The entire Ontario Provincial Police detachment at the remote Pikangikum First Nation was marched off the reserve five weeks ago by a rock-throwing mob of elected councillors and residents.
The stunning forced departure of 11 OPP members from the isolated community, reached in summer only by air or water, went publicly unacknowledged by the force until now.
It was also almost entirely unreported, with only a couple of small stories, none with any detail, appearing locally about a week after the June 30 incident.
<extensive snippage>Unbelievably, this isn't the first time the Pikangikum band has sent the entire detachment into exile, but rather the second time in little more than a year.
In the spring of 2009, after a band councillor threatened to bulldoze the detachment, the OPP contingent left, with a crew from the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service in Thunder Bay replacing them at a moment's notice.
That time, the catalyst was that a teacher had fallen in love with the OPP secretary, who had recently broken up with the son of one of the councillors. Council subsequently passed a resolution firing the teacher, which it demanded the OPP enforce. On legal advice, the OPP refused, and the council then passed a resolution ordering the OPP to leave.
This time, the revolution was sparked by the arrest in late June of a deaf and mute man who was, the OPP allege, trying to pull an officer's firearm from the holster.
Hey, these are resourceful First Nations people, they can live as their ancestors did, right? Right?
Or is that racist?
I get so confused these days.