Manitoba RCMP confirmed on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, that they have been involved in an investigation over sexual abuse allegations at Fort Alexander Residential School for more than a decade.
Police say that they began the investigation in February 2010, and have reviewed countless archival records related to Fort Alexander Residential School in an effort to identify anyone involved.
After a year of work, investigators began canvassing people whose names had been identified in the documents that included students and employees. Officers also went door-to-door in the Fort Alexander / Powerview area.
Police were in contact with more than 700 people across North America in an effort to locate possible victims or witnesses. In 2011 a criminal investigation was launched and investigators began taking formal statements and interviewing victims and witnesses. In total officers gathered 75 statements from witnesses and victims.
RCMP say that over the past ten years more than 80 investigators have worked on the case and they have completed more than 680 tasks related to the investigation.
Police say that during the investigation they have engaged with Manitoba First Nation Leadership including the Grand Chiefs of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Southern Chief’s Organization. Officers have also had meetings with the Chief and Council of Sagkeeng First Nation.
RCMP has sent an investigative package to Manitoba Prosecution Services for review and advice regarding charges. No charges have been laid at this point in the investigation.
RCMP pointed out that victims, suspects and witnesses have privacy rights and ask everyone to allow Prosecution Services the necessary time to fairly evaluate the evidence and provide advice
“Violation of the privacy rights of those involved in this investigation will not only cause further trauma to everyone involved, but also potentially compromise this highly sensitive investigation,” said Chief Derrick Henderson of Sagkeeng First Nation in a news release.
“We ask that the trauma our community has experienced and continues to live every day is respected and that those affected are afforded their privacy at this time.”
Manitoba RCMP noted that this is the only investigation into residential schools that is currently underway by them.
© News4.ca 2021