MMIWG. Image credit: Facebook page
During the fourth day of Quebec hearings into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), witnesses reportedly from Uashat, Nutashkuan and Ekuanitshit, Innu communities along the St. Lawrence River, would be speaking today on topics ranging from disappearances, to domestic violence to discrimination after harrowing testimony about the abuse of power and sexual assault of Innu women and girls by a once-respected Catholic priest.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, four women testified they had been victims of Alexis Joveneau, a Belgian missionary who arrived in Quebec from Belgium in the early 1950s, died in Unaman Shipu in 1992.
In response to the inquiry's commissioners missing parents and childrenIn some cases, Innu families spoke out for the first time in decades about Joveneau's influence on the government to force the people of Pakua Shipu to a new reserve 175 kilometres away in the 1960s, where the alleged sexual abuse occurred.
The family of Anne-Marie Jourdain reported to have said their mother was murdered at the end of November 1957, while she was out trapping in the woods north of Port-Cartier, about 60 kilometres southwest of Sept-Îles.
There were also reports from families from Pakua Shipu, near the Labrador border about their children did not return after being taken away for medical treatment to the nearby hospital in Blanc-Sablon in the 1970s.
According to a witness, death certificates -- for at least eight babies who were not properly buried -- were also not provided.
The above image posted on the twitter account of Julia Stewart-Page @JuliaBPage read, 'Hear the stories being shared on the 4th day of the @MMIWG inquiry live'
Next hearings -- the first to be held inside an Indigenous community -- are reportedly set for MontrealThe hearings in Mani-Utenam, 900 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
The first phase of the hearings is dedicated to hearing personal testimonies, while the second phase in 2018 will be dedicated to government institutions.
The inquiry had made stops in Saskatoon, Edmonton, Membertou, N.S., Winnipeg, Smithers, B.C., and Whitehorse.
The planned stop in Rankin Inlet in December which was postponed will be rerouted to a hotel in the community at a later date.
The inquiry has confirmed an announcement many families had been waiting for that it will hold hearings in Montreal next year.
This decision was confirmed by the Commissioner Michèle Audette prior to the opening ceremony Monday.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#JustinTrudeau, #Canada, #NewfoundlandandLabrador, #residentialschools'survivors, #InnuNation, #MountCashelOrphanage, #Toby Obed, #GregoryRich
Happy Valley-Goose, N.L., Nov 24 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., this morning to formally apologize to residential schools' survivors of in Newfoundland and Labrador as part of a $50-million class-action settlement between Ottawa and survivors in the province, media reports said.
Native American Residential Schools. Image credit: Pinterest
But not everyone will accept the apology. According to reports. Innu Nation reportedly argue that besides residential schools, Innu people have suffered under other institutions, like Mount Cashel Orphanage, and the provincial child protection system which still exists today.
"Our Elders are not ready to accept an apology that is made for such a small part of our experience," Grand Chief Gregory Rich was reported by media to state.
"Frankly, I don't think Canada is truly ready to make an apology to Innu if it does not include recognition of other damages done to our people – I'm not satisfied that Canada understands yet what it has done to Innu and what it is still doing."
An inquiry had been planned into the treatment of Innu children currently under the province's care, but reportedly no date has yet been set for it to proceed.
Ottawa had said that federal representatives would only support the inquiry and not be attending it. That included a pledge of $250,000 to support the inquiry.
The Innu Nation and the province are still working on the details of the pending inquiry.
Toby Obed, who helped fight for the apology, is also hesitating. “I’m the one that is going to be accepting the apology on behalf of all the residential school survivors. I’ll be the one who will say, ‘Yes, we accept,’ or ‘No, we don’t,’” Obed said. “And if I don’t like his words, no, I’m sorry, I’m not taking the apology."
Obed was three when he was sent to a residential school; Pierre Trudeau was prime minister.
Reporting by Asha Bajaj