Waterloo, Ontario: Human Billboard Calls for Inquiry
Oct. 16, 1998
Waterloo, ON: Human Billboard Calls for Inquiry in Ipperwash Tragedy
by Chris Buhler and Natasha Krahn
On October 12, the afternoon of Canadian Thanksgiving, thirty-five members and
supporters of Anti-Racist Action and Christian Peacemaker Teams formed a
human billboard along one kilometer of Highway 401 just outside of Cambridge,
Ontario. Participants held one word signs of a message for the motorists
passing by on North America's busiest highway. The message, in its entirety,
Stoney Point is Native burial land
Dudley George died there taking a stand
The province resists an inquiry still
Why were our taxes at work to kill?
In September 1995, Anthony "Dudley" George and thirty others from the
Aazhoodenaang Enjibaajig (Stoney Point people) peacefully occupied Ipperwash
Provincial Park to reclaim desecrated burial grounds. The Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP) responded by moving in several hundred heavily armed officers. On
September 6, Acting Sergeant Kenneth Dean shot
and killed Dudley George.
The billboard grew out of an attempt to add another voice to the growing wave
of community groups, religious organizations, human rights groups, unions,
individuals and lawyers who are asking "What happened?"
Participants estimate that three to four thousand cars passed by the human
billboard during the hour long action. Approximately ten television, radio and
newspaper reporters covered the event.
"Meegwetch," said a First Nations man who participated. "Thank-you for
organizing and inviting me to be a part of this peaceful protest."
Members of CPT who took part were Nina Bailey, Benno Barg, Chris Buhler,
Matthew Dick, Joel Klassen and Natasha Krahn of
Kitchener-Waterloo, Doug Pritchard of Toronto, and Lena Siegers of Brussels,
all in Ontario.