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Manitoba Metis Federation to launch investigation into accused priest’s conduct

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Metis Federation to launch investigation into accused priest’s conduct'
Manitoba Metis Federation to launch investigation into accused priest’s conduct
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) says it will be launching an independent investigation into the conduct of retired priest Arthur Masse – Jun 22, 2022

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) says it will be launching an independent investigation into the conduct of retired priest Arthur Masse.

Manitoba RCMP said Friday that Masse, 92, was arrested at his Winnipeg home and faces charges of indecent assault in connection with a historic complaint at the former Fort Alexander Residential School on Sagkeeng First Nation.

The offence he has been charged with took place when the victim was a 10-year-old student at the school, between 1968 and 1970, police said.

MMF president David Chartrand said Wednesday that Masse was active in the Metis communities such as Duck Lake and Camperville for two decades, a role which included providing one-on-one tutoring to several people.

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“In light of these allegations against Mr. Masse, it is critical that we undertake an independent investigation to understand if Mr. Masse’s activities in our communities resulted in any incidents related to his alleged misconduct,” Chartrand said in a statement.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba RCMP confirms more allegations since 92-year-old priest charged with residential school offence'
Manitoba RCMP confirms more allegations since 92-year-old priest charged with residential school offence

“Our independent investigators will be mandated to speak directly with those who interacted with him in our communities, to understand the full scope of Mr. Masse’s relationship with our citizens, including any incidents that should have been brought to the attention of authorities.”

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Chartrand said the investigation’s findings will be shared with authorities.

This latest news comes a day after Manitoba RCMP confirmed more alleged victims had come forward after Masse’s arrest was made public, although they did not specify if these new reports were about Masse in particular or other alleged residential school abuse.

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Masse is scheduled to appear in a Powerview, Man., court on July 20.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

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