KETTLE AND STONY POINT FIRST NATION — Sam George was remembered Wednesday as an ordinary man who fought an extraordinary battle in forcing a public inquiry into the fatal police shooting of his aboriginal activist brother, Dudley George, at Ipperwash Provincial Park.
George, who had been battling lung and pancreatic cancer, died at about 3:15 a.m. at his home on the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, surrounded by his wife, Veronica, and other loved ones. He was 56.
After Dudley George was killed by an officer on Sept. 6, 1995, during an Ontario Provincial Police raid to break up an aboriginal occupation, Sam George began asking questions and simply wouldn’t quit, said family lawyer Murray Klippenstein.
“Sam, I think, should be remembered as both an ordinary man and an extraordinary man who fought for truth and justice for his family, and as a result brought more truth and justice to us all,” Klippenstein said in an interview.
George’s work in pushing the Ontario government for the inquiry and for traditional lands on the shores of Lake Huron to be returned to aboriginal hands was all about respect for other people, he added.
“Sam’s brother’s death affected him deeply because he was such a family man,” Klippenstein said.
“(But) his fight went far beyond any bitterness or any fight in his own small world, and he was very aware of making something good for everybody.”
A traditional native get-together and pre-burial ceremony will be held at his home on Saturday.
Peter Edwards, the Toronto Star reporter who wrote a book about Dudley George’s death titled One Dead Indian, and who eventually became Sam George’s friend, remembers him as having a great sense of humour and a huge love of life and hockey.
“I can’t think of anyone who’s ever impressed me more,” said Edwards, who was asked by George to be a pallbearer when he last saw him at his home Thursday.