Retired priest Arthur Masse spent roughly 20 years at churches in Duck Bay, Camperville: MMF president
(By CBC News · Posted: Jun 22, 2022 – Used with permission) – The Manitoba Métis Federation says it plans to conduct its own investigation into a retired priest now charged with indecent assault at a residential school in the province.
In a news release on Wednesday, the federation said Father Arthur Masse also spent roughly 20 years at churches in the Red River Métis villages of Duck Bay and Camperville in western Manitoba.
Masse, now 92, was charged last week with indecent assault following a decade-long RCMP investigation into a sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl at the Fort Alexander residential school, northeast of Winnipeg, where he worked in the late 1960s.
RCMP did not identify that person, but in an interview with CBC, Victoria MacIntosh, now 63, said she was the 10-year-old abused by Masse at Fort Alexander.
Since he was charged, at least two more women have come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of the same priest.
- Woman speaking out to shed burden after priest charged with sexually assaulting her 50 years ago
- More women contact RCMP with allegations of abuse by retired Manitoba residential school priest
David Chartrand, the president of the Manitoba Métis Federation, said some in the western Manitoba Métis communities were shocked to hear of the arrest of Masse, a well-known priest in the area who presided over ceremonies and services, and gave private and group tutoring.
“It makes me feel somewhat concerned, for sure, without a question. Did something happen to my people, without us knowing?” Chartrand said Wednesday.
“And did that person, you know, have to go through what this victim is saying, hiding it for all these years? And if so, I want to know. I want to make sure that this person can seek justice if there is any incident.”
Masse was released with conditions last week and is scheduled to appear in court in Powerview on July 20 on the indecent assault charge.
Chartrand said the federation is planning to hire someone to lead its investigation and hopes to begin the process of talking to people who knew Masse as soon as possible.
“It’s going to be an urgent matter on our side. I know there’s a court case going ahead, but I still want to make sure,” he said.
“I don’t want people saying, ‘How come nobody talked to us, nobody heard our story? Why didn’t I have a chance to say something?’ I want to make sure that my people have a chance to say something.
“The truth’s there, and whatever we find we’ll reveal.”
- Manitoba First Nation open to possible police probe of accused priest, who worked there in early 1960s
- Survivors hope for healing, accountability after retired priest who worked at residential school arrested
With files from Caitlyn Gowriluk
Pope Francis attends a community event near Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit on Friday afternoon. In his speech, the Pope asked forgiveness and referred to the ‘indignation and shame’ he felt about Canada’s residential schools. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
According to the report, among all workers who earned at least $5,000 in 2019, more Indigenous workers (39.2 per cent) than non-Indigenous workers (33.9 per cent) received CERB payments.
A panel of First Nations chiefs and residential school survivors spoke to media Thursday. Elder Gordon Burnstick from Alexander First Nation, Rod Alexis from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Chief Tony Alexis from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Treaty 6 First Nations Grand Chief George Arcand Jr., Ermineskin Cree Nation Chief Randy Ermineskin, Louis Bull Tribe Chief Desmond Bull and Alexander First Nation elder Victoria Arcand spoke at the event. (Jamie McCannel/CBC)
Pope Francis will make stops in Alberta, Quebec and Nunavut from July 24 to 29 to apologize in person for the wrongs done to Indigenous people by Roman Catholic priests and nuns who ran abusive residential schools in Canada.
“So the evidence is there. You can see the way we are, our behaviours and how we walk through life, the struggles that we had, and the difficulties that we had — difficulties sometimes in learning, difficulties in relating to one another, difficulties in marriage, difficulties with alcohol.”
– Mabel Brown, residential school survivor
“We can forgive, but we’ll never forget what happened, and the pain, we’ll always carry the pain until the day we die.”
– Linda Daniels , residential schoolsurvivor