By Doug Whitlow intro by Jim Windle
SURREY BC — A few weeks ago the TRT published an article on the Gustafsen Lake stand-off of 1995 in British Columbia. Much of the information for that story came from a book recently published, which outlines how the mainstream media were used by the RCMP and politicians to spin doctor the story to keep the truth from the public.
There were also notes from an interview with one of the main characters in the story, known as “Wolverine” which the author of the TRT article referred to.
Since then, we were contacted by Doug Whitlow who, at the time of the event, was a reporter for a Douglas University newspaper and covered the 18-month trial for that university paper, “The Other Press”. He said that because the mainstream media was still being manipulated, many details brought out in the trial never made it into the mainstream.
Whitlow has agreed to publish in the Two Row Times a series of articles revealing what really happened at Gustafson Lake as he saw and heard it.
About the Author:
In 1995, Doug Whitlow was enrolled in the Criminology Program at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. In April of 1995 he began a work practicum at the Vancouver Aboriginal Justice Centre where the Grand Chief Bernard Charles of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Semiahmoo Reserve was staff lawyer. He and Whitlow became fast friends as they had many mutual friends and acquaintances in the field of justice both federal and local.
It was at this time the situation at Gustafsen Lake began to emerge, which Whitlow became quite familiar with.
He writes, “As events surrounding the incident began to escalate, “Splitting the Sky” a Mohawk Activist and spokesperson for the embattled occupants at the lake hit the newsstands. Calls came in to the Justice Centre for information on Splitting the Sky. Who was he? Where did he come from? I had never heard of him before this and neither did my family or friends in Ontario.”
He went by the Onkwehonwe name, “Dacajewaya, which was shortened to simply “Doc”. Later, he told Whitlow he was from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, but no one seemed to know him there either.
Whitlow got to know some of the key figures in the standoff and when the trial began, he spent countless hours and burned through dozens of notepads covering the event for the university newspaper as it was revealed under oath.
Now, 18 years later, Whitlow would like to see the real events of this shameful political cover up and outrageous military and RCMP operation revealed. Whitlow has future plans of publishing a book on the incident using his own notes and eyewitness testimony.
Watch for Whitlow’s “The Real Gustefson Lake Story” column in this publication over the following weeks.