'm not specifically sure whether they 8 indicated that there was one (1) place only that there 9 was. 10 And I know that a question was asked of 11 me, I don't know that to be true or not, you know. They 12 just said -- they said there was burial -- burial grounds 13 out here. 14 Q: And you indicated -- well, first let 15 me ask you, what building was that? Can you recall what 16 building it was that they were referencing as being close 17 to these grounds? 18 A: I don't know what building it was. 19 Q: Okay. 20 A: It was a -- it was a burnt building, 21 anyway. 22 Q: It was a burnt building? Okay; that 23 helps. 24 A: Yeah, it was just a -- it was just 25 a --
1911 Q: It was the Base left from a building? 2 A: Yes. 3 Q: That had been burnt? 4 A: Yes. 5 Q: All right. Thank you. And you said 6 that the process was invasive, can you just tell me what 7 -- what is the process for determining whether there is a 8 cemetery at -- a cemetery for purposes of the act that 9 was invasive? 10 A: They go through in and they use 11 equipment to be able to determine what's there. And I 12 think -- I think the invasive part also is that -- I 13 talked earlier about our -- our spiritual beliefs about 14 those ones who have passed on. 15 And to us it would make sense not to 16 disturb that process. And that was simply all I was 17 alluding to in that. 18 Q: So in other words as I understand it, 19 in order to determine whether there's a cemetery -- there 20 is a burial ground for purposes of the act there would 21 have to be an excavation of the area to determine whether 22 there are bones there? 23 A: I don't know if it would be complete 24 excavation or not. But there would certainly be a need 25 to be able to identify what's there.
1921 Q: Right. And you also indicated that 2 there may be more than one (1) spot, location in the 3 Park. 4 A: No, I don't know that for sure. And 5 as I said to you, what I was told -- what I was told when 6 I went there the first day, I was told that this was an 7 area that people came to because it was a -- it was a 8 recognized area that people came to for healing. 9 And that -- that there was high energy in 10 the area that people utilized and because of that 11 different people came into the area. And I was -- I was 12 surprised that the -- the burials that were -- were there 13 were not only of Stoney Point people, but other people 14 from other -- other First Nations who have come there to 15 -- to engage in healing practices. 16 Q: Thank you. And further, with respect 17 to this particular document, you indicated that the land 18 claims process proposed was not a viable option because 19 it was a volatile situation. 20 I wonder what you meant by that in the 21 context of this particular dispute at Ipperwash? 22 A: Well, somebody had been shot and 23 killed. 24 Q: And accordingly was it your 25 experience that the land claims process was a time
1931 consuming process? 2 A: Yeah. It's my experience that -- 3 that the claims process that's put into place is directly 4 controlled by government, you know. 5 They validate the claims, they also do 6 continued research after the claims are identified where 7 First Nations can't. I mean, there's a whole list of 8 things that make it unbalanced towards First Nations 9 communities. 10 Q: Thank you. And Mr. Sulman asked you 11 asked you about the Serpent Mounds Park management 12 arrangement that was in 1995. 13 Do you know under what government that 14 particular arrangement was made? 15 A: No, I don't. 16 Q: Thank you. And one (1) final matter, 17 Commissioner, Document Number 1007820 which was referred 18 to by Mr. Downard is, in fact, Exhibit 215, just for the 19 record. 20 A: But I will indicate that we did have 21 discussions with the NDP government about -- about 22 provincial parks. In fact we started -- we started that 23 discussion with the previous Liberal government program 24 that they I think called Lands for Life or -- forget what 25 the name of it is, particularly the program.
1941 But the intention was to be able to set 2 aside a certain percentage of -- of land in Ontario. I 3 don't know if you recall the lady, her name was Madam 4 Brutland (phonetic), but she had done this work on 5 behalf, I think, of the United Nations. 6 But it suggested that in order for 7 countries to continue being able to have a -- a viable 8 environment so much land had to be set aside in each -- 9 in each country. Well, when that process started in 10 Ontario, they started to examine that process, where do 11 you think the parks were going to go? 12 Parks weren't going into our Treaty area. 13 They were going to go into our traditional areas. We had 14 already experienced parks being put right into our 15 reserves. So, you know, there -- you know, this is a 16 continual issue that we've been -- we had been dealing 17 with much earlier than -- than with the NDP government. 18 The NDP government I think was the first 19 one to offer us an opportunity to be able to look at 20 managing parks that -- that were within our territories. 21 Q: And did those discussions continue 22 with the following government with respect to managing 23 parks? 24 A: I didn't have any future discussions 25 on that particular area with -- over the next two (2)
1951 years with this respective government that was in place. 2 MS. SUSAN VELLA: All right. Chief 3 Gordon Peters, I want to thank you very much for your 4 evidence today and that concludes my re-examination, 5 Commissioner. 6 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Thank you 7 very much, Chief Peters. Thank you, if you're finished 8 now. 9 THE WITNESS: Thank you. 10 11 (WITNESS STANDS DOWN) 12 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I know it's 14 been a long time. Thank you very much. And it's now 15 after 1:00 and we'll start with Mr. Mercredie right after 16 lunch. Thank you very much. We'll adjourn for lunch 17 now. 18 THE REGISTRAR: This Inquiry stands 19 adjourned until 2:20. 20 21 --- Upon recessing at 1:07 p.m. 22 --- Upon resuming at 2:30 p.m. 23 24 THE REGISTRAR: This Inquiry is now 25 resumed, please be seated.
1961 MR. DONALD WORME: Good afternoon, 2 Commissioner. 3 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 4 afternoon. 5 MR. DONALD WORME: Commission calls as 6 its next witness, Ovide Mercredi. 7 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Good 8 afternoon, Chief Mercredi. 9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Mr. 10 Mercredi. Do you prefer to swear on the Bible, affirm, 11 or use an alternate oath, sir? 12 THE WITNESS: I'll do it on the basis 13 of -- 14 THE REGISTRAR: Pardon me? 15 THE WITNESS: I'm -- I'm very broad- 16 minded. 17 THE REGISTRAR: Very broad-minded? You - 18 - you don't have a preference? 19 THE WITNESS: No. 20 THE REGISTRAR: Would you give us your 21 name in full please, sir? 22 THE WITNESS: Ovide William Mercredi. 23 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. 24 25 OVIDE WILLIAM MERCREDI, Sworn
1971 MR. DONALD WORME: I don't know, Mr. 2 Mercredi, if the audio will pick up. I wonder if -- that 3 -- that would be helpful, thank you. 4 5 EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF BY MR. DONALD WORME: 6 Q: Mr. Mercredi, I understand that you 7 were -- you were born on a good day. I wonder if you can 8 tell us when that was. 9 A: It was January 30th, 1946. 10 Q: And you were born and raised at that 11 Grand Rapids First Nation in northern Manitoba? 12 A: Yes, I was. 13 Q: I understand that that community is 14 fairly remote and, in fact, you travelled here from there 15 to provide us with your -- with your testimony? 16 A: Yes, I did. 17 Q: I wonder if you could tell us a 18 little bit about that community in terms of its location 19 and a bit about -- briefly if you would, sir, about 20 growing up in that community? 21 A: I grew up in the Cree community, Your 22 Honour, and I was raised in -- in -- in my language. 23 (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN). I am a Cree. I was given my 24 people's language by my parents who both speak the 25 language fluently.
1981 But I also -- two (2) of the people in my 2 community that can read the language and syllabics and I 3 remember growing up having news, mostly church news, read 4 to me by my grandmother. Her name is Charlotte. And she 5 read the language entirely in syllabics. 6 I, myself, never had the opportunity to 7 learn that literature -- the Cree literature in that way, 8 but I have the fluency of the language, which I'm 9 extremely proud of. 10 I grew up, as I said, in -- in a -- in a 11 Cree community; it's more like a society as opposed to a 12 community of people. It's a place that -- that existed 13 prior to white contact and, in fact, it's an historical 14 place, too, because that's where the Hudson Bay Company 15 decided to place one (1) of their fur trading posts and 16 because we lived near a very powerful rapids, an 17 extremely powerful rapids, they had to develop a portage 18 in -- in Grand Rapids and the first railway tracks ever 19 placed in Western Canada were placed in Grand Rapids a 20 long time ago. 21 I don't say I -- I don't take no pride in 22 that and I take pride in that, too, you know, and as 23 well, in my community there in Grand Rapids, the first 24 treaty that our people signed -- because they signed 25 subsequent treaties, was Treaty Number 5, which was
1991 signed in 1872, in July of -- of that year, in my little 2 community of Grand Rapids. 3 In fact, that's when we first experienced 4 our first relocation at the hands of the coloniser, 5 because our traditional site as a people is a land that 6 was wanted obviously by the governments and a land where 7 the trading post was subsequently located. But our 8 People were required to move and relocate to the opposite 9 side of the river, the Saskatchewan River, as part of the 10 treaty requirement for -- for the signing of the treaty. 11 So relocation is -- is an historical fact 12 in terms of my history as a person but also an 13 experience, a contemporary experience as a result of 14 hydro development in my community. 15 Q: Okay. The Grand Rapids hydroelectric 16 station was built in 1959, I understand? 17 A: Yeah, that's when they started 18 construction. See, prior to that our community was 19 pretty much isolated from the rest of the country. The 20 only experience I had with White society was through the, 21 from time to time, the arrival of teachers in our 22 community; and also, maybe occasionally, a public health 23 nurse; and more frequently a minister of one (1) of the 24 religions, either the Catholic church or the Anglican 25 church.
2001 And so the frequency of contact with White 2 society was nominal where I grew up. And I -- we were 3 living in -- in a fairly isolated state at that time 4 because there was no roads to Grand Rapids and it was 5 only accessible by plane. 6 So that explains why I say I was raised as 7 a Cree, because the White influence wasn't very strong at 8 that time. 9 Q: And in terms of that influence, Mr. 10 Mercredi, did that extend to a traditional economy? Was 11 there a traditional economy when you said you were raised 12 as a Cree? 13 A: I -- I grew up in a society that was 14 fairly self-reliant. We were not rich, by any stretch of 15 the imagination, but we didn't consider ourselves poor 16 because we had a -- a very full life. Our men were 17 always very active in terms of earning their livelihood. 18 And they -- they had done it by using the resources of 19 the land, just as the Crees have done for centuries. 20 So our people were hunters, fishermen and 21 we were also trappers, and I was raised in that culture 22 at a very early age. And so we spent our lives covering 23 our territory. Our territory was not just the reserve. 24 The reserve is where our people lived. But the Cree 25 territory was wherever we had access to the natural
2011 resources, as per our treaty right. 2 And so we had -- for example, about this 3 time of the year, from January on, we would be, in those 4 days, we would have been just decamping from the -- from 5 the fur-trading sites and we would be leaving our traps 6 lines going back to Grand Rapids. And I -- I remember 7 those experiences very vividly; that's very, very special 8 moments for me. 9 Because there's nothing like walking on 10 the -- on the lake that's greeting the spring and you can 11 feel the crackling of the ice beneath you. And you have 12 these dog teams walking beside you and they're dragging a 13 canoe, just in case someone goes, you know, through -- 14 through the ice. And that's a lifestyle, that's -- a 15 very enlightening lifestyle because you're very close to 16 the -- to the environment, you're part of the land. 17 So I -- I would say, in my generation, we 18 may have been the last of our generation to experience 19 that lifestyle. 20 Q: And why do you say the last of the -- 21 of the generation, rather? 22 A: Because our encounter with the White 23 society is not always helpful in terms of maintaining our 24 culture as a people. And sometimes our -- our encounter 25 could be extremely damaging, not just to the livelihood
2021 of our people but to the psychology of our people as 2 well. 3 And I say that with practical knowledge of 4 what happened with Manitoba Hydro and to my People in 5 Grand Rapids. Because in 1959 is when the Province 6 decided to build a hydro-electric in Grand Rapids. 7 This would have been the first time for me 8 as a human being to come face to face with people other 9 than white people. But that's when I -- I came to see my 10 very first black man in my life as a human being. 11 And my first Hindu that's another human 12 being. I would have known only the French, you know, 13 what we call (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN), which is the Cree 14 word for Catholics because I guess most of them are 15 Catholics, I don't know. In those days they were I 16 suppose. And (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN) is the term to the 17 Englishman. 18 Other than that like my culture was Cree 19 and these -- our encounters were primarily with the 20 English and the French. But that altered dramatically in 21 1959; that's when we got exposed to several thousands of 22 people who came to build the dam. And that's when I -- I 23 knew that there was in the language of the coloniser 24 people that they called "displaced people." 25 I don't know why they call them displaced
2031 peoples. But they were referring to the Portugese. I 2 guess it's slander towards them. But I would also would 3 have met at that time people who were Italians. So my -- 4 my world started to broaden. 5 Like my encounter with society was not 6 -- no longer limited to the -- to the two (2) primary 7 colonisers that we had -- we had dealt with over the 8 centuries. 9 Q: And so can you tell us anything about 10 the -- the impact that that would have had? You said 11 there was a psychological impact on -- on the culture 12 during this particular encounter. 13 A: Well, the first thing is the -- is 14 the -- is the knowledge that decisions can't be made by 15 governments outside of your community that will impact 16 the lives of your people. 17 And I mean -- I mean, like, the Provincial 18 Government and the Federal Government. In this case more 19 by the province to -- to build a hydro-electric dam and 20 to shut the rapids down as a way of increasing the power 21 that they need for electrical generations. 22 And so when -- when your people are not 23 consulted and they're not involved in the decision to 24 build a hydro dam and when they're not involved in -- in 25 reaping the benefits of that hydro project and they don't
2041 have any of the skills and the knowledge required to, you 2 know, to work in that project. 3 You learn very quickly what displacement 4 is; that is -- that displacement is now always physical; 5 that displacement can be power in terms of the exercise 6 of power by a government that you can be displaced by 7 that as well. 8 So like in our case, we have no agreement 9 to reflect an understanding between us and Manitoba 10 Hydro. We're talking about the 1950's here. We're 11 talking about a time when there should have been lawyers 12 available to us. 13 But a decision obviously was made by the 14 Federal Government to try to deal with Hydro through the 15 Indian Agent and not provide with legal counsel. And 16 that's the aftermath of Hydro is still very much a 17 problem for my community. 18 Q: When you talk about the Indian Agent, 19 who are you referring to, Mr. Mercredi? 20 A: The Indian Agent is -- is a 21 representative of the Department of Indian Affairs. An 22 employee of that department that is hired to supervise 23 and effectively run the lives of the Indian people. 24 So we -- we have had the presence of the 25 Indian Nation speak more generally. Not just in Grand
2051 Rapids but across the country. Part of the -- part of 2 the regime of the Indian Act is the establishment of -- 3 of a power structure. 4 That is exercised not by necessarily the 5 cabinet or the parliament but exercised by a 6 superintendent in Ottawa hired for that purpose. We call 7 them Deputy Ministers now but in those days they were 8 called Superintendents of Indian Affairs. 9 And then -- and then beneath them where 10 all these underlings called Indian Agents, who were 11 officials of the Crown who were there to do -- to -- to 12 oversee the obligations of the Federal Government, at 13 least the obligations that they were prepared to 14 acknowledge and oversee, and which was not always in our 15 best interests. 16 Q: I take it that at the time of the 17 building of the hydroelectric dam, which you said started 18 in 1959, you would have been about fourteen (14) years of 19 age. I gather you would have been in school. 20 You did go to school? 21 A: I made that mistake, too. 22 Q: Okay. Where -- where did you attend 23 -- and I'm talking about -- about a formal western-type 24 education? I take it from your earlier comments that you 25 also had other education and I want to come -- come back
2061 to that in a moment, but you had -- you -- you went to 2 elementary school? 3 A: Yeah. 4 Q: Where did you go to school, Mr. 5 Mercredi? 6 A: Before I -- I answer that, let me 7 give you a little more background. 8 In Canada, Indians don't control their 9 identity, the Federal Government does. Indians are 10 defined through the Indian Act and insofar as the 11 Federal Government was concerned, I was not an Indian 12 within the meaning of the Indian Act until I turned 13 forty-four (44) years old. 14 And I'll give you a little bit more 15 background if I may. There was a time when it was the 16 policy of the Crown to enfranchise the Indian people. It 17 was based on -- on the notion that advanced Indians 18 should lose their status. People in a -- if they -- if 19 they wanted to move ahead in terms of white society, they 20 should lose their status. 21 So, if -- if someone wanted to become a 22 minister, like a minister of a church, they would be, of 23 course, well on their way to being disenfranchised as an 24 Indian because, I guess, the theory was that an Indian 25 couldn't be a minister.
2071 I don't know what the -- what the 2 rationale was behind it, but in any event, there was also 3 a law passed at that time, which was extremely racist 4 when you think about it, that said that if -- if an 5 Indian woman married a non-Indian man, they automatically 6 lost their status, but if -- the converse was -- was -- 7 was not the case. If -- if an Indian man married a white 8 woman, that woman automatically became an Indian. 9 It's a strange concept for -- for any 10 person to understand that a parliament can make you an 11 Indian when you're not an Indian, right? Or that a 12 parliament can make you a non-Indian when you're one, but 13 parliament did. And so when my mother married my father, 14 I was a half-breed or -- or what we call a Metis in 15 Canada. I was part French and part Cree. 16 She lost her status and as a result, I 17 lost mine and -- and that was not corrected, but it 18 wasn't really corrected either when the amendment was 19 made in the 1980's called Bill C-31. And I turned forty- 20 four (44). At that time I was in the -- I wasn't quite 21 forty-four (44), but I turned forty-four (44) when I -- 22 when I applied for reinstatement. 23 I had to apply for reinstatement to run 24 for National Chief because technically I couldn't do it 25 because I wasn't a recognized Indian within the meaning
2081 of the Indian Act, so that's a -- a personal history I'm 2 sharing with you. 3 But the point I wanted to make about -- 4 about Indian identity is when you think about it, you can 5 see the extreme control exercised on our people's lives 6 by the Federal Government through the agency of the 7 Indian Act and the -- and the agents called the Indian 8 Agents. 9 No other -- no other group in society has 10 a dedicated piece of law like that that defines who they 11 are. And no other group on society is told by the 12 Federal Government and the provinces that their -- that 13 their definition in that Act is the basis on which they 14 will be entitled to certain services and programs from 15 the governments. No -- no other group in society has to 16 -- has to have that legislation in their lives. 17 And -- and I'll talk more about it as we - 18 - as we go on in terms of the impact on our people's 19 rights to land and resources and to self-determination. 20 Q: All right. 21 A: It's a most oppressive piece of 22 legislation, a totalitarian regime that was placed by the 23 -- by -- by the government to control not just our 24 identity, to control our culture, to -- to dictate our 25 assimilation, to suppress our spirituality, to limit our
2091 right of mobility, to prohibit our people from having 2 lawyers to deal with their land claims; that's how 3 oppressive that -- that legislation was. 4 People don't appreciate this, that the 5 consequences of that law is one (1) of the reasons why 6 there's fault lines between us and the Federal Government 7 and that these fault lines are very deep because they -- 8 they cover a period of one (1) century of the application 9 of that law that has resulted in great, great harm 10 involving many First Nations across the country, many -- 11 many -- many that I know first -- first-hand because I've 12 -- I've travelled to over four hundred and fifty (450) 13 reserves in the country. 14 Q: All right. I want -- I want to get 15 to that point, Mr. Mercredi. I want to -- to have you 16 talk about, if you would, though, your educational 17 experience, if you can just give us some indication of 18 your background? 19 A: Yeah. 20 Q: I think I'd asked you about 21 elementary school, where you would have attended? 22 A: There was two (2) schools; that's 23 what my -- my context about the Indian Act and identity. 24 So -- because my mother lost her status, she couldn't 25 live on the reserve so I -- we lived off the reserve in a
2101 Metis settlement and so all my -- my cousins or my -- my 2 relatives would be going in -- in the Indian school on 3 the reservation and I would be in the public school run 4 by the province on the Metis settlement. Their school 5 would be run by the Federal Government. 6 So, I -- I did my elementary in a -- in a 7 -- initially a one (1) room classroom where all the 8 grades were situated from grade 1 to grade 9. 9 Q: All right. And from there you 10 carried on? 11 A: Yeah, I did and -- but see, the -- 12 the -- the education I received in terms of values is not 13 something that you get in the public school system. The 14 public school system is about knowledge -- western based 15 knowledge about science and history that is very skewed 16 in terms of western perspective of history. It's about 17 their governments and their politics and about their 18 society. It's about their future as Canadians. 19 So, you -- you, as an indigenous person, 20 become extremely sensitive to this fact that when you go 21 to public school, you're learning about them. You're not 22 really learning about yourself as a person, as a Cree 23 person; that's why I made an off-handed remark that I 24 made that mistake, too, right? But my education in terms 25 of values, in the Cree society the values are -- are
2111 transmitted by oral knowledge by your elders and by your 2 family or your parents, your mom and dad. 3 I'm extremely grateful to -- for my 4 parents who are still alive. They're now -- my mother -- 5 my father is -- he's eight-five (85); my mother's eighty- 6 three (83). Both -- both raised me to respect people, 7 all people; that's a value. And they've also raised me 8 to be very, very respectful to elders because elders, in 9 our society, were the teachers, not just a -- I was 10 raised with Cree knowledge. 11 It's hard for me to explain this in a 12 short time, but understand that we have our own oral 13 histories that -- that teach us about our origins, but 14 also that teach us about values and many of these values 15 are taught to us by using a cultural character that we 16 call (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN), which the non-native 17 society calls, "the Trickster," but he is, in fact, the 18 first teacher -- the teacher of values. Through his 19 antics and through his experiences we learn values, 20 right? 21 So, like about honesty. Honesty's an 22 important value that we learn from his -- from his bad 23 behaviour, right? Respect is a value we learn from -- 24 from his antics in dealing with other -- other animals 25 like in his time.
2121 And so my Cree culture raised me with -- 2 with these very powerful notions that stayed with me. 3 And one -- one has to do with -- with I guess it's also a 4 Catholic idea, that life is precious; that it may be one 5 of the most greatest laws of all time is to respect life, 6 all -- all kinds of life. 7 And if you're a hunter and we were taught 8 early in -- in our younger age, never to disrespect an 9 animal that you're hunting. And stories were shared with 10 us that if we did, later in life it will come back at us. 11 We'll -- we'll experience, whatever 12 suffering and pain we inflicted on the animals, we would 13 experience later on in our lives. So like the Cree 14 culture was not just about book knowledge. 15 The primary purpose of that was to -- was 16 to transmit these important values that would go well for 17 you in your lifetime. And -- but after I finished my 18 elementary school I was sent away to a residential 19 school. 20 Although when Hydro came to Grand Rapids, 21 they came with their money. In my time didn't have money 22 to build schools. But when they arrived, they had time 23 to build schools for their -- for their people. Because 24 many of the non-Native workers who came to work for 25 Hydro, had their families with them.
2131 And they had -- they had to go to 2 somewhere to school. So that's how the school in Grand 3 Rapids got built; it built for them. And that's how we 4 ended up going to, you know, a fairly new facility. So I 5 -- I did do my grade 9 there in that new school in Grand 6 Rapids. 7 And then for grade 10, 11 and 12 I went to 8 a Catholic residential school in The Pas -- The Pas, 9 Manitoba. 10 Q: And in relation to Grand Rapids, 11 again just to give us a sense about the geography of the 12 territory, how far away would The Pas be? 13 A: Well in that time, straight across by 14 plane. I never go by the crow because the crow never 15 flies straight. But by plane it would be about ninety 16 (90) miles. But in my time to get there -- well one of - 17 - one of the things that Hydro did of course was build a 18 road. I mean how else would they get to Grand Rapids. 19 So they built a road and so by the time I reached grade 9 20 there was -- Grand Rapids was accessible by highway, 21 Highway Number 6 to Winnipeg. 22 So to go to high school, I'd have to take 23 a bus all the way to Winnipeg and then take another bus 24 on Highway Number 10 all the way back to The Pas which 25 was a distance about -- that covered about twelve (12)
2141 hours of bus traffic. Lots of time to think. 2 Q: You completed your -- your grade 12 3 and I gather got a diploma? 4 A: Actually -- I dropped out from grade 5 12. I -- I have a partial grade 12, I don't have a 6 complete grade 12. 7 Q: I see. What did you do after -- 8 after that then, Mr. Mercredi? 9 A: I went and -- I went home to -- to 10 Grand Rapids and proceeded to work for Manitoba Hydro. I 11 was lucky enough to get a position called the floor man. 12 A little better than a janitor in terms of 13 responsibility. 14 But the idea was that it would lead to the 15 position of -- the generator, the plant -- the hydro 16 plant generator manager. Like you'd be the one 17 responsible for looking after the plant. 18 Not -- not as a superintendent, but the 19 one that pushes buttons and turns knobs and decides where 20 the electricity goes or if -- or if it doesn't go 21 anywhere. You have these knobs that you -- you manage. 22 So I was trained for that position. 23 Q: All right. Did you assume that 24 position? 25 A: No I got -- I -- I worked for Hydro
2151 for several years. A couple of years at least as a floor 2 man and during that time I got interested in community 3 organization because there was a sense of powerlessness 4 in my community. And like all the power had been taken 5 away from our people because of the hydro project, so all 6 decisions were made by -- by outside forces. 7 Like, for example, when -- when big 8 projects happen in the north, one (1) of the things that 9 moves with a big project is the infrastructure of 10 government. In this case it's called a local government 11 district. So they impose a local government district on 12 the -- on the Metis side. And we had a housing shortage, 13 so we got involved in trying to organize access to better 14 housing for non-status Indians and the Metis people in 15 Grand Rapids and we had to deal with the local government 16 district. 17 So the very first protest I was involved 18 in was at that time, it was -- it was sort of -- it 19 coincided with the black protests in the States for their 20 civil rights. And that protest was led by the president 21 of the Manitoba Metis Federation who came to Grand Rapids 22 to lead the protest. 23 That was my first experience in actually 24 sitting down and making signs, protest signs and being 25 part of a march to object to the treatment of our people
2161 at that time by the local government administrator, local 2 government district administrator, because he was 3 proposing to relocate our people from where they were, 4 and our people are -- are -- they live along the river, 5 that's just a tradition, like (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN), 6 because we're -- we're people from the Muskeg, right. 7 So ,we're -- we're people that live where 8 there's rivers and lakes, and our people lived close to 9 the water. And but the proposal was that they were going 10 to put us into a white town site concept, which -- which 11 was not the idea of our way in which we maintain 12 residents, but also it was contrary to our wishes to stay 13 where we were, we had to be relocated if we did that. 14 And my father had already been relocated 15 by Mines and Resources, like the land that we had prior 16 to Hydro, was taken over by Mines and Natural Resources, 17 they occupy the land we now -- that we used to have. Our 18 land was -- our house was demolished by Mines and Natural 19 Resources. 20 This is my first experience with the power 21 of government, where my people -- where my -- my father 22 had to relocate to make room for the government, and we 23 had to leave the land that we had occupied for as long as 24 I can remember, so probably for as long as they can 25 remember.
2171 And we're not talking about reserve land 2 here, we're talking about Metis settlement. In any 3 event, what the administrator wanted to do was place our 4 people in adjacent to the -- to the dump, the garbage 5 dump, and we didn't want to move there. So that's why we 6 got involved in -- in this public distray -- display of 7 dissent against the Crown, as -- as known by the LGD. 8 Q: All right. What was the outcome of 9 that public display? 10 A: Well there was two (2), one (1) was 11 we never got relocated, and the second one (1) was the -- 12 the administrator got relocated; two (2) results. 13 Q: I understand, Mr. Mercredi, that you 14 were then encouraged to continue with your education that 15 you had decided to complete some time earlier? 16 A: You know, sometimes things happen 17 that are meant to be I think, and they don't always 18 happen the way you want them, but they do happen, right. 19 I had applied for a job as an assistant to 20 a community development worker, and the community 21 development worker is -- is not a complicated job, it's 22 really an organizer. So for example, that would have 23 been -- I would have been exposed at that time to the 24 writings of Sol Linski (phonetic), one (1) of the better 25 -- best organizers in terms of protest, and that's in the
2181 United States and but I would also have been exposed to 2 many of these non-native -- non-native people, who were 3 trained in community development. 4 And this particular person that -- that I 5 befriend -- befriended, his name was Don Landry, had been 6 -- had been trained by St. -- St. Francis Xavier 7 University, in co-op development and in community 8 development, and he had taken a particular interest in 9 me, in terms of potential leader of our community. 10 So, he encouraged me to -- to apply for 11 that job to be his assistant. So he -- so I drafted this 12 letter explaining why -- why I was suitable and why I 13 thought I'd do a good job as a community -- as -- as his 14 assistant. 15 I managed to get the interview and I 16 thought the interview went -- went well, but then I 17 didn't -- I was not the successful candidate, which is 18 fine, but as Don Landry explained to me later, he said, 19 Ovide, the Regional Director of Social Development for 20 the Province of Manitoba was that in The Pas -- that's 21 where the job I applied to was, in The Pas -- accused me 22 -- accused me, he said, of drafting that letter on your 23 behalf. 24 Now, no one helped me draft that letter. 25 I mean, I'm quite capable of writing in the English
2191 language and quite capable of -- of doing the job that I 2 applied for, but since I didn't get it for that reason, 3 that somebody else couldn't believe an Indian could do 4 that, it got my dander up and that's when I decided, 5 well, I'm going to go to school. I'm going to university 6 and it's not going to happen to me again. 7 That -- that was sort of like, essentially 8 what my thought process was. So, that's when I applied 9 to the University of Manitoba as a -- as a special mature 10 student. Like, I didn't have all the qualifications to 11 get in because I -- I have only a partial grade 12 and 12 since I didn't qualify for funding from the federal 13 government, you know, it wasn't that easy to get there. 14 Q: All right. Aside from this -- this 15 instance where -- what you just described for us, did you 16 have others that would have encouraged you to continue on 17 with your education? 18 A: Well, my parents would have because 19 there's a reason why I can't trap, Your Honour, and it 20 had to do with the -- with the realization of my parents 21 that our -- that our way of life is changing and they 22 placed a lot of emphasis on -- on ensuring that we -- we 23 get a good education and both -- both my parents placed a 24 lot of expectations on this, on my brothers and sisters 25 to -- to succeed in -- in the school system.
2201 And although they, themselves, are 2 illiterate, they can't -- they can sign their names and 3 they can read modestly, but essentially illiterate in the 4 English language, they still recognize the importance of 5 a good education. 6 So, they encouraged all of us to -- to do 7 that and so out of respect for -- for that, you know, but 8 the -- the impact of that, of course, is that once you 9 make a choice in terms of education, essentially you've 10 chosen to become trained and educated in terms of Western 11 society, right. 12 It's no longer the Cree society that's 13 teaching you now. It's now white society that's teaching 14 you, so it's essentially their ways that you're learning 15 and I'm not opposed to learning other people's ways, but 16 I think there is a balance there somewhere where the 17 public education system could have been modified to 18 ensure that our education -- our own system of education 19 was part of it. 20 Q: And in that respect, Mr. Mercredi, 21 you attended the University of Manitoba? 22 A: Yeah, I -- I went to the University 23 of Manitoba. My goal was to become a social worker. I 24 was going to save the Indians and I figure that's -- 25 that's what the social workers do, right? And, well, the
2211 point is that I had seen enough, growing up in Grand 2 Rapids, to -- to want to help our people. So, social 3 workers help people, so that -- that was my aim was to 4 eventually become a social worker. 5 But unfortunately, we don't always control 6 what happens in our lives and when I went to the 7 University of Manitoba, lining up for registration, I 8 encountered two (2) other individuals of aboriginal 9 descent. Moses Ogima (phonetic) was one (1) of them that 10 became a lawyer as well, and Stan Harper was the second 11 one (1), and I forget what Stan did, but I know he 12 completed his post-secondary education. 13 And later on I -- I met at that same year, 14 for the -- during this first year of academic studies at 15 the university, Elijah Harper, very famous man in our 16 country. 17 So, we got involved in reforming the 18 university, quite by accident. First we created an 19 organization called the Indian, Metis, Eskimo Student 20 Association. I always felt people would use the word 21 Eskimo because we didn't -- we didn't know any better at 22 that time, because even then the proper recognition 23 should have been Inuit. So they did change that 24 subsequently. 25 That organization is still there. In the
2221 first year there was only eleven (11) students in 2 university, there's now four hundred (400) -- four 3 hundred (400) Aboriginal students at the University of 4 Manitoba. 5 And in fact, I spoke to one (1) of the 6 students recently, an arch -- an architect from one (1) 7 of the Reserves there in Manitoba. Papyrus (phonetic) -- 8 Papyrus Reserve, and he and his partner, who is also an 9 Aboriginal architect, had been commissioned by the 10 University to produce the plans for a -- for an 11 Aboriginal building, a First Nations' House of Learning, 12 something like that, but for Aboriginal students, because 13 when I was there the -- one (1) of the things I noticed 14 was that there was a place for International students, 15 but there was no place for Aboriginal students, right. 16 So we be -- and then we also became very 17 aware of the fact that the University did not have a 18 dedicated program of studies on Aboriginal people, so if 19 I wanted to learn about my people, there was no real 20 course I would find that, except maybe as part of a 21 history course. 22 But it wouldn't -- with the exception of 23 what Professor Gene Friesen taught in history, there was 24 no real specific course on Aboriginal people. So we 25 fought for changes at the University to get Native
2231 studies going there. 2 And I'm -- I'm very glad you're listening 3 to my history, Your Honour, because you see, history 4 shapes people, history shapes their response to events, 5 right. And one (1) of the things that we experienced at 6 the University was the encounter of racism, quite by 7 accident. 8 The Engineering students, as a custom, at 9 the end of the year, about this time of the year, they go 10 out on a binge, you see the white people can binge 11 without being labelled, but Indians can't, right. But 12 somehow it's fun for them to go out and get drunk, and 13 then to write about their experiences in -- in the paper 14 they call the Cursor. 15 And the mistake they made was they did it 16 when we were there at the University. And the title of 17 their paper was, "Do Indians Ski?" If I was really sharp 18 then I would have said, I don't know, but they play 19 Bingo. 20 The point is this, that they are taking 21 pictures of our people in different stages of -- of 22 drunkenness, and then they reproduce those -- those 23 figures about people in stages of inebriation, and then 24 they proceed to write articles, derogatory articles about 25 our people.
2241 So my first encounter with racism was 2 there, not my first, but my first challenge of racism was 3 there. I -- I had encountered it before in The Pas, but 4 I had not challenged it then, I was too young then. 5 At this point in time I'm in my twenties 6 now, and so we organized to challenge the University, and 7 we put these young people -- we didn't -- we didn't call 8 for their expulsion, but we put them through an education 9 program for -- of our own. 10 We had them research our people, and -- 11 and rewrite their article. And we had them publish a 12 public retraction in the Free Press and the Winnipeg 13 Tribune, and we had them also know our culture through 14 Pow Wow music and stuff like that. 15 And when they redid their article, re- 16 edited the article, we would review it and when we -- 17 when we were satisfied they had learned their lesson then 18 we said go ahead and print it. 19 So they had to reprint and through that 20 they learned their mistake; that's the -- that's the 21 importance of giving people a chance, you know, and -- 22 and not being too blanket in your approach to racism. 23 Q: Did that particular event, Mr. 24 Mercredi, have any -- was it any motivation for you to 25 then go onto law school as I understand you then entered
2251 the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba? 2 A: Well, we succeeding in getting Native 3 studies at the university. And in fact that incident 4 would have propelled that event as well. But my 5 experience in negotiating for that gave -- gave some of 6 my new found friends an impression that I should -- I 7 should maybe go to law school. 8 So the Dean -- the Dean of Arts who was an 9 American and the -- one of the professors of anthropology 10 who was also American. I don't know why no Canadian 11 encouraged me but two (2) Americans encouraged me to go 12 to law school. And that's why I ended up at Robson Hall. 13 Q: You graduated with a Bachelor of Laws 14 in 1979? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: And following that did practice in -- 17 A: In The Pas. 18 Q: -- in Manitoba? 19 A: Yeah. I practiced criminal -- 20 criminal law, family law and juvenile law. And I did the 21 circuit which means I went to the small communities in 22 the vicinity of The Pas and then so I would practice in 23 Grand Rapids, Easterville (phonetic), Moose Lake, The 24 Pas. And from time to time I'd end up in Thompson or 25 Flin Flon.
2261 So I practiced what -- what in a legal 2 circle as people call poverty law or legal aid law. 3 Q: You went on, Mr. Mercredi, to 4 continue not only to practice law but I gather also to 5 work in sort of an organizing type capacity; is that 6 right? 7 A: Well in my time in The Pas I got 8 involved in representing the chiefs and the northern 9 chiefs, the Cree chiefs. And so I -- I got involved in - 10 - in negotiating for them taking over child welfare 11 agencies from the province. 12 So I negotiated the northern agreement for 13 the establishment of child welfare agencies in Manitoba. 14 And I also became their counsel when it came to dealing 15 with the constitutional issues from 1982. 16 So I represented the chiefs, not just the 17 northern chiefs, but all the chiefs in Manitoba in 18 dealings with -- with the federal and provincial 19 governments during the early stages of trying to identify 20 and define the meaning of Section 35 of the 21 Constitutional Act of Canada. 22 Q: This is the Constitutional 23 discussions that occurred from 1982 to 1985? 24 A: Yes. 25 Q: You had continued to work with other
2271 First Nations organizations as well; can you tell us 2 something about that? 3 A: Well I worked for the Manitoba 4 (NATIVE LANGUAGE SPOKEN), which is a Cree word for the 5 Northern Chiefs. And as I said, I worked for them in 6 terms of negotiations, leading negotiations for them on 7 child welfare but also in -- in their discussions and 8 Treaty Rights with -- with the government. 9 I ended up doing some work with the 10 Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs once it got established. In 11 fact, I was instrumental along with Phil Fontaine in 12 creating this organization and became one of the 13 principal negotiators and spokespersons for the 14 organization in dealings with -- with the provincial 15 cabinet and also with Federal -- with the Federal 16 Department of Indian Affairs or any government 17 department. 18 And took the lead role on their behalf on 19 constitutional discussions. 20 Q: Okay. And following that Mr. 21 Mercredi, from 1989 and 1990, you were the Regional Vice 22 Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. 23 A: Yeah. I was elected by the Manitoba 24 Chiefs to become their Regional Vice Chief. The position 25 that Gord Peters had for Ontario. Like in each province
2281 we have Regional Vice Chiefs as part of the 2 organizational structure. 3 Q: Okay. And subsequent to that, in 4 1991, you were elected as the National Grand Chief for 5 the Assembly of First Nations? 6 A: Actually, it's just the National 7 Chief. 8 Q: National Chief. 9 A: We never thought ourselves grand; I 10 don't know where that came from but the National Chief is 11 the official title of -- for the Assembly of First 12 Nations. I think National Chief is pretty grand anyway. 13 Q: I wonder if you could tell us then 14 about that role and perhaps the role of the constituents 15 of the organization, the Assembly of First Nations? 16 A: Yeah. There's -- there's two (2) -- 17 there's two (2) threads to our organization, Your Honour. 18 The first is you're -- you're the advocate 19 for your People, right? So that means that you represent 20 your People's rights and interests. So in your dealings 21 with the Crown you're actually a leader that talks about 22 structural changes to society. Because without 23 structural reform there cannot be the adequate 24 recognition of your rights and interests within Canada, 25 right.
2291 So it becomes in that sense a agent of 2 change in dealing with the State. You want Canada to -- 3 to alter its relations with you. And as an advocate 4 you're really there to -- to honour and respect your 5 People's rights as your People understand them, right. 6 And, in that sense, you move. 7 But the other thread is the reality of our 8 situation, as a -- as a -- numerically we're a minority 9 in this country. So political power through national 10 institutions, like Parliament or through legislative 11 assemblies is beyond our capacity. 12 We can't -- we can't assert legal power 13 because we're a minority. But we still seek the 14 recognition of equality in that context, like for civil 15 rights, like human rights, not to be discriminated 16 against, from public housing and so on. 17 So if you look at an Indian leader you 18 have to understand you're looking at a person that's 19 wearing essentially two (2) hats, right. One is the 20 advancing their collective rights as a distinct People; 21 that's why we talk about Nation to Nation and government 22 to government. But we also -- we also have to live 23 within Canada, right. So we -- we have to try to reform 24 Canada as we find it so that there's a better reflection 25 of ourselves within it.
2301 So that explains my involvement in terms 2 of Native studies, trying to get Native studies at 3 university; that's a good example of what I mean by that, 4 right. 5 And with -- with respect to collective 6 rights, my leadership with respect to Charlottetown -- 7 and in your spare moment read Charlottetown sometimes, 8 Your Honour, it -- it really is a vision about how 9 collective rights of our People can be given recognition 10 within the Canadian legal system and the political 11 structure of Canada. 12 So that's what in effect the Assembly of 13 First Nations is. So when they fight for housing or for 14 education programs, for better transportation like 15 ambulances and stuff; when chiefs are fighting for these 16 things, they're doing it to meet their People's needs but 17 they're also doing it in the context in which Canada can 18 provide those services, right. 19 Of course, when we go for self- 20 determination, like the exercise of our self-government, 21 that's -- that's a position that goes beyond the Indian 22 Act, because the Indian Act is not our self-government, 23 right. So most Canadians don't understand this dichotomy 24 of the Indian leadership, right. 25 They think we're -- we're very singular.
2311 But, in fact, our politics are very complex. Because 2 there's a fine line between advocating for your 3 collective rights and advocating for programs and 4 services that could lead to full assimilation, it's a 5 fine line. 6 And it's -- for an Indian leader, not an 7 easy task sometimes. 8 Q: Part of the role, Mr. Mercredi, of 9 the National Chief had been to, as you say, to advocate 10 for structural change. 11 And on occasion that -- would that 12 involve, for example, finding yourselves in seeking 13 resolution to disputes that might arise either with 14 respect to land or resources or other rights that you 15 were seeking structural change with respect to? 16 A: The National Chief has no -- 17 within the structure of the organization, no independent 18 mandate. Like, he's not like the president of a country 19 or the Prime Minister of a country or a Premier of a 20 province would derive their mandate from the supremacy of 21 their -- of their -- of their institutions. 22 The Assembly of First Nations is -- is 23 supreme in nothing. It's really an empty shell. It 24 can't be more than that, because our people are so 25 complex and so diverse and that the interests of the
2321 Mohawks do not necessarily coincide with the interests of 2 the Ojibway, for example, or the interest of the Nutrona 3 (phonetic) people might not be consistent with the 4 interests of the Stoto (phonetic) people, right? 5 Like, we -- we have to recognize that 6 we're not a singular people. Like, the First Nations, 7 when you talk about First Nations, you're talking about 8 different cultures, different societies, different 9 histories. 10 It would be -- it would be more 11 appropriate to look at us in the context of how one might 12 see a -- a -- someone from Scotland or from Ireland or 13 from Great Britain and from France; that would be a more 14 appropriate understanding of who we are as a people. 15 Like, we -- we -- we are distinct in every way in terms 16 of our own society. Like, the Crees are distinct from 17 the Lakota people, Dakota people. 18 And so the Assembly of First Nations to 19 represent such a diverse group of people cannot be -- 20 cannot rule them. Like, you can't rule them. So, the -- 21 the structure of the AFN, which I helped shape and which 22 -- and the constitution which I helped draft is -- is set 23 up to acknowledge that very simple fact; that if the -- 24 if the AFN is to unite the people, it would have to 25 respect the sovereignty of those -- those individual
2331 units and that it -- as an organization in and of itself 2 is not sovereign over those people. 3 So, the only way in which the AFN can deal 4 with any of our issues is through resolution. So, the 5 resolutions become the basis for giving direction to the 6 National Chief and -- and the -- the constitution of the 7 Assembly of First Nations is set up so that when it comes 8 to certain things like, for example, if there's a threat 9 to our people with respect to their -- their -- their 10 physical survival or a threat with respect to the 11 exercise of their rights, the National Chief can act 12 independently and -- and in that sense, we do have some 13 latitude to intervene on behalf of First Nations people. 14 But that -- that would be -- the 15 intervention by the National Chief would be -- would be 16 subject to the personality of the National Chief, okay. 17 Some are more willing to intervene, others are less 18 willing to intervene, right? So -- but each one of us 19 has the capacity if we wanted to intervene in situations 20 like Ipperwash or Gustafson or any other conflict like 21 that. 22 Q: And prior to your assuming the 23 position of National Chief, while you were yet the AFN 24 Regional Vice-Chief for the Province of Manitoba, you had 25 occasion to intervene in what has been described as the
2341 Oka crisis in 1990. 2 A: Yeah. 3 Q: And what was your involvement there? 4 A: Well, both Gord Peters and I were on 5 the executive together of the Assembly of First Nations 6 at that time and our National Chief was George Erasmus, 7 who became the co-Chair of the -- the aboriginal -- the 8 Royal Commission of Aboriginal People and who may some 9 day surface in some prominent role in our country, for 10 all I know, but a very respected man and an important 11 leader in our time. 12 And when the incident at Oka erupted, 13 George was away in Newfoundland at the time, so that 14 meant by default -- by default George and myself -- I 15 mean, not George, but Gord and myself and Ghislain Picard 16 was the Vice-Chief from Quebec, were the available 17 leaders to deal with that situation at the -- at the 18 outset. 19 So my involvement, initially, was to 20 explain why it was happening. 21 Q: To explain to whom? 22 A: The public. 23 Q: All right. 24 A: Because the -- the press -- the press 25 who discovered Indians because of Oka, wanted to
2351 understand why Oka was happening, why the incident. And 2 they had difficulty, first of all, understanding why the 3 -- why Ganawagi (phonetic) blockaded the bridge. 4 So, they explained that of course as a way 5 of protecting human lives and Ganawagi, and my -- my role 6 was to -- to try to make Canadians understand that we 7 have basic human rights, but also we have some collective 8 rights as a people, that have to be acknowledged by 9 Canada, by the Federal Government, and the Provinces, and 10 in that case the Quebec Government. So my communication 11 with the media was in fact to educate the people that we 12 have these rights, you know. 13 But also to do it in a way that would 14 never justify the use of force, or the use of violence as 15 a means to an end, so -- but that people do have, in 16 terms of international law, the right to defend 17 themselves if they -- if they have to protect their -- 18 their physical well being; that the First Nations have 19 that right of self determination as well. 20 So, I spoke in that -- in that manner, and 21 but also I talked about ensuring that the other 22 Governments, like, the Quebec Government and the Federal 23 Government did not -- did not solve the issue with the 24 use of force and that they tried to resolve it through 25 non-violent resolution.
2361 And I advocated for non-violent resolution 2 simply because it's the best policy for everybody 3 involved, the best policy for our people as well. 4 And that the loss of -- of that Police 5 Officer's life was not necessary. And that no other life 6 had to be lost as a result. 7 But reason doesn't prevail. You see, 8 reason doesn't always prevail, and especially when the 9 general public is demanding severe measures from their 10 governments which was, in effect, what happened in 11 Quebec, because people were being inconvenienced by the 12 blockade of the Mercier Bridge, and they became extremely 13 hostile towards the Indian rights, or towards even the 14 Indian people. 15 And so people like Bourassa, Premier 16 Bourassa, resorted to extreme measures, like the War 17 Measures Act, and the loss of life is an extreme measure. 18 Using this -- you know, the army against the Aboriginal 19 people is -- is a memory that is locked in our brains, 20 that -- that just like the plains of Abraham is implanted 21 in the brains of the people of Quebec, Oka is implanted 22 in our brains, right, as to how far the state will go to 23 exact compliance from our people. 24 I think there should be some appreciation 25 by the state, you know, by the people who are responsible
2371 for Government, like the Premiers of the Provinces, and 2 the Prime Minister of the country that all those things 3 that happened could have been averted with strong 4 political leadership that was directed towards the 5 resolution of that conflict through non-violence. 6 And but, you know, I say -- I say that -- 7 that that message towards them is a message towards us as 8 well. Like, it's not a one (1) sided message. Like, we 9 also have to -- to be equally committed to non-violent 10 resolution. 11 Q: You assumed the position of National 12 Chief, I think you've told -- confirmed for us in 1991, 13 in fact served two (2) terms, a total of six (6) years; 14 that's correct? 15 A: Yes. 16 Q: And in August of 1995, there has been 17 an event that occurred in the Province of British 18 Columbia, and has been referred to here in these 19 proceedings, it's known as Gustafson Lake -- the 20 Gustafson Lake -- Gustafson Lake Incident or Crisis. 21 And during your tenure as National Chief, 22 you had occasion to intervene there as well. And can you 23 tell us about that, what the purpose was, what the 24 outcomes were? 25 A: Gustafson -- no conflict is the same,
2381 for one (1) thing. Like Oka is Oka, and just like 2 Gustafson is Gustafson and Ipperwash is Ipperwash, they - 3 - they're all distinct situations. There may be some 4 common threads, but each is unique, right. 5 Like for example, in Gustafson, the -- the 6 how that -- how that issue evolved, has to do with the 7 use of land, and it had to do with the willingness of -- 8 of a white rancher to -- to allow some of our people to 9 use his -- his ranch for the purposes of a sun dance; a 10 very honourable thing to do on his farm. 11 And then our -- some of our people 12 overstayed their welcome, and it got escalated into an 13 occupation. 14 But there's never been a public inquiry 15 into -- into Gustafson, so we will never know the real 16 threads of that conflict. All I -- all I can tell you is 17 what I have seen myself, being -- being in there, because 18 I went, in part, to see if -- if there was anything that 19 I could do to resolve it, by going to talk to the people 20 inside the -- the ranch. And they agreed to talk to me. 21 So they -- they were prepared to have me come and see 22 them. So that was -- you can't intervene unless people 23 are willing to talk to you, right. 24 So, the Province didn't want me to 25 intervene, and -- but I don't listen to the Province, and
2391 -- and then I talked to the Chiefs in the area, and the 2 Chiefs in the area made -- made it very clear to me that 3 what was happening in the park, while the cause may be 4 right, the method was wrong. Like, they didn't condone 5 the approach that was being taken in Gustafson. But they 6 were also willing to work with me in terms of coming with 7 me to go talk to them. So, some of the Chiefs actually 8 travelled with me to go talk to the people in Gustafson 9 Lake. 10 And one (1) of the things that I -- that I 11 noticed about our people is that they don't really want 12 to do that; that, you know, that group didn't want to -- 13 to use violence as a means to their end and -- but 14 nonetheless, there they were, right. 15 And so that's the only incident where I 16 saw guns. In any -- in any other place where I have been 17 involved in conflict resolution, I never saw the presence 18 of guns. 19 Q: And when you say that some of the 20 Chiefs in the area did not approve of the approach, I 21 take it that that's what you're referring to -- 22 A: Yeah. 23 Q: -- that -- that the occupiers -- 24 A: Yeah. 25 Q: -- in Gustafson had taken up arms?
2401 A: Yeah. 2 Q: And indeed, there were exchanges of 3 probably thousands of rounds of gunfire? 4 A: Yeah. But when I say they didn't 5 really want to be there, as I was, you know, spending a 6 whole day with them, they asked me if it would be 7 possible for me to call the Attorney General and have the 8 Attorney General have all the RCMP leave the perimeter 9 that they had established and back off from the 10 perimeter. 11 And I said, Look, I don't know if you 12 realize this but I have as much power as you when it 13 comes -- when it comes to getting the province to -- to 14 do things like that. I don't have the power. I can ask 15 for it but, understand, they -- they won't necessarily do 16 it. 17 So my mission in -- my mission in 18 Gustafson was to try to see if I could be helpful in 19 terms of having that conflict resolved without anybody 20 getting killed. So that's why I went to see them and 21 talk to them in that context. 22 These are things that the White 23 politicians never do. They never put their reputation on 24 the line. They don't go to the source of the problem. 25 They don't sit there with the people to talk to them as
2411 reasonable people. 2 And so I sat there talking, taking abuse 3 but talking, and taking abuse and talking but, in the 4 end, coming to some understanding that when I let some of 5 the -- some of the people who were occupying that spot 6 could come out with me, and they did. A handful of them 7 came out with me and -- and then the core remained. 8 But they also wanted, you know, when I met 9 with them, wanted me to see if I could do something to 10 make sure that the thing was resolved as soon as 11 possible. So that's when I shifted my strategy, since 12 they were prepared to stay, I began working with the RCMP 13 to develop a process for conflict resolution. 14 And part of that process was -- was to 15 keep the perimeter, not -- not to narrow it but to keep 16 the perimeter, for the police not to move closer. So 17 they -- because if they moved closer, it would -- it 18 would create a -- a, in my view, a tense situation. And 19 in a tense situation you don't have -- you don't know 20 what the outcome will be. 21 And so I spent the next few days there 22 talking with the RCMP in terms of establishing a process 23 that would -- that would bring other people to -- to come 24 and talk to the -- to the Gustafson protestors, which was 25 in fact done. And it wasn't the RCMP that resolved the
2421 conflict, because if you're part of the conflict, you 2 know, you're not going to resolve it. 3 But it was a traditional man from Alberta 4 that resolved the conflict, the Sundance leader, that was 5 respected by those protestors in Gustafson, was the one 6 that resolved the conflict. 7 But before that happened a series of 8 people went in -- after I left a series of people went in 9 to go talk to them, including a man called Orville 10 Lookinghorse (phonetic), who's a traditional man that is 11 quite popular in Canada. He's -- he's a Lakota medicine 12 man and -- and he carries the bundle, the sacred bundle 13 for his People. It's the -- what they call the -- the 14 original pipe that was given to them by a sacred being, 15 someone called the White Buffalo Calf Woman centuries 16 ago. 17 So he -- he's the custodian of that sacred 18 bundle and he's well-known throughout the country. And 19 so he was asked to come and talk to them, that's why -- 20 in fact, he had a sweat with them in there and spent some 21 time with them. And then other people went after that 22 but, ultimately, it was the Sundance leader from Alberta 23 who resolved that conflict. 24 Just like in -- in Oka. It wasn't the 25 army that ultimately solved the issue there, it was
2431 people like Bruce Elijah and one of his associates, I 2 forget his name but -- 3 Q: Perhaps Bob Antone maybe? 4 A: Bob Antone. These individuals used 5 their sacred ceremonies with the people in the Pines so 6 that they could use those ceremonies for them to come to 7 a peaceful way. You know, so they don't stay angry, they 8 don't stay agitated and they don't stay in conflict. 9 Like the ceremonies that were conducted by 10 these men is in affect what -- is the reason why we 11 didn't have a loss of life beyond that police officer in 12 Oka. If the Army kept going as it did without the 13 presence of these prayers and the medicine that they 14 used, there would have been more conflict. There would 15 have been a lost of life. 16 Canadians have to appreciate that the 17 interventions by Aboriginal people, like leaders or even 18 Elders, is one of the reasons why we have to be thankful 19 that not more people were injured or not more people died 20 as a result of these conflicts. 21 Q: In and around that time, Mr. 22 Mercredi, during the course of the Gustafson crisis, the 23 incident that brings us all here, the incident of 24 September the 6th, the shooting and killing of Dudley 25 George occurred --
2441 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: I think we 2 should take a break. I think we should take a break. 3 Have a little rest. You've been going for almost an hour 4 and a half. And I think we should take a bit of a break. 5 MR. DONALD WORME: All right, thank you, 6 Commissioner. 7 THE REGISTRAR: This Inquiry will recess 8 for fifteen (15) minutes. 9 10 --- Upon recessing at 3:38 p.m. 11 --- Upon resuming at 3:52 p.m. 12 13 THE REGISTRAR: The Inquiry is now 14 resumed. Please be seated. 15 MR. DONALD WORME: Thanks for that break, 16 Mr. Commissioner. 17 18 CONTINUED BY MR. DONALD WORME. 19 Q: Mr. Mercredi, just before we had left 20 off I was asking you about your intervention here in -- 21 in the Ipperwash matter. And in particular, I wonder if 22 you just might tell us what you knew prior to your 23 attending out to this area, what you knew about the 24 issues surrounding Camp Ipperwash and/or the Ipperwash 25 Provincial Park and the -- the community of Kettle and
2451 Stony Point First Nations? 2 A: Well, my -- my knowledge of the 3 issues surrounding the Park would have been very general. 4 And based on the information that what I received from 5 Chief Tom Bressette who is a member of the Assembly of 6 First Nations. And when I say "general," I mean that it 7 would have been an issue that I would have been aware of 8 from the point of view of the specific claims processes 9 available within government. 10 A process I'm well aware of. So I would 11 have seen it in that context as -- as a specific claim 12 for land taken from the people, the First Nations people. 13 But I would not have had the specific 14 knowledge of the history of that claim and or the history 15 of the -- of the case itself. I would have known only 16 about the -- the present -- the present demands for 17 having it returned and the context of that I would know 18 and became aware of the occupation as well while I was in 19 Gustafson. 20 Q: The occupation of the Army Camp or 21 the Provincial Park? 22 A: I'm not sure that would have been, 23 the Park or the Army Camp, I'm not sure. 24 Q: You would have been informed by whom? 25 A: Either I read about it in the paper
2461 or else my staff would have informed me. Because the 2 National Chief does have some capacity to -- to keep 3 himself informed of what's going on through his staff, 4 right. And not -- not all things are done by -- by 5 myself. 6 I have -- I have my own immediate legal 7 staff I worked with, but I also had an organization that 8 was there to support my -- my work, as the -- as the 9 National Chief. 10 Q: Having been informed then that there 11 was an occupation going on at Ipperwash, whether at the 12 Camp or at the Park, what -- what if anything, did you 13 do? 14 A: Well, at that point there -- I didn't 15 sense any urgency to come here, at the outset. And I had 16 spent a fair amount of time in Gustafson by then, so I 17 went directly home to Ottawa, and -- and then became 18 involved in this subsequently, after I had returned from 19 Gustafson, within a short time, by the way, of my return 20 from Gustafson. 21 Q: All right. I understand, Mr. 22 Mercredi, that you had either offered, or in some fashion 23 there was an opportunity perhaps, if I can put it that 24 way, that you might attend to Ipperwash, in an effort to 25 employ your skills to perhaps mediate a resolution, prior
2471 to the events of -- of September the 6th, 1995. Do you 2 recall any of that? 3 A: You know, to be honest, I -- I really 4 don't remember that. But I read the material, and I 5 believe Tom when he says that I committed to -- offered 6 to assist, in terms of intervening between the -- the two 7 (2) camps on the issue of the land. So, I must have, 8 probably under a suggestion I might have agreed to it. 9 Q: I wonder if I could just refer you to 10 Tab number 1 in the book of materials in front of you. 11 And for the benefit of counsel, that is 12 Inquiry Document Number 1008975. It is a news article 13 from the London Free Press. 14 And you'll find that at the third page in, 15 Mr. Mercredi, on that document 1008975. The London Free 16 Press Article is entitled, Mourning Period May Cool Off 17 Disputes. And it's dated August the 5th of 1995. 18 And the essence of it is essentially that 19 -- that there was an expectation, and a comment by some 20 members, that there was no need for a mediator, that 21 people were not going to move off the land. 22 And having looked at that document, does 23 that assist you at all as to whether or not you may have 24 made an offer to mediate a dispute? 25 A: Yeah, it's -- well, yeah, it's
2481 possible. I don't have the -- like I say, I don't have a 2 specific memory on it, but -- but my policy as the 3 National Chief would have been not to avoid situations 4 like that, and -- and to try to be helpful where there 5 was competing interests within a community. 6 But that's -- that's just a policy 7 approach on my part, so that would have been consistent 8 with -- with the report that I had somehow offered to 9 participate, in talking -- I guess talking about the -- 10 how to -- how to deal with the land question, involving 11 the people here. 12 Q: And if I could ask you to turn to Tab 13 number 3, of that document binder, it is Inquiry document 14 number 9000612, it's a news article from the Sarnia 15 Observer, with the headline, Natives Take Tape from 16 T.V.'s -- T.V. News Crew, dated the day previous, that is 17 August the 4th of 1995, and in there, there's a quote 18 from Chief Tom Bressette, who said that: 19 "He would accept an offer from 20 Mercredi, National Chief of the 21 Assembly of First Nations, to mediate 22 the dispute with Stony Pointers." 23 And it goes on to say: 24 "A spokesman for the splinter group 25 said they will listen to Mercredi. I
2491 think we'd be glad to talk to him about 2 it, said Clifford George. He has no 3 authority, but we'll talk to him about 4 it and see what his plans are." 5 A: Well obviously, the mediation offer 6 never materialized because I -- I never did come down to 7 Ipperwash for that purpose. 8 Q: Did you have any formal indication 9 either from -- from anybody -- either at Stoney Point or 10 at the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation that your 11 services or that your intervention, if I can put it that 12 way, was not wanted or not required? 13 A: I don't recall that so I -- I 14 couldn't comment if -- if I was in conversation with 15 anyone. Other -- other than perhaps, Tom -- Tom 16 Bressette, but I don't even remember those conversations. 17 Q: All right. Thank you. On September 18 the 6th of 1995, Mr. Mercredi, I understand that you had 19 returned on that date from British Columbia where you 20 were involved, as you've just told us, at the Gustafson 21 Lake incident. Do you recall that? 22 A: You mean the -- the telephone call? 23 Q: No, no. Just -- just generally on 24 the 6th of September, 1995. Perhaps I should put that in 25 the form of a question. When did you return from British
2501 Columbia, if you can tell us? 2 A: I don't know the exact date. My 3 recollection was that I was still very tired and I came 4 here, so it would have been short -- a short time before 5 the event because I remember arriving here being a little 6 worn down from my -- my time in -- in Gustafson. 7 Q: All right. Just before we get to the 8 -- to the -- the telephone call that you had -- had just 9 commented upon, as National Chief, did you maintain some 10 sort of a diary or a log or notes of some fashion as to 11 your involvement in various matters? 12 A: You know, after my experience in 13 Gustafson, when the situation erupted in -- in Ipperwash, 14 I decided to record everything that -- that happened and 15 I did, in fact, record the more pertinent important 16 events while I was here, but I -- I can't find those 17 notes that I made. 18 Q: And on the 16th of October 2004, when 19 we had met in preparation for your attendance here, I had 20 inquired of those notes. You had undertaken to search 21 for those. 22 A: Yeah, I did go -- I did search for 23 them and I looked everywhere in the basement where -- 24 where my filing system is and I couldn't find them. 25 Q: All right. You had mentioned then,
2511 having received or -- or rather, you'd mentioned a 2 telephone call, I wonder if you would go ahead and tell 3 us about that? 4 A: Oh, yeah. You know, I -- I always 5 thought that the call came in -- in the early part of the 6 evening, but looking at the transcript of the actual 7 conversation, I see it happened later in the evening. 8 What time is it, seven o'clock or something like that? 9 Q: Well, perhaps you can tell us first 10 of all what conversation it is or what telephone call it 11 is that -- that you had received or thought you had 12 received in the early hours of -- 13 A: No, I received a call from Tom 14 Bressette. 15 Q: All right. 16 A: Chief Tom Bressette and Tom was very 17 -- very excited and I remember talking to him because he 18 was agitated about what was happening at the time and he 19 reported to me that the police were moving in -- the OPP 20 were moving into the Park and he was extremely afraid of 21 what might happen. 22 But also, he indicated that one (1) of his 23 councillors had gone there to -- to try to maybe be 24 helpful. I forget his name now. 25
2521 (BRIEF PAUSE) 2 3 A: He got beaten up anyway, by -- 4 because - - he got beaten up by trying to be helpful, but 5 -- but Tom -- Tom was asking me to see if I could call 6 the Command Centre and see what I could do to stop them 7 from -- from trying to remove the people from the Park, 8 which was the essence of the conversation. And I -- I 9 called the number that he gave me, and had a conversation 10 with the person that answered the phone. 11 And I -- I asked essentially if it -- you 12 know, if it was true -- these are -- and I'm paraphrasing 13 now, the exact conversation might not have happened like 14 this in verbatim, but just in summary, the conversation 15 was about to try to determine whether in fact they were 16 moving into the Park, for the purpose of moving people at 17 night time. 18 And to try to impress upon them to -- to 19 delay that action until the morning, and not to do this 20 in the night time, right. 21 Q: Okay. If I can just interrupt you 22 briefly, Mr. Mercredi, I -- I should tell you that I 23 intend to play a transcript of that -- or an audio 24 transcript of that conversation, and I appreciate that 25 you're paraphrasing this for us, and perhaps once we play
2531 that you will have an opportunity to comment further -- 2 A: Okay. 3 Q: -- should the need arise. 4 A: Okay. 5 Q: But your attempts then were to -- I'm 6 sorry -- 7 A: Well my first thought was to try to 8 stop it, I mean, that's why I asked for the Commander, I 9 wanted to talk to the Commander, I wanted to go to the 10 top of the line of authority and try to persuade that 11 person to reconsider whatever decision was being made, 12 because it was quite clear in Tom's -- Tom's view, that 13 some decision had been made, and that the Police were now 14 moving towards the Park. And -- and that one (1) of his 15 Councillors had gone there to -- to see what was in fact 16 going on. 17 So I made that call to the Command Centre, 18 with the -- with the hope that I might be able to talk to 19 the senior Commander, and persuade him to -- not to do 20 that at -- you know, at that time. 21 But quite -- it became quite obvious to me 22 in my discussions with the individual that I talked to, 23 that there was in fact something going on, but so I asked 24 for the Commander to call me back. But that didn't 25 happen for a long time, and in fact, that return call
2541 never happened until four o'clock in the morning. 2 Q: All right, maybe before we go there, 3 do you have an independent recollection, Mr. Mercredi, as 4 to the name of the individual, that you would have spoken 5 to? 6 A: No. No. 7 MR. DONALD WORME: Perhaps, Mr. 8 Commissioner, what I would propose to do is to play the 9 recording at this point. I can tell you that a wave file 10 with this recording, has been distributed to counsel. As 11 well, there has been a transcript of this that has been 12 distributed to counsel electronically, and it is -- 13 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: Is it in the 14 binder? 15 MS. KATHERINE HENSEL: It should be 16 inside your binder. 17 MR. DONALD WORME: It should be in the 18 inside cover of -- of your document brief. 19 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: All right, 20 okay. 21 22 (BRIEF PAUSE) 23 24 CONTINUED BY MR. DONALD WORME: 25 Q: And, Mr. Mercredi, you have a copy of
2551 the transcript as well, I take it? 2 A: What tab is that? 3 4 (BRIEF PAUSE) 5 6 A: Thank you. 7 8 (BRIEF PAUSE) 9 10 (AUDIO TAPE PLAYING) 11 12 Q: If I can just draw your attention, 13 Mr. Mercredi to the first page of the transcript and in 14 particular when you were advising Detective Sergeant 15 Wright, does that -- does that help you at all in terms 16 of your recollection? Or do you have an independent 17 recollection as to the person you spoke to? 18 A: No, this is -- 19 Q: You can take it that it is Detective 20 Sergeant Wright though? 21 A: I take that's the person. 22 Q: And you had indicated to him -- 23 towards the middle of the page: 24 "Yeah, I just received a call that kind 25 of disturbs me..."
2561 He says, "uh huh" and you report: 2 "...from Tom Bressette's wife." 3 A: Hmm hmm. 4 Q: Now you've told us here a moment ago 5 that you had received a call from Tom Bressette. 6 A: Yeah. 7 Q: And perhaps I can direct your 8 attention to Tab 35 of the document binder in front of 9 you. 10 And for the benefit of Counsel that is 11 Inquiry Document 100-503 which is a transcript of your 12 testimony from the trial of R vs Kenneth Dean held on the 13 29th of May 1997. 14 And you report at page 3, line 8 in that 15 instance that you had just received a call, a frantic 16 call from Tom Bressette; which is of course is consistent 17 with your testimony today but at odds with what you had 18 reported to Detective Sergeant Wright. 19 And do you have any explanation for that 20 at all, Mr. Mercredi? 21 A: I don't -- I distinct -- distinctly 22 remember talking to Tom -- Tom Bressette. And my memory 23 would have been quite fresh for the court so what I said 24 at the court is what -- is what I know who called me. 25 It may -- it may have been possible his
2571 wife called as well, but I don't recall that part. But I 2 -- I hear what I said there on the tape. 3 Q: Okay. Fair enough. I can tell you, 4 sir, that when Chief Tom Bressette testified here and 5 that is at page 129 at line 14. Now I have the date of 6 March the 2nd that he reported that in fact he did call 7 you as well. 8 And I guess I'm just trying to get some 9 clarification as to your comment about having received a 10 call from Mrs. Bressette. 11 A: Yeah. I don't -- like I say, I don't 12 deny that he may have made the call too, I just don't 13 remember. But I do recall a meeting with Tom, I mean the 14 conversation with Tom. 15 Q: A telephone conversation with Chief 16 Tom Bressette? 17 A: Yeah. 18 Q: And during the course of that 19 telephone conversation with Chief Tom Bressette that you 20 can recall, did he report to you anything that he may 21 have seen or heard aside from what you've already told 22 us? 23 A: Well, he did say that we -- we had 24 heard some noise that sounded like gunfire; he said that. 25 And he did say that there was certain vehicles moving in
2581 that direction and that, for example, he mentioned that 2 there was some ambulances heading in that direction and 3 that he was pretty -- pretty concerned about his 4 councilor, I remember that. Bernard -- I think his name 5 was Bernard, was it? 6 Q: Bernard George? 7 A: Bernard George, yeah. And so given - 8 - given, like, the -- the state he was in, I made that 9 call immediately to the command centre. I didn't wait, I 10 just made that call. 11 And -- and when I didn't get anywhere with 12 them, I -- and I didn't have a number for anybody within 13 government in my residence, but I do know that government 14 is sensitive to reporters and that reporters do make 15 inquiries. So I -- I decided to call Jack Aubrey 16 (phonetic), who was the Native Affairs reporter for the 17 Ottawa Citizen, and he had followed the -- the First 18 Nations news over the year. 19 And I called him to explain to him what I 20 heard from Tom Bressette and would he be -- would he make 21 the call to the number I provided to him. I provided him 22 the number for the command centre. 23 I said to him, Maybe if they hear from 24 you, a reporter, they might have second thoughts about 25 moving in. Because at this point in time I didn't know,
2591 you know, at what point the -- the incident -- the time 2 of the incident, I didn't -- I didn't realize that. And 3 I assumed that I was calling early enough to stop them or 4 to prevent them from -- from going further with their 5 plan. 6 I assumed that, given the call from Tom, 7 that we might be able to prevent them from going into the 8 Park at night. This was my thinking. And so I called 9 Aubrey to -- to recruit him to make that call, which he 10 did. 11 Q: How do you know that he did? 12 A: He told me that. 13 Q: All right. 14 A: And then I also asked -- after I got 15 -- I finished with him, I called the desk for the Toronto 16 Star, the night -- the night news desk for the Toronto 17 Star, but I don't remember who I spoke to there, but 18 whoever it was they said they would -- they would get 19 someone immediately on the story. And I assume that was 20 done as well. But I don't know who the individual was 21 that was assigned to do that. 22 But my -- my objective was pure and 23 simple, and I was -- since I couldn't talk to the Premier 24 or -- or anybody within government since I didn't have 25 their numbers, and this whole thing was unforeseen, I
2601 couldn't prepare for it. The event happened very 2 suddenly. 3 The best I could do was use the resources 4 available to me, which is the reporters, I saw them as a 5 resource, to try to get a signal to the OPP that maybe 6 they better not do it right now because if something goes 7 wrong, they may regret it. I mean, that's the -- the 8 idea of getting the reporters involved. 9 Q: Okay. Perhaps just before we move 10 on, Mr. Commissioner, I'd ask that the transcript 11 together with the CD-ROM that what we have prepared and 12 provided to the Registrar be marked as the next exhibit? 13 THE REGISTRAR: P-309. 14 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: 309. 15 16 --- EXHIBIT NO. P-309: CD Rom and transcript of 17 telephone call between Ovide 18 Mercredi and mark Wright 19 O.P.P. September 06/'95, 20 23/31/18 21 22 THE WITNESS: See, when -- when you're a 23 leader and you're called upon sometimes to get involved 24 in sort of extraordinary steps like this, you don't 25 really have the resources of government because all you
2611 have is a voice. You can't stop anyone from doing 2 anything. 3 If I call the Command Centre and say, 4 Stop, they don't have to listen to me, I'm not their 5 political boss. As far as they're concerned, as the guy 6 says, Who do you speak for? I mean, that was his issue? 7 Like, who do I represent? 8 And this is not unusual, like, for people 9 to question your role or -- or your legitimacy in getting 10 involved in an issue like this, so I'm not surprised that 11 the conversation went there, but your duty is to -- is to 12 prevent harm. 13 You know, when someone calls you to try to 14 be helpful, your duty is to try to prevent harm, right? 15 So, given -- given the -- the call from Tom, I did the 16 best I could and this is the best I could do in the 17 circumstance. And all I could do is wait for the -- the 18 supreme commander to call me, whoever that supreme 19 commander was, right, on the ground. 20 But that call never came. I waited for 21 that call, that call never came. So, then I went to bed 22 and four o'clock in the morning the phone rings. I pick 23 up the phone and on the other side is -- is Inspector 24 Cole and he proceeds to tell me that there has been a 25 real tragedy in -- in Ipperwash.
2621 I'm not quoting him, I'm paraphrasing 2 here. It's not a direct quote, but the essence of the 3 conversation was there was a death, someone got shot and 4 killed and that there was a few other people injured. 5 And he did ask if -- if there was 6 something that more could be done from -- on -- on my 7 side as -- as the Chief of the Assembly in terms of 8 dealing with the -- with that incident. 9 And that's when I offered to convene a 10 meeting in the morning with -- with my executive and the 11 executive of the -- of the Ontario Chiefs, a conference 12 call, to try to figure out how we're going to handle the 13 situation as leaders in -- you know, from Ontario and -- 14 and myself as a National Chief. And -- but I did say to 15 him, You called a little late, that if someone died, 16 well, it's a little late for the call. And... 17 18 (BRIEF PAUSE) 19 20 A: I wish it was different. 21 22 CONTINUED BY MR. DONALD WORME: 23 Q: I'll draw your attention, Mr. 24 Mercredi, to Tab number 4 in the document binder, which 25 are scribe notes of September 6, 1995 bearing Inquiry
2631 Document Number 6000068. And at what is marked as page 2 174 -- pardon me, 134, under item 7.C -- subsection C -- 3 it reads: 4 "Ovide Mercredi, who three (3) months 5 ago offered to mediate this dispute, 6 but was rejected by the SPG." 7 And I gather that that's the Stoney Point 8 Group. 9 "Called the OPP Command Post at 22:00 10 hours, 06 September, '95, and again at 11 04:00 hours, 07 September, '95." 12 I just want to draw that to your 13 attention, Mr. Mercredi, because your evidence is that 14 then Inspector Cole, then Chief Superintendent rather, as 15 was his status, had called you at 4:00 a.m. 16 And the scribe notes would seem to suggest 17 that you had called the Command Post? 18 A: I went to bed and I didn't call him 19 at four o'clock, he made the call. And -- and I said, 20 what I said to you earlier, but also that -- that I would 21 convene that meeting, and we should stay in touch, try to 22 be as helpful as possible in the circumstances. 23 Q: And at Tab 9, Mr. Mercredi, there is 24 at the bottom of the page, an article taken from the 25 Globe and Mail, which would appear to bear a handwritten
2641 date of September the 7th, 1995, that being Inquiry 2 Document Number 1008975. And right at the end of that, 3 in the third column, in the last several paragraphs, it 4 reads: 5 "Mr. Mercredi..." 6 7 (BRIEF PAUSE) 8 9 Q: Perhaps just before I move to that. 10 Commissioner, the notes that I had referred to earlier, 11 apparently come from the Federal Government production 12 documents, and not the scribe notes of the OPP, so I just 13 wanted to correct that for the record. 14 If I can take you back, Mr. Mercredi, to 15 the Globe and Mail article, and it reads: 16 "Mr. Mercredi said he had been told by 17 an Officer, that there had been an 18 incident." 19 And this would appear to be a direct 20 quote: 21 "I asked him, why the rush, why at 22 night, why not wait until morning when 23 you can see them, Mr. Mercredi said." 24 And with all due respect, I don't see that 25 in the transcript of your telephone conversation with
2651 Detective Sergeant Wright. And was this a part of your 2 conversation with Mr. Coles, if you can recall? 3 A: It might have been, but I don't 4 recall that part of my conversation with him. It may 5 well have been something I would have said to him after 6 the fact. But in my conversation with the -- with the 7 Command Post, I did make references to waiting until 8 tomorrow. 9 Q: Yes, I see that, and in fact at -- 10 you had made certain inquiries as to why this was 11 happening now. I'm just going to go back to Exhibit P- 12 309, if we can put that up on the screen, and apparently 13 on page 4 there's a comment there that's attributed to 14 you, and I stand corrected at: 15 "What's the rush, why don't you wait 16 until tomorrow after you've talked to 17 them." 18 And so you -- you had attempted to convey 19 another practice; is that fair? 20 A: Pardon? 21 Q: You had attempted to convey that they 22 might go about doing their business differently? 23 A: Yes. Well, it doesn't make sense to 24 me -- it didn't make sense, it makes no sense to me now, 25 that the Police would go about doing that work at night
2661 time, when danger is increased for them as well. 2 So, it made -- it makes more sense for me 3 for -- for the Police to enter into a dialogue with the 4 individuals, and maintain that dialogue and those open 5 communications than to move in in much the same way that 6 the army moved in on the -- on the Mohawk with respect to 7 Oka. 8 Don't forget I -- I've already encountered 9 these two (2) prior incidents and I had some experience 10 already in dealing with conflict by the state, especially 11 the role of the police in dealing with conflict and their 12 approach to resolving conflict, which is the use of 13 force. 14 And I -- I have always condemned that 15 approach as unnecessary and unwarranted and heavy handed. 16 I still feel very much the same way. But -- so -- you 17 can't express everything in a conversation, a simple 18 conversation like this, right? 19 I wish you could but you can't. But in 20 your own mind you're hoping that reason will prevail and 21 the people will listen to your last, you know, your 22 statement, no, wait until tomorrow after you talked to 23 them. 24 Look, even saying that I have trouble like 25 in my -- in -- in -- I have trouble saying that because I
2671 also have an audience. My people are -- are watching me 2 too. They will be questioning what I'm saying. And it's 3 possible they'll be condemning me for saying, wait until 4 tomorrow. 5 You understand what I'm saying? It's -- 6 it's a delicate role being the, sort of, the National 7 Chief because not only you have -- do you have to do the 8 right thing in relation to the issues you're addressing, 9 but they have to appear right to other people as well 10 including your own -- your own people. 11 Like ideally in, you know, hindsight is 12 whatever it is, I would never have even said that in an 13 ideal circumstance. But we're not dealing with an ideal 14 situation when people are staging a conflict. It's not 15 an ideal situation. 16 So, for me to say that, is almost like 17 saying to them, it's okay for them to do it in the 18 morning. But that's not what I meant. I said talk to 19 them. 20 Q: All right. In your conversation with 21 then Chief Superintendent Coles, I took it from your 22 testimony, Mr. Mercredi, that he asked you what could be 23 done or what more could e done to deal with the 24 situation? And I appreciate that that was paraphrasing. 25 A: He said -- yeah. He said it -- a
2681 tragedy and that he said not, you know, like, National 2 Chief a terrible thing happened. And we did talk about 3 how we could, you know, as an organization, what I would 4 do to try to be helpful in terms of, you know, the 5 aftermath, you know. 6 Because there's always a reaction. 7 There's always a reaction. And the thing is to try to -- 8 and the thing is to manage that reaction in -- in the 9 best interest of all -- of all people, right; to try to 10 manage it in that way. 11 And so that's why I said I will have that 12 conference call, which I did. I did have that conference 13 call. And -- and I was successful in -- in getting Bruce 14 Elijah to be allowed to -- to go to the campsite to begin 15 his work with the people, right? 16 Because when people experience that kind 17 of force, you know, and I'm sure it's frightful to them, 18 there will be trauma there. The trauma will make their 19 reason less heightened. It won't be as reasonable 20 because trauma makes them reasonable people, right? 21 And -- and fear is an incredible power. 22 And so people like Bruce Elijah who's had that experience 23 in -- in Oka, in dealing with -- with trauma in the Pines 24 was an ideal person to go and you know, to that site to 25 begin talking to the people directly and we'll always
2691 value that. 2 So the next day, I did have the conference 3 call, a joint conference call from my office and I 4 connected to the chiefs in Ontario. Chief Gord Peters 5 was there in Ontario, I was in Ottawa and we were having 6 this conversation about the incident and trying to come 7 up with a strategy as leaders in how we were going to 8 deal with the situation in a way that is most helpful and 9 supportive to the people in -- in the Park. 10 Your Honour, when it comes to conflict 11 between us and -- and the police, all leaders will first 12 side with their people; that -- that is a natural 13 tendency even if you don't know all the facts. 14 Even if you don't know all the facts, you 15 will automatically support your people and that is, in 16 fact, one (1) of the -- the things that we talked about, 17 how we were going to do this, how we were going to go to 18 Kettle and deal with -- deal with the people, the trauma 19 that they were experiencing. 20 Because for the -- for the one (1) thing, 21 there is a death, obviously, but there's also beatings 22 and people are being hospitalized and in -- in Indian 23 country -- in Indian country when it comes to impacts 24 like that, it's -- it's felt by everyone. 25 It's -- the -- you know, the connection
2701 between us is -- is there so that when something -- when 2 -- when hurt is felt, we will all feel that hurt, right? 3 And so we had that meeting to talk about 4 how to handle the situation and -- and then while we're 5 meeting -- while we're meeting I get this call from 6 Inspector Cole. This is the morning, now. I don't know 7 the times of -- of -- of this, but during the meeting 8 that we had, he called again. 9 I'm sure it was him, but it could have 10 been someone -- someone else, but I'll say Inspector 11 Cole, okay? 12 And -- and it had to do with an emerging 13 incident the next day. Why it was reported to me is 14 this, that a lot of people had gathered, maybe in the 15 hundreds and their intention was to go to the Park and 16 they were, in fact, moving towards the Park, but in their 17 way would be these -- would be the -- the police line 18 that would be in their way. But, nonetheless, they were 19 determined to go to the Park. 20 This is the -- the -- the report that I 21 received. And I -- my advice to -- to the Inspector was 22 this, move the police lines back, right? Move them back. 23 I didn't say vacate completely, I said 24 move them back and let the people through. They're going 25 to the Park because they're going there to show respect.
2711 I mean, they're going there in -- in a sense because 2 there -- there's a -- there's a grieving going on, like - 3 - and this is their way of dealing with that that's why-- 4 Q: Just by -- just by way of 5 clarification, Mr. Mercredi, was the information that you 6 received that they were en route to the Park or the Army 7 Camp? 8 A: The Army Camp. To me -- 9 Q: Do you have an independent 10 recollection of the information you received? 11 A: Wherever the shooting took place. 12 Q: All right. 13 A: Where -- wherever the death occurred, 14 that's where they were going. So, in circumstances, I 15 mean, a wise man will not -- will not create another 16 situation for more death, you know, so he -- he listened 17 to my advice and -- and the police lines were -- were 18 relaxed and the result was no further confrontation. 19 Q: Okay. We have a transcript of that 20 conference call that you had convened subsequent to your 21 advice to Chief Superintendent Coles that you would do 22 so; that is at your document -- in your document binder 23 at Tab 10, it's marked in these proceedings as P-252, and 24 I note that the call commenced at 9:25 a.m. 25 If I can just draw your attention to the
2721 second page of that document, Mr. Mercredi. And it would 2 appear that you are recorded as indicating that you got a 3 call at 5:00 a.m. today by OPP Inspector Chris Cole, he 4 is asking for the AFN to help out with negotiations. 5 Again, I just ask you about the difference 6 in terms of the timeline? 7 A: See, I'm sure it's four o'clock in 8 the morning, it's pretty early in the morning anyway. 9 The recording at 5:00 a.m., well, let's say 4:00 -- 10 between 4:00 and 5:00, it was early in the morning. 11 Q: If I can draw your attention to the 12 third page of that, just before the notation where you go 13 off line, you are quoted there as saying: 14 "There should be a delegation of 15 leaders to see the Premier and Attorney 16 General. I'm prepared to meet with 17 them anytime and I will sit on the 18 steps outside their offices until they 19 do meet me. I am calling Inspector 20 Cole right now to ask him about Bruce 21 Elijah getting in." 22 And then it would seem you go off line. 23 A: Yeah. And I made -- that's one of 24 the other conversations I referred to, took place about 25 the march in the park. So the -- the two (2), the
2731 request for Elijah, Bruce Elijah and the issue -- 2 Q: I just want -- 3 A: -- the issue about the march were 4 dealt with in that same call. 5 Q: All right. Thank you. I just wanted 6 to get some clarification on that. I understood your 7 testimony to be that you were called by Chief 8 Superintendent Coles, and you indicate here that you -- 9 you were going to speak to him. Again, it's -- I'm sure 10 nothing turns on it -- 11 A: This is the next day. 12 Q: -- but do you have any explanation 13 for that apparent difference? 14 A: This is the next day. 15 Q: Oh, I see. I'm -- I'm confused then. 16 So the conversation that you had with Chief 17 Superintendent Coles about people assembling, about their 18 preparedness to march to either the Camp or the Park, and 19 your advice to him that they should perhaps back the 20 police lines off -- 21 A: Yeah. 22 Q: -- occurred at the same time as you 23 were called -- 24 A: With the -- 25 Q: -- on the morning, the early morning
2741 of -- 2 A: Yeah. 3 Q: -- September 7th? 4 A: Yeah. 5 Q: All right. 6 A: The important thing is -- is request 7 for some advice on how to deal with the march, right. 8 Now, that's the important thing. 9 Q: And, again, so that we understand the 10 purpose of the conference call, was to deal, I think you 11 told us, with the aftermath of the -- of the incident the 12 night before? 13 A: Yeah. 14 Q: And what was the strategy that came 15 out of that? 16 A: Well, the strategy was twofold. 17 First, Gord Peters and his -- his crew that were 18 travelling with him, would be the first to arrive there; 19 because I'm in Ottawa and it would take me a little more 20 time. 21 But -- but he would go directly to -- to 22 the -- I keep saying the Park but he would go directly 23 there. And that when I arrived, I would -- I would meet 24 with the -- with Tom Bressette and the Council. And then 25 we'd get together later on to discuss how to -- how to
2751 connect up with a strategy dealing with the -- with the 2 situation. 3 And when we arrived, the people gathering 4 in the meeting hall, I'm not exactly sure where that was, 5 but there was many people there, and by that time many 6 First Nations from surrounding communities have arrived 7 as well. It wasn't just the people from here. 8 Q: Okay. 9 A: And that's where we spoke to the 10 people. Many, many different people spoke at that time, 11 including myself. I made some statements to the people 12 at that time to -- to -- about the family and expressed 13 our sympathies to the family, but also to -- to try to 14 get people to think forward, like so that they -- they 15 think about -- they have thoughts that would lead to -- 16 to conflict resolution, and so -- 17 Q: Okay. I'm -- I'm going to suggest, 18 Mr. Mercredi, that perhaps we might pick this up tomorrow 19 morning. 20 MR. DONALD WORME: Mr. Commissioner, it 21 seems that everyone's had a long day. 22 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: When we 23 start at 9:00 we usually finish at 4:30, it's now quarter 24 to 5:00. I think we've had a long day. You're not going 25 to finish for some time.
2761 MR. DONALD WORME: I won't be done. 2 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: If you were 3 close I'd say let's finish it, but I don't think so. So 4 I think we should adjourn now, and continue tomorrow 5 morning. 6 MR. DONALD WORME: Thank you, 7 Commissioner. 8 COMMISSIONER SIDNEY LINDEN: And I think 9 we'll adjourn now until nine o'clock tomorrow morning. 10 We hoped we might finish you, Chief, but we'll finish 11 tomorrow. 12 THE WITNESS: Thank you. 13 14 (WITNESS RETIRES) 15 16 THE REGISTRAR: This Public Inquiry is 17 adjourned until tomorrow, Friday, April the 1st, at 9:00 18 a.m. 19 20 --- Upon adjourning at 4:46 p.m. 21 22 23 24 25
2771 2 Certified Correct 3 4 5 6 _____________________ 7 Dustin Warnock 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25