Pierre George-Mandoka looks down at the new monument dedicated to the memory of his brother, Dudley George at Ipperwash Oct. 15, 2010. (SHAWN JEFFORDS/QMI Agency files)
TORONTO - Police services are right to ask for direction from the Ontario government on how to handle First Nations blockades and protests, a legal expert says.
Kent Roach, a law professor at the University of Toronto, says a Jan. 9 letter from the president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police to Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur highlights a historic problem.
“This is a perennial problem with the relationship between police and government,” Roach said. “It’s not always clear who is in charge.”
Roach, who was a member of the Ipperwash Inquiry’s Research Advisory Committee, said that conflict, which resulted in the death of Native protester Dudley George, colours police decisions involving First Nations protests.