McGuinty Government To Return Ipperwash Park

Archived Release

McGuinty Government To Return Ipperwash Park

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Province And First Nations To Co-Manage Transfer Process QUEEN'S PARK, Dec. 20 - Ontario is moving forward on its commitment to resolve the future use of Ipperwash Provincial Park lands, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant and Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield announced today. "We are returning Ipperwash Provincial Park lands to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation," said Bryant. "In doing so, we are sending a clear signal that the McGuinty government is acting on the Premier's ambitious agenda on Aboriginal affairs." The McGuinty government and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation will co-manage the land, working with the local communities and others to develop an interim plan. These discussions will determine the use and management of the park until the transfer of the land to the First Nation is completed over a period of time to be determined by negotiations. Negotiators will begin work early in the new year. "As the first step in the process to transfer Ipperwash Provincial Park from the province to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, both parties will work together with the local communities to develop an interim co-management plan," said Cansfield. "Through these discussions we will determine how the park lands will be used and managed until the transfer is completed." In May 2007, Justice Sidney Linden made recommendations that will assist the province in resolving issues and improving relationships with First Nations. As part of the McGuinty government's commitment to act on these recommendations and forge stronger relationships with First Nations in Ontario, the province will establish the Ipperwash Inquiry Priorities and Action Committee to work with Aboriginal peoples to assess the report's recommendations together and to devise an action plan. "Returning Ipperwash Park and acting on Justice Linden's recommendations is the clearest and most powerful expression of the intention of the McGuinty government to move forward in a concrete, practical and deliberate way to forge a stronger, more positive relationship with all Aboriginal peoples in Ontario," said Bryant. Disponible en français www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- A NEW APPROACH TO RESOLVING ISSUES AT IPPERWASH PARK Contact Info As highlighted in the recent Throne Speech in late November, the McGuinty government is committed to acting on the recommendations of the Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry which was released on May 31, 2007. The inquiry was convened in 2003 following the death of Dudley George during a protest by First Nation people at Ipperwash Park in 1995. Justice Sidney Linden, who presided over the inquiry, made recommendations that will assist in resolving issues and improving relationships with First Nations. One of Justice Linden's findings called for a resolution of the Ipperwash Provincial Park lands. The Future of Ipperwash Park The first step in the process to transfer Ipperwash Provincial Park from the province to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation will be the joint development of an interim co-management plan by both parties - with input from other local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal representatives. The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, local communities and the provincial government will jointly determine the interim use of the park lands, the duration of the interim period and how the park lands will be managed until the eventual transfer of the land to the First Nation. Ipperwash Provincial Park will continue to remain designated as a provincial park until the required consultation is undertaken and the legal requirements for removing this designation are met. Whether the land continues to remain a park will need to be determined by all parties. Ipperwash Inquiry Priorities and Action Committee Ontario will establish the Ipperwash Inquiry Priorities and Action Committee. This committee will include First Nations and Métis leadership and will provide a way for the province to work together with Ontario's Aboriginal peoples, both on and off-reserve, to act on Justice Linden's recommendations. The committee, to be established early in 2008, will assess Justice Linden's recommendations and offer advice to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs on priorities, an action plan and the federal government's role. The Ipperwash Inquiry Report The receipt of Justice Linden's Report on May 31, 2007, marked an historic day in Ontario. The Report's recommendations provide a basis for the government and Aboriginal peoples to move forward together towards a stronger relationship. Ontario is committed to a thorough review of Justice Linden's findings with our Aboriginal partners, the policing community, the federal government and other affected parties. Ontario is working on the recommendations of Justice Linden's Report in a spirit of respect and partnership with its Aboriginal partners. On June 21, 2007, Premier McGuinty delivered on one of the report's recommendations by establishing a stand-alone Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. The ministry is building a stronger relationship with Aboriginal peoples to help resolve outstanding issues. For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister's Office, (416) 606-8562; Ann Lehman, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4759 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister's Office, (416) 606-8562; Ann Lehman, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4759