The Ipperwash Crisis

The Ipperwash Crisis

Big Ideas:

  • Took place in 1995 in and around what is known as Ipperwash Provincial Park.
  • Federal government took land that belonged to Stoney Point Indian Band (now known as the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation) to use as a military camp in 1942
  • After repeated requests to return the land, members of Stoney Point occupied the camp in 1993 and 1995
  • Ontario Provincial Police got involved resulted in a lethal confrontation and killed Anthony “Dudley” George

Let’s Explore:

Watch the following video by Maurice Switzer who talks about the Ipperwash Crisis:

Consider the following questions:

Why did protesters along with members of Stoney Point occupy Ipperwash?

Why did Sam George spend his life educating people about what took place?

What role did Premier Mike Harris play? What was his view of the “Indians”?  What was the result of his actions?

Why are political leaders not to be involved in policing actions?

How did this lead to the death of Dudley George?

Why did Mike Harris not face any criminal charges or any repercussions from his involvement? Should he have?

What message does this give to others who may have the same beliefs and attitudes as Mike Harris towards First Nation communities and Indigenous Peoples?

Why should every Canadian know about this?

What are some rights that Indigenous Peoples have with respect to their lands?

How did the media portray the events that took place? How did this further cause harm?

How do journalists have an impact on how Canadians view Indigenous Peoples?

Why is education important? How can it combat racism?

Click here to read special Anishinabek News newspaper edition on the 25th anniversary of the Ipperwash Crisis

Suggested Activities:

  1. Create a timeline of events. On the timeline indicate where racism and violation of Indigenous rights took place.
  2. Create a presentation using media of your choice outlining the injustices faced by the members of Kettle and Stoney Point and include commentary on police brutality, including why not much has changed since.

Refer to the section called Land Back for additional information pertaining to other examples of Indigenous Peoples reclaiming and living on their ancestral and treaty lands.


How is the treatment from the government and police similar to what happened at Ipperwash?

How can this change moving forward?

As current students who will soon be able to participate in political decisions, what are some things you can do differently to ensure justice prevails and Indigenous Peoples are no longer criminalized for simply living on their lands?

The following slide deck is available for teachers to use: