There’s no blockade at Pinery Provincial Park, but still a land claims dispute

Maynard T. George addressed media just outside the Pinery Provincial Park gates Monday morning.
Maynard T. George addressed media just outside the Pinery Provincial Park gates Monday morning. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

A man who has more than once blocked the entrance to Pinery Provincial Park continues to fight for what he says is his family’s claim to the land.

Although he isn’t organizing another blockade of the Grand Bend-area campground’s entrance, Maynard T. George gathered media Monday morning and said he’s giving the new provincial government time to negotiate.

“We’re not after, entirely, to take the Pinery out of the hands of the government. ” he explained.

READ MORE: ‘We’re here to stay’: land claim demonstration resumes at Pinery Provincial Park

Pinery Provincial Park is near Camp Ipperwash, where a land claim turned deadly in 1995. The claim was settled 20 years later between the government and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

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But that agreement doesn’t take into account what the George family is owed, he said.

“Whatever they’ve got, I am entitled to as well,” Georgia said, “including interest.”

George said the government could use money to remedy the situation, although he couldn’t provide a dollar figure that his family is asking for.

“I can see they had $210 million and that was to come to us in June of 2016. We’ve never seen a cent of it. And it went down to 95 [million] and went to Kettle Point again. Where’s that money gone?”

READ MORE: Federal government, Ontario First Nation sign $95M settlement over Camp Ipperwash

George has argued the British confirmed the right to the land after the War of 1812, that the family’s grandfather leased it for 99 years, and that his son inherited the land when he died.

While he doesn’t want the park “entirely,” he expressed an interest Monday in receiving part of its revenue, opening up a store, and changing some of its infrastructure.

He also said he wants to work through the proper channels to settle his claims, but “it depends” on the Ford government and whether he’ll feel the need to plan another blockade.

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READ MORE: Dudley George’s brother accidentally set ablaze during Ipperwash protest

In the fall of 2017 and again in March this year, George and his family have held demonstrations at the park’s entrance.

The most recent protest lasted about two weeks, involved a trailer, and sometimes prevented campers from entering the campground.