November 17, 2018

Winnipeg
-12° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Fox Lake residents' shocking testimony

IN January, a delegation of 12 Fox Lake Nation elders, youth and leaders travelled to Winnipeg to testify about decades of alleged abuse at the hands of Manitoba Hydro crews, who reportedly turned Gillam into a “hell hole” for Indigenous people.

Here are excerpts from testimony before the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, from its report on the effect of hydro development in the north:

Mary Beardy is an elder in her 60s. She related what life was like for Fox Lake women 40 years ago.

“And when we talk about the sexual abuse we went through, I can name a few men that I can put behind jail right now that abused me... There is no statutory limitation on that now, not like before... when the person is passed out, there is new laws on that, too. You never gave your consent for anybody to help themselves while you’re sleeping,” she said.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

IN January, a delegation of 12 Fox Lake Nation elders, youth and leaders travelled to Winnipeg to testify about decades of alleged abuse at the hands of Manitoba Hydro crews, who reportedly turned Gillam into a "hell hole" for Indigenous people.

Here are excerpts from testimony before the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, from its report on the effect of hydro development in the north:

Mary Beardy is an elder in her 60s. She related what life was like for Fox Lake women 40 years ago.

"And when we talk about the sexual abuse we went through, I can name a few men that I can put behind jail right now that abused me... There is no statutory limitation on that now, not like before... when the person is passed out, there is new laws on that, too. You never gave your consent for anybody to help themselves while you’re sleeping," she said.

"You can put that person behind jail for that. Did you give him (a) yes? No, you didn’t, because you’re sleeping and that person is helping themselves. That is a criminal offence against the women."

Franklin Arthurson started working for Manitoba Hydro in 1962 in Grand Rapids, and moved to Gillam when the utility transformed Fox Lake’s home territory into a hydro company town.

One of the then-few Cree-born employees of the utility, Arthurson was from Norway House and married a woman from Fox Lake. However, he still described himself as one of "invaders" Hydro sent north.

"As an outsider looking into the Fox Lake community, to the town of Gillam, I seen the damage that was being done to Fox Lake. I was an outsider looking in. I was there to do a job; there was nothing I could do," Arthurson testified.

"You had thousands of men chasing a handful of women. Like Sophie (Fox Lake elder Sophie Lockhart) said earlier, ‘They plied us with alcohol, they got us drunk.’ How would you feel, man, if you had hundreds of men chasing you as a young girl? Wouldn’t that do something to you years later? Wouldn’t that cause trauma?

"And how would you think as a parent, as a mother or a father, to know there was hundreds of men after your daughter for only one reason, for one reason? Back then, you had to be there three months, 90 days, to get a day off," he said. "I was there 90 days before we could leave for a week. And I don’t know what you people know about construction workers, they’re a hardy lot, they drink hard, they live hard. And they all chase women.

"Think of it this way: you live in Winnipeg, you got your own house, you got three daughters you’re bringing up. And all of a sudden 200 of us from Gillam, Fox Lake, young men walk into your house, invade your house and start molesting your daughters. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it. You can go to the RCMP, and they tell you, we’re not doing anything wrong."

— Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
Reporter

Alexandra is a veteran news reporter who has covered stories for the Winnipeg Free Press since 1987. She held the medical beat for nearly 17 years, and today specializes in coverage of Indigenous-related issues. She is among the most versatile journalists on the paper’s staff.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us