Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty (S.I.S.I.S.)
April 5, 1998
There are indications that the Canadian government may be moving to address demands for an inquiry into the Gustafsen Lake affair. Federal Solicitor-General Andy Scott says he is "making plans for an investigation into the justice system's treatment of natives - led by the Assembly of First Nations and using last week's RCMP shooting on the Tsuu T'ina reserve near Calgary as a launching pad." Scott said he is "eager for a separate probe" that would complement the Alberta provincial government inquiry into the fatal shootings of mother and child Connie and Ty Jacobs.
According to a Vancouver Sun story taken from the Calgary Herald, the AFN led inquiry into how natives are treated by the Canadian justice system would not only examine the Tsuu T'ina shootings, "but also go beyond it." The Assembly of First Nations has already adopted a resolution committing it to actively pursue an inquiry into two earlier instances of gross human rights abuses of indigenous people by the Canadian justice system at Stoney Point and Gustafsen Lake and AFN Grand Chief Phil Fontaine has himself made a public commitment to it. The resolution moved by Chief Stewart Philip of the Penticton Indian Band and seconded by Shuswap Band Chief Ron Jules commits the AFN to:
"take full responsibility to ensure that a public inquiry takes place into the actions of the provincial and federal governments at Gustafsen Lake BC and Ipperwash, Ontario."
The 1995 standoffs by traditionalists at Gustafsen Lake and Stoney Point over issues of sovereignty, jurisdiction and sacred land, saw Canadian and provincial authorities responding with massive armed force, killing unarmed protester Dudley George at Stoney Point. Gustafsen Lake was the largest paramilitary operation in Canadian history. Neither Solicitor General Andy Scott nor AFN Grand Chief Phil Fontaine have released further details of the announced inquiry.
Solicitor- General of Canada Andy Scott
AFN Grand Chief Phil Fontaine: