It agressait sexually the Innu in the name of God

News 24 March, 2018
  • Photo BANQ
    Alexis Joveneau, aka the monster of the North Shore, which has prevailed for 39 years in Unamen Shipu and Pakuashipi.

    Magalie Lapointe

    Saturday, 24 march, 2018 01:00

    Saturday, 24 march, 2018 01:00

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    UNAMEN SHIPU | new victims are manifested for the first time after having been assaulted by Alexis Joveneau, an oblate father who continues to haunt the Innu of the Lower North Shore 25 years after his death. The Newspaper has collected new testimony troubling in the communities of Unamen Shipu and Pakuashipi, where the missionary that was nicknamed ” God “, and who took for Jesus was stolen from the Aboriginal people in addition to assaulted sexually, physically, and psychologically for 39 years.

    • READ ALSO: Harassed every day by his uncle

    These new testimonials are so overwhelming that the Oblates du Québec have expressed their apologies when they got knowledge of it, as was revealed in The Journal yesterday.

    Pierrette Mestenapéo is one of these victims. This 59 year old female hates to look out his window, which overlooks the white cross, under which was buried the father Alexis Joveneau, who sexually assaulted her several times in her childhood in the 1970s.

    Photo BANQ

    Father Alexis Joveneau received each day of the children in his rectory, where he asked them to stick on him.

    Every time he sees this cross, the breath of old cigarette of the father Joveneau, her laughter loud, and bold, and the repeated aggression of which she was the victim come back to mind.

    The first time, she was 12 years old. The assault occurred in the confessional, one of the favorite places of the religious to abuse his young prey.

    During his confession, the father Joveneau was playing with the straps of her bra, slid his hand in his sweater in her flattering stomach, caressed her breasts, touched the bottom of her back up to her buttocks and kissing her with his tobacco breath and hangovers.

    The priest asked him to repeat the hail Mary in French so that she didn’t know. He was teaching him while stroking her body and whispering the words to the ear. He told him that he was acting in the name of God.

    “It was unkind to the children,” she said. The cubicle was not large, there was a chair and a bench, but he didn’t want to as I kneel. He said to me : “Come into the arms of Jesus.” And the assault began. “

    Dozens of stories

    Photo BANQ

    According to several testimonies, the father Joveneau was an alcoholic. The more he drank and the more he agressait women and children.

    A story like this one, there were dozens during the reign of Alexis Joveneau in Unamen Shipu and Pakuashipi, to more or less 500 km to the east of Sept-Îles. The Journal tells several others today and tomorrow.

    The father provincial of the Oblates, Luc Tardif, calls now of “plague” with his actions ” disgusting “, as reported in The Journal yesterday.

    In 1953, some Innu were still nomads. They don’t speak good French and were not educated.

    It is in this context that the father Joveneau arrived and began to speak in innu, a language he had learned during the year he had spent in Labrador.

    In addition to being a White who spoke innu, Alexis Joveneau was personable. He immediately won the respect of the community.

    When a Innu had need of translating a document, or talk to an airplane pilot to send sick children to medical care, the father Joveneau served as translator. He fulfilled the demands of social assistance or old age pension. It is as well that it has rendered indispensable.

    In his childhood in Belgium, the one who was called “lama pétulant” in the scouts, was recognized as a leader.


    Photo courtesy Serge Jauvin

    Innu hunters were to do the offering of furs to the father Joveneau in exchange for prayers. At Christmas 1986, the furs were much in evidence in the church.

    In these poor communities, the only access is by snowmobile, plane or boat. Despite the difficulties, Joveneau has still managed to build a coast-to-coast, a church, a presbytery, a community hall and a school, called ironically… Saint-Alexis.

    All of you remember that he had a great charisma… and the candy in his rectory to attract children.

    Louise Lalo went to the rectory after school. According to her, there was always a child on the knees of the priest, while the other ran around the kitchen table in empiffrant.

    Obsessed by hell

    Photo courtesy Serge Jauvin

    Father Alexis Joveneau had recruited 12 “apostles” who stood behind the priest during important ceremonies.

    At one time, he had taken under his wing the 12 men of the village, known as the apostles. At the masses, these are placed behind or kneeling in front of their ” Jesus “. He was constantly accompanied him when he walked in the village.

    Every Sunday in his sermons, Alexis Joveneau spoke of the paradise, demon and hell. According to many Aboriginal people, he was obsessed with it.

    He had managed to create a real fear of hell. The people only had one thing in mind : to go to heaven. It was in danger of hell anyone désobéirait.

    “He had placed two posters of the height of the door to the entrance of the church. A to go to heaven and another for hell. We were to follow the good poster “, remembers Charles Api Bellefleur.

    Simeon Malleck remembers very well the day of her first communion, at the age of eight years, when he was assaulted by the priest. The latter has been shown to do a blowjob and promised him hell if it was not to his taste. “I was terrified “, he says.

    Impossible to denounce

    The father Joveneau exercised significant power on these communities, which were virtually without contact with the rest of Québec because of the remoteness, but also of the language.

    Thus, it was very difficult for the Innu to denounce it.

    Marguerite Mestenapéo, the sister of Pierrette, had tried once to speak of the sexual assaults she had suffered. She remembers her mother’s response.

    “She told me not to say it, because the priest, he was a God and that he was called by God,” said Ms. Mestenapéo.

    She did not talk about it until the passage of the Newspaper last month.

    “The tip of the iceberg “

    Photo BANQ

    The father Joveneau with the sister Armande Dumas during a festival celebrated in the rectory in 1987.

    Sister Armande Dumas was well known the father Joveneau to have worked with him in Unamen Shipu.

    She refused to give an interview to the Newspaper during our visit, but has nevertheless said that the revelations made by the members of the community ” are only the tip of the iceberg “.

    “For all these victims, I hope they receive all the assistance they need to release this weight of silence that for too long they have worn, and that they are progressing towards personal healing and community… That truth and justice be done “, she later wrote in a letter sent to the Newspaper.


    Here is the full text of the letter Armande Dumas

    Magalie Lapointe

    Journal de Montréal

    Magalie, we had the opportunity to meet with us during your stay at The Roman last February and I’ve already explained my point of view on a possible interview.

    I maintain this position, but I believe that within our brief conversation you have without a doubt been able to perceive as I live feelings so much outrage, only sadness and compassion in front of the evidence presented at the sessions of the Commission on the aboriginal women murdered and missing. To these, various other are added and interfere, yet hard to clear up and to make.

    These feelings reach first of all the people who courageously took the floor to express their pain of having suffered from the hand of the Father Joveneau of unacceptable behaviours, as well as other possible victims who have kept silent for so many years. For all of these victims, I hope they receive all the assistance they need to release this weight of silence that for too long they have worn and that they are progressing towards personal healing and community… That justice and truth are made !

    Finally, these emotions expressed above also coincide with the rest of the community of Unamen Shipu, deeply shaken and still under the shock of the revelations heard about this priest, the first parish priest resident, who shared their sorrows and their joys, their struggles and their hopes, for nearly forty years. The questions are multiple, and sometimes hurt, and also they raise a large number of deliveries in question both among individuals and among families, as well as in the community as a whole.

    These pain and these tears, these questions and this questioning, I make my own. With the various stakeholders that can help, I am committed to the best of my abilities to listen, to accompany, to support, to reach out to each other in this search for truth, healing and a better life.

    Armande Dumas

    The Roman, march 8, 201


    Who is Alexis Joveneau ?

    • 20 march 1926: Born in Tournai, Belgium
    • 2 October 1945: Entry of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate
    • February 18, 1951: priestly Ordination
    • January 14, 1952 June 3, 1952: He asked to come as a missionary to Canada. Training in Moosonee, Ontario
    • July 1952 to June 1953: Professor at Davis Inlet, Labrador
    • July 14, 1953, to December 22, 1992: a Missionary in Unamen Shipu
    • 22 December 1992: Death of Alexis Joveneau. He would have died of a cardiopulmonary arrest
    • 27 December 1992: a Funeral in Unamen Shipu


    Unamen Shipu

    • Number of inhabitants : about 1000.
    • Spoken languages : innu and French.
    • Infrastructure : airport, health center, school, church, community radio station, hostel, grocery store, convenience store, service station, snack bar, the arena.



    • Number of inhabitants : approximately 300.
    • Spoken languages : innu, English, French.
    • Infrastructure : airport, health center, school, church, community radio, catering, convenience store.


    Assaulted at her first communion

    Photo courtesy

    Simeon Malleck said to have been assaulted on two occasions by father Alexis Joveneau when he was aged 8 and 10 years old.

    Simeon Malleck has ever thought to go dig up the body of the father Joveneau, so his rage is great against the man who assaulted the day of her first communion.

    “His place is not in our cemetery. He has done too much harm to my people, the innu. It has done me too much evil to me “, rage Simeon Malleck.

    The Journal has covered over 650 miles to snowmobile during two weeks of the month last to go to the meeting of victims like himself, who had never told their story before. Several speak only innu and an interpreter was necessary to reveal these stories that always have an impact on their lives.

    Simeon Malleck did not hesitate to say that the father Joveneau has ruined his childhood and a good part of his adult life, up until the point where he has reconnected with the nature and traditions of the innu.


    In 1989, he was very eager to make her first communion. A moment that he was presented as very important in her life.

    The little boy of 8 years has come early for the ceremony. He was the first on the spot.

    He then decided to go to the rectory, where the door was always débarrée. He wanted to go sit down and talk with the one that was nicknamed ” God “.

    Alexis Joveneau welcomed him and showed him the direction of a room. The child was very scared in this room with a tiny window where there was very little light.

    Several people have testified having been assaulted in this room, the priest called her “little salon” in the letters he wrote to his niece (and of which extracts are published on pages 6 and 7).

    Simeon Malleck was shaking. The one of whom he had heard so much about it has been stripped, is stripped to his lap and stroked him. The child was not feeling well. Determined to satisfy his sexual urges, Alexis Joveneau, who was then 63 years old, took the head of the little boy and told him what to do…

    “Throughout the assault, he made me promises. It made me afraid. He told me to do it. Otherwise, I would not go to heaven. It is very hard for a young innocent boy “, has revealed, in tears, the man is now 36 years old.


    Simeon Malleck attacked twice by the father Joveneau, but it was enough to spoil his youth and part of his adult life. The second time, it was in 1991. He was 10 years old.

    “My youth has been stolen by him. When I was little, he promised me to go to heaven. After the event, I have never trusted to anyone, ” he says.

    When hunting or fishing, it is well. He comes out of his shell, of which he is a prisoner for the last 28 years.

    He prefers to believe in the Earth mother and in God.

    “I’m not crying tears of joy, I cry tears of hate. A man should not cry, and to him, it still makes me cry. I know he has made lots of victims, ” concluded Simeon Malleck.


    He surprised Joveneau and his niece in action

    A man who has worked 20 years for the father Joveneau was caught trying to sexually assault his niece.

    Charles Api Bellefleur, 69 years old, was the servant of the father when he was young. He has worked with the religious in daily life for more than 20 years.

    One evening in 1981, he wanted to go see it. He made the tour of the rectory, which was never crossed out, and descended to the basement without the find.

    He was on the point of leaving when he heard the man’s voice. Following the deep sound of it, he found himself in front of a scene he has never forgotten.

    “He was naked and he kissed the breast of his niece, Marie-Christine Joveneau. I’ve seen it, and I did not understand what was happening. I haven’t talked and I’m out of there completely devastated, shocked. From this event, I never prayed, ” reveals the man.

    He tried to denounce the father Joveneau with a few friends and his family, but without success.

    “At the time, nobody thought me. I was told that I wanted to do harm to the religion. Nobody liked it, but nobody spoke. Everyone was afraid of him. He is in control of everything, ” adds Charles Api Bellefleur.

    The small living room

    Mr. Bellefleur remembers that Alexis Joveneau was built in 1981 as a “little show” that the victims still today call ” the dark room “. He is convinced that the father had built this room to commit the assault.

    According to the stories independent of Mr. Bellefleur and Marie-Christine Joveneau (read pages 6 and 7 ), it did add a door in the wall of his room to have direct access to this room without having to pass through the corridor.

    This room was very dark, hence its nickname of the black room. The priest had even taken care to place a piece of furniture in the corridor in front of the door of this room, so that the only access is by the bedroom.

    Mr. Bellefleur is believed that this was to ensure that it will not be surprised.


    Testimonies are overwhelming

    For two weeks, The Newspaper has visited the isolated communities of Unamen Shipu and Pakuashipi, to collect testimonials are overwhelming concerning the priest Alexis Joveneau. These aboriginal peoples spoke publicly of their story for the first time. Here are some of the testimonies collected:

    Caresses from within the confessional

    Photo Magalie Lapointe

    Philomene Bellefleur has agreed to testify face to face to get free.

    • Philomene Bellefleur, 60 years
    • Age of first assault : 7-8 years
    • Duration of assault : 6 years
    • Place of assault : confessional

    Philomene Bellefleur was 7 or 8 years old when she entered a confessional for the first time. It was the day of her first communion.

    Then she said to his sins and was trying to remember the prayer taught to the school by the sisters, Alexis Joveneau would have asked her to go and sit down on him and had started to caress her breasts.

    “I was frozen. I remember that I wanted to remove his arm, and I was not able. I was young and he was strong, ” said Philomene Bellefleur.

    Ms. Bellefleur had been so scared of Alexis Joveneau that one day, she asked her father if she could stop going to the confessional. Unable to tell him why, her father always forced her to go there.

    “For my parents, Alexis Joveneau was a saint. I was well happy when he died. I was finally freed, ” she added.

    Candy and a sin

    • Pierrette Mestenapéo, 59 years
    • Age of first assault : 12-13 years
    • Duration of attacks : 4 years
    • Place of assault : confessional and rectory

    Pierrette Mestenapéo has thought to complain to the police when Nathalie Simard has lifted the veil on its history.

    Even 40 years after they have been assaulted, Ms. Mestenapéo can’t understand why it has not done so. Yet, she was abused by the father Joveneau several times, and this, regardless of the day or the hour.

    Whether in the confessional or when she went to prepare his coffee, at the request of the parish priest, Alexis Joveneau took advantage of the teenager to fondle the breasts, abdomen, and upper buttocks. The priest has always taken care of him, give him candy before she left the rectory.

    “When I think of him, I get chills. He thought that he was a king. He must have assaulted the majority of the women and girls of the time. I could never talk about it after [the attacks]. He told me that it would be sin if I was talking about and if I told what had happened “, said the one who confides to his older sister, who was also allegedly assaulted by the priest.

    His mother does not believe

    Photo Magalie Lapointe

    Damiana Mark in a residence of Unamen Shipu.

    • Damiana, Mark, 57-year-old
    • Age of first assault : 7-8 years
    • Duration of attacks : 7 years
    • Place of assault : confessional

    Damiana Mark to have been the victim of the father Joveneau until she married, at the age of 14 years.

    The assault would have occurred at the occasion of several christian holidays, including Christmas, Easter and other sacraments. According to her, the touching lasted about ten minutes.

    “Each time, it was the same thing, I tripotait breasts and he kissed me. When I was waiting to go to confession, I knew what was to happen. My mother took the father Joveneau for a god. She never believed my story, and I was always forced to go to church. I never talk about it afterwards, ” revealed Damiana Mark.

    The hands in his sweater

    Photo Magalie Lapointe

    Celine Lalo has never spoken of the touching the father’s Joveneau which she was the victim, because she was afraid of him.

    • Celine Lalo, 53-year-old
    • Age of first assault : 12-13 years
    • Duration of attacks : 5 times
    • Place of assault : in his residence to Pakuashipi

    Celine Lalo and his childhood friends loved to go to the residence of the parish priest when the father Joveneau was on a visit to Pakuashipi.

    While she was in the throes of pre-adolescence, Joveneau would have sat on him and would have affected.

    “He invited me to sit on his lap and he started to caress me and to get her hands in my sweater. I was frozen, ” explained Céline Lalo.

    She never revealed to her his secret before today.

    It is free for the first time

    • Sebastien Malleck, 59 years
    • Age of first assault : 8 years
    • Duration of physical and sexual abuse : 6 years
    • Locations of attacks : confessional and rectory

    At the age of 8 years, Sebastien Malleck has become serving mass for father Joveneau for two years.

    He remembers very well the confessional, where the priest himself has caressed the belly in him lifting up the sweater and pandered to the top of the buttocks.

    The same thing happened when he went to the presbytery to play cards, checkers, and eat candy. The priest asked him to sit on his lap, and then the touching began.

    Curled up in on himself and visibly shaken during the interview, Mr. Malleck was released for the first time.

    “Once, my mother had asked me what I had. I think she had doubts about what I was going through [with the father Joveneau]. I have never talked about. I was afraid that she corrects me. The people loved the father Joveneau because he tried, ” murmured the man.

    She believed that he loved her

    Photo Magalie Lapointe

    The mother of Louise Lalo telling him not stay long in the presbytery.

    • Louise Lalo
    • Age of first assault : 8 years
    • Place of assault : in his residence to Pakuashipi

    While Louise Lalo was 8 years old, her best friend, was often at the rectory with other kids. She said she often saw the father Joveneau fondling of children, the hands in their sweater and fondle her breasts.

    In his head as a child, she said that the religious liked to be surrounded by children. Once, she went to the rectory to find his best friend. The father Joveneau invited her to come sit on his lap.

    “He started to caress me, like he did to my friends. I was not good, I did not understand what he was doing. I thought he loved me “, said Louise Lalo.

    She has never talked with his mother, but today, she believes that it was aware of the actions of Alexis Joveneau.

    “My mother warned not to stay long (in the presbytery) when I went to pick up my friend. I didn’t understand why she told me that “, said Louise Lalo.

    Clutched by her bra

    • Marguerite Mestenapéo, 69 years
    • Age of first assault : 22 years
    • Duration of assault : 5 years
    • Place of assault : the basement of the old rectory

    Marguerite Mestenapéo began to suffer the abuse of father Alexis Joveneau while she was married for four years.

    The father Joveneau shot him repeatedly the straps of her bra from behind to bring Ms. Mestenapéo of him. When she retreated, he touched the breasts in mentioning it to him not to be afraid.

    “He began to fiddle with the boobs near the printer of the presbytery (in the 1980s). He had no respect for women. It was very strong, I do not let go and me a big mess. It was really nasty, ” revealed Marguerite Mestenapéo.