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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Police 'have learned nothing from Ipperwash,' Larry Hay says

The former police chief of the Mohawk Tyendinaga First Nation says police organizations "have learned nothing from Ipperwash."

Larry Hay, 51, is taking the Ontario Provincial Police to court after being fired by OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino for speaking out against racism in policing.

He was fired earlier this year from the band's eight-member force after telling the Loyalist College student newspaper that the OPP, RCMP and Quebec provincial police are racist organizations.

Hay, who was an RCMP officer for 20 years, said he was accurately quoted in the student newspaper.

He said the OPP has largely ignored recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry, in which Justice Sidney Linden called for consultation instead of confrontation between the OPP and First Nations bands.

"There has been no follow-up ... It has all been very much a dog and pony show. It has been an insult to aboriginal people."

Hay, who is seeking a judicial review hoping a court will reinstate him in the job, is considering a wrongful dismissal suit if a judicial review fails.

Calls to Fantino were referred to OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae, who said the force would not comment on specific personnel files.

Rae said Fantino has the power to hire and fire Tyendinaga First Nations police officers.

"(Fantino) has the discretion to appoint and terminate these officers," Rae said. "That was his responsibility... and that's what he did." In his report, Linden recommended giving power to First Nations police services to appoint their own officers.

First Nations police officers on the Tyendinaga Territory, are appointed, trained and supported administratively by the OPP.

Linden's report was drafted after two years of hearings into the fatal shooting of aboriginal activist Dudley George in September 1995 during a massive police operation at Ipperwash Provincial Park, near Sarnia.

Article ID# 1133341

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My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Two Row Wampum Treaty

Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.