Indigenous women allege priest abused them, and likely others

CBC News

November 29, 2017

By Julia Page

Women made accusations during testimony at Quebec MMIWG hearings

Two women from Innu communities on Quebec’s Lower North Shore say they were abused by a missionary more than 40 years ago, and that there are likely more victims.

The revelations came out during testimony at the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) on Tuesday.

The hearings began in Whitehorse in May, and proceedings have taken place in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan so far. Hearings are scheduled for Thunder Bay, Ont., and Ranklin Inlet, Nunavut, next month, and Yellowknife in the new year.

Alexis Joveneau was a Belgian missionary working in Innu communities. He died in 1992 in the town of La Romaine, also known as Unman Shipu.

Mary Mark was living in Pakua Shipu, one of the last communities on the Saint Lawrence coast before the Labrador border, when she says she was first abused by Joveneau.

She said Joveneau asked her to sit on his lap and started touching her chest when she was at confessional.

“I am sure I wasn’t the only one to live that kind of things; there were others,” Mark said.

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