Elementary Teachers of Toronto

Elementary Teachers of Toronto

June 05, 2007 12:27 ET

Teachers laud Ipperwash Report, advance legacy of Dudley George

Attention: City Editor, Education Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ON, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 5, 2007) - "Teachers in Toronto are extremely pleased with the Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry," says Martin Long, President of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. "It stands as a landmark not only for aboriginal rights in Ontario and across Canada, but also as a significant contribution to justice for all Canadians."

ETT represents over 11,000 elementary teachers in the Toronto District School Board.
The union has long supported the George family's search for answers to the shooting death of Dudley George by an OPP officer at Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1995.

"When you realize that Dudley was the only native killed in Canada in a land claim during the 20th century, huge questions arise, especially considering the fact that all the natives occupying the park were unarmed," adds Long.

Sam George led the family's call for a public inquiry. The provincial government stubbornly refused to open an inquiry even after the trial of OPP officer Kenneth Deane found him guilty of the shooting and raised questions about the actions of the police and government. In frustration, Sam launched a potentially costly private lawsuit against the OPP, the Government and the Premier, Mike Harris.

ETT responded to the family's need for financial help. In 2001 it held a standing-room-only fundraising concert at Convocation Hall to support the Ipperwash Legal Fund. The following year, supporters filled Massey Hall to hear musical greats like Buffy St. Marie and Molly Johnson and to raise more money in support of the lawsuit.

Commenting on these events Sam George is noted: "The teachers came along at a very difficult time for us. The concerts raised much-needed funds for our legal action. More than that, they really raised up our spirits at the same time."

With the election of the Liberal Government in 2003 and the out-of-court settlement of the George family's lawsuit, the remaining funds raised by ETT were transferred to the Dudley George Memorial Education Fund, whose mandate was to further educational opportunities for aboriginal youth.

The fund has supported projects from Ipperwash to Toronto to Trout Lake in northern Ontario. The Ipperwash program, designed to help ease the transition into high school for aboriginal youth, has been adopted by communities as far away as New Zealand.

"The fund is doing the kind of work that would have made Dudley smile," says Sam George. Long adds, "We hope Dudley's name and spirit will continue to inspire young people from all backgrounds for a long time to come."
/For further information: Dudley George Memorial Education Fund
Dennis Fox, Chair

Elementary Teachers of Toronto
Martin Long, President

Contact Information

  • Martin Long, President, Elementary Teachers of Toronto
    Primary Phone: 416-393-9930
    E-mail: mlong@ett.on.ca