Jun 12/98: Shuswap among first to speak out on abuse


The Province
June 12, 1998, p. A24
Suzanne Fournier

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]

The Cariboo Indian Residential School also known as St. Joseph's was run by the Roman Catholic church under contract to the federal government from 1890 to 1953. Hundreds of Shuswap and other First Nations children spent much of their childhood at the compound of brick school buildings, run by the Catholic Oblate order, near Williams Lake. As adults, the Shuswap were among the first to speak out about systemic sexual abuses at the school and among the first to obtain criminal convictions of a priest and school employee - Father Harold McIntee and dorm supervisor Glen Doughty.

The men, employed by the church and federal government, were homosexual pedophiles. Bishop Hubert O'Connor became the highest-ranking Catholic in Canada to be convicted of a sex crime when he was found guilty in 1996 of sexual assault of two schoolgirls in the 1960s. An appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada would be the third trial for O'Connor and the third time the Shuswap women have had to give painful evidence about the abuse in court. O'Connor's first trial was stayed in 1992 after irregularities by Crown counsel.

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