Aboriginal family begins repossessing 50,000 acres of land

GRAND BEND – With only a white and yellow trailer and a strong will, Maynard George moved onto Pinery Provincial Park in Grand Bend, Ontario Monday morning to begin the process of repossessing stolen Indigenous land.

According to Maynard – who was involved in the 1995 Ipperwash Crisis, but has no relation to Dudley George – this is just the beginning of an effort to take back 50,000 acres of land, stretching from Baynard to Sarnia, and south to Kettle Point. He says the land rightfully belongs to 100 of his great-grandfather’s descendants.

“Because the land was stolen from us, there’s no time limit on it. I can take it any time.”

George says that this is a private claim, and while he doesn’t mind if the government continues to own the land, his main concern is that it be used as for the economic development of Aboriginal peoples.

“I look at my age and I look at my children. They got to have a future, and if the government of Canada’s pulling back money from Native programs, what programs are they going to have for their children? We have to look at our financial compensation. How do we set up trust accounts? How do we deal with the future?”

The Superintendent of Pinery Provincial Park is aware of the situation and has said George is welcome, adding that George asked them for a safe place to set up and was directed to his current location.

“We don’t see any need to change the park’s status at this point,” says George. “We need to create jobs. We need to create a working relationship. That’s a priority now.”

George hopes this repossession has repercussions in Grand Bend, Toronto and Ottawa. As for right now, he says, “We’ve established that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere.”

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