The Oblates du Québec apologize in front of the evidence of the Log

News 23 March, 2018
  • Photo Chantal Poirier
    The provincial father Luc Tardif, and the oblate Jacques Laliberté, in a residence in Montreal, apologized to the aggressions perpetrated by their ex-colleague.

    Magalie Lapointe

    Friday, 23 march, 2018 01:00

    Friday, 23 march, 2018 01:00

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    In a survey which will be published tomorrow in The Journal about the abuse for 39 years by father Alexis Joveneau, on the Basse-Côte-Nord, has pushed the community of the Oblate fathers to publicly apologize.

    The testimonies collected by The Journal over the last three months are so shocking that the chief of the Oblates in Quebec is even said to be open to help the victims.

    In this great story, a twenty Innu from the North Shore bear witness face to face, sexual assault, physical, emotional, and financial abuse committed by father Alexis Joveneau, between 1953 and 1992.

    Letters overwhelming

    We also got our hands on letters written by the executioner himself, who proved that he had sexually abused, for months, his niece, on a visit to Quebec.

    “We are deeply sorry and we apologize for any harm caused by our fellow-member. We are all wounded in this tragic story, ” said father Luc Tardif, in an interview with The Newspaper.

    The Log shows that the father Joveneau used his power and influence over the Innu, not only to abuse her sexually, often in the confessional, but also enriched themselves personally on their backs.

    Here are a few items that we will discuss from tomorrow and that have been brought to the attention of the Oblates :

    • 19 testimony-shock face to face ;
    • thirty love letters written by Alexis Joveneau to his niece, which have been hidden for 20 years ;
    • he proclaimed himself Jesus and had 12 apostles ;
    • he forced women to marry strangers ;
    • he captured the most beautiful furs in exchange for prayers for his personal benefit.

    “We will take our responsibilities, by all the means possible to participate in the repair of the injuries caused to the victims,” said the father Late.

    Revelations troubling

    The religious community of the Oblates had already apologised in 1991, Aboriginal to physical and sexual abuses perpetrated by other religious.

    But they say they have learned only in November, the crimes against Joveneau where innu women have testified to the national Survey on aboriginal women missing and murdered.

    Before the revelations even more troubling was obtained by The Newspaper, during a visit of the villages of Unamen Shipu and Pakuashipi, the Oblates have decided to set up a telephone line and an e-mail to help the victims. They have also hired a lawyer…

    “Sometimes, one wonders about the nature of the allegations. But this time, it is unacceptable, intolerable, and in an unequivocal way. It is really disgusting, ” sighed the father provincial Late.

    The father Joveneau, now deceased, has long been regarded by the Oblates as a missionary of exception. The clerical congregation of the treaty now the character disgusting, ” and ” plague “.

    The father of Late said to have tried to contact the band council of Unamen Shipu on three occasions, without success.


    • Founded in 1816 by bishop Eugène de Mazenod in France
    • First missionaries arrive in Canada in 1841
    • In 1844, the religious community is established in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Sainte-Foy, Ottawa and Abitibi
    • Known in Quebec by the missions to the Aboriginal people
    • The Oblates have founded the University of Ottawa in 1848 under the name of the College of Bytown, and they have provided the leadership until 1966
    • 150 oblates to Quebec in 2018

    Victims can join the Oblates at 1 800 450 8701 and

    His archives, sealed for 50 years

    Photo national archives of Quebec

    Father Alexis Joveneau invited on a daily basis at the presbytery of Unamen Shipu children who sat on his knees.

    The Oblates are ready to apologize, but not to make public the personal archives of father Alexis Joveneau, which are put under seal for 50 years.

    “This is to protect the privacy of the missionaries. It has to be 100 years that it’s like that [to keep the archive under embargo 50 years after the death of the priest], ” says the father Luc Tardif.

    These archives may be able to determine if the community has tried to hide the father Joveneau by posting in one of the villages in Quebec, even today accessible only by snowmobile, boat, or plane.

    For inteviewer witnesses, The Newspaper has made a snowmobile in February.

    The Oblates have not enabled the Journal to have access to personal archives, but they are now in the hands of the national Survey of aboriginal women missing and murdered.

    Hidden here ?

    Alexis Joveneau came to Belgium in 1951. It was assigned in a reserve in Ontario for six months. He then spent a year in Labrador before living on the North Shore for 39 years. He died in Unamen Shipu on December 22, 1992.

    The Journal was found in Belgium, one of his victims, who will testify in the report that will be published tomorrow.

    The Oblates have missions everywhere in the world. They wanted to hide Alexis Joveneau in Quebec ?

    “Would have to look at blunders in the Church. This is a case-by-case basis. There have been around [the case of aggressors]. It has existed everywhere, everywhere, ” says the chief provincial of the Oblates Luc Tardif.

    “This is a good manipulator [Joveneau]. He played his game without being able to see it, ” said for his part, Jacques Laliberté, an oblate who has known Joveneau.