Equal parts law, history, mapping and storytelling, The Ipperwash Park Film Project was meant to last one year and result in an educational documentary that was a case study on how First Nations’ lands could be wrongfully taken. The film soon morphed into a seven-year research project once the legal team for the Estate of Dudley George realized that Monica was able to unearth documents that other researchers missed.
In all, The Ipperwash Park Film Project came to include almost 2,000 hours of original archival research. The research focused on topics such as the 1928 Stony Point beachfront surrender, the 1927 Kettle Point beachfront surrender, and the 1919 surrenders on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation which enabled the creation of Chemical Valley. Lawyer Murray Klippenstein put a strong emphasis on both the research and the resulting footage being legally and factually accurate.
The project resulted in almost 20 historical recreations being filmed. Community members from the Kettle & Stony Point First Nation participated as actors in the recreations. The entire project was guided by Sam George, and after his passing, his wife Veronica George.
Unfortunately, funding for post-production on the film eventually ran out and the film was never finished. On the bright side, the footage is available to be re-purposed into future projects, with the stipulation that it remains true to its original intent — to be educational and not-for-profit.
Status: Unfinished; Requires post-production; Funding: Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors; Future funding ideas: Business development grants + Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund