June 21, 2022

Episode 7: Workers of God (S2 Surviving St. Michael's)

by Stolen

Background show artwork for Stolen

After the Oblates reveal new allegations against Father Gauthier, Connie wants to know: how many other priests at St. Michael’s are accused of sexual abuse? A search for records comes up short. But then the team has a breakthrough.

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Connie Walker: Before we begin, we want to let you know that this episode contains multiple descriptions of violence and sexual abuse against children. If you're a survivor or intergenerational survivor of residential schools, this may be especially difficult to hear. Please take care while listening.

Connie: Previously on Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Connie: So we are at this nursing home. I feel like—I mean, I kind of just want to go in because I'm like, I've spent so much time imagining this moment.

Connie: What did you see?

Father Gauthier: What that abuse is all about.

Connie: What is it?

Father Gauthier: Sexually, mostly.

Connie: You saw someone being sexually abused? Who did you see? Who was it?

Father Gauthier: Well, I cannot name because I don't want to put them down.

Connie: How many people at the school were abusing children?

Father Gauthier: Well, I suppose there were always a couple of guys.

Connie: Since my interview with Father Gilles Gauthier, there are so many things I've been left thinking about, so many moments I've replayed again and again. But one thing in particular keeps coming back to me. Even though Gauthier denied abusing students, the way he talked about sexual abuse at the school made it sound casual and widespread. He said he saw "a couple of guys"—including priests—abusing children. When I asked him who they were, he refused to name names. But I want to know who were they? I think I know someone who could tell me.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Ken Thorson: I'm a leader in the Catholic Church. I'm the leader of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.]

Connie: Father Ken Thorson, head of the Oblates in Canada.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Ken Thorson: And in that, I'm to take my example from Jesus Christ as a model of leadership. And at times we have failed as leaders to live up to that.]

Connie: This is an interview from CBC News last June, not long after the discovery of unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Ken Thorson: All Canadians, Catholics and otherwise, should be asking the best of their church leaders, and so I welcome—I welcome the challenge.]

Connie: I asked Thorson for an interview. He declined. But we've been emailing for weeks. The only way I know that Gauthier was credibly accused of sexual abuse by 16 survivors is because Father Thorson told me—but only after I'd asked him multiple times to review the records he had on Gauthier. And since he reviewed those files, couldn't he do the same thing for other priests from St. Michael's? When I asked Thorson this question two months ago, he didn't respond.

Connie: But this pressure on the Oblates to release records they have on residential schools is nothing new—it came up in the interview Thorson did last spring.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, David Cochrane: I know your order is in possession of some of these documents. Would you commit to releasing those documents, in particular to the ones that relate to the Kamloops residential school?]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Ken Thorson: We already have, David. We—the documents that have—that have been discussed recently ...]

Connie: The Oblates have released records. We've seen thousands of them in the archives. But not everything.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, David Cochrane: Is there any document that you have that you wouldn't release if requested? Is there something that you—because a full disclosure for truth is important in this process.]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Ken Thorson: Right. The—the only documents—what I would say is that the documents that we—that we would not release at this time are the personnel files.]

Connie: The personnel files for each individual Oblate. They're kept secret until 50 years after a priest's death. The Oblates say it's for privacy reasons, and to safeguard the integrity of individual Oblates. So much of what we know—and don't know—about individual priests is at the discretion of the Oblates.

Connie: But if I can't get more information from them, how else can I find these names? Just how many other priests from St. Michael's are accused of sexual abuse? And are they still out there?

Connie: I'm Connie Walker. From Gimlet Media and Spotify, this is Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Ry Moran: There's records that exist, but they're hidden, and they're really hard to get at.

Connie: Ry Moran spent years trying to answer some of the same questions I am. He was first director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the NCTR. For years, they've been documenting the truth about Canada's residential school system.

Ry Moran: There are so many important questions that haven't been answered yet, and we have an obligation to the country to stand up for the truth of what is happening.

Connie: Ry says that, outside of information from the Oblates, the next biggest help to our investigation would be records from the Independent Assessment Process. We don't know how many were from St. Michael's but remember, thousands of survivors went through the IAP describing their experiences and often naming their alleged abusers. If they made allegations against priests at St. Michael's, it would be in their IAP records.

Ry Moran: Basically, right now somewhere in this country, we know. We know collectively who the abusers are in the residential school system. We know exactly who they are, and we actually know exactly where they live.

Connie: That's the information I want, but those documents are sealed. And unless survivors ask to have them preserved, they're going to be destroyed in five years. To date, only 28 survivors have asked to have their records archived with the NCTR. So all of the information, this massive record of abuse in residential schools—including the names of any priests who have been accused of sexual abuse—will be lost.

Ry Moran: I have seen some of this information, but I'm actually under, like, a sealing order still to this day by the courts that if I disclose anything, I can—I'm in contempt and go to jail. And I've certainly thought about it, you know, what that means. And it's very complicated being in an organization like a truth organization and having that type of restriction placed upon you.

Connie: Ry can't tell me what he knows, but he says he's not the only one who has this information. There were other people involved in the IAP.

Ry Moran: You know, there are a number of lawyers, there are a number of adjudicators that did attend these IAP hearings. I mean, people that would be able to give you more information in terms of what was happening on the inside.

Connie: So I called some of them up, adjudicators and lawyers who were part of the IAP, and private investigators who tracked down alleged abusers. Would any of them share the names of priests accused of sexual abuse during the IAP?

Doug Racine: What do I know about St Michael's Residential School? I know a whole hell of a lot. I can't share a lot with you because it was all—it was all secret.

Eleanore Sunchild: Those records would be with the church, and they're not—they don't release them. The Catholic Churches are so tight-lipped. Like, they're so secretive.

Glen: I can't tell you anybody that I contacted or located. I mean, because that would be going against my huge confidentiality agreement with the government.

Connie: We hit dead end after dead end, until our reporter Chantelle Bellrichard had an idea.

Chantelle Bellrichard: Yeah, it was one of those working backwards sort of light bulb moments, where I was thinking through, okay, if we can't see the IAP claims, well where did they originate?

Connie: This might seem straightforward, but it was kind of a breakthrough for us to realize there might be another way to get records of abuse claims from St Michael's. For many survivors, the IAP wasn't the first time they told their stories. Thousands of them had done it years before when they sued the government and churches. Most of these allegations were never tested or proven in court because many of the claims were dropped so that survivors could participate in the IAP. If we could find those lawsuits, what would be in them? Would they include the names of alleged abusers?

Chantelle: We knew that there were thousands of them filed across Canada, but no way of knowing really how many St. Michael's survivors had filed civil lawsuits, who they were, you know, who they might've accused and where we would get our hands on those records.

Connie: But we didn't know where to start without the claimants' names or their case numbers, so Chantelle filed an Access to Information and Privacy request with the Canadian Department of Justice. We wanted to see if they would give us a list of the lawsuits filed by St Michael's survivors. A month after Chantelle's request, she got an email back.

Chantelle: It was a spreadsheet, and it was many, many pages long, and it was a list of all of the civil lawsuits that involved plaintiffs or survivors who had attended St Michael's.

Connie: On every line in this spreadsheet was a case number.

Chantelle: And the list was 482 lines long.

Connie: 482 lines. 482 lawsuits filed by St Michael's survivors.

Chantelle: I don't know if any of us could have anticipated that's the number we would be looking at. I don't have anything to go by to guess how many claims there might've been, but it certainly was not close to 500, which is what the number is that we got.

Connie: These case numbers were a key to learning where these lawsuits were held. But soon we discovered they were buried in boxes and scattered in storage facilities across Canada. We were asking the courts to pull a huge volume of files. If we were going to see what was in them, we would have to go read through them in person.

Chantelle: So Betty Ann was called on first to go to Prince Albert. And then by the time we got to Regina, which was about 80 files, it was clear that we needed some extra—an extra set of hands. And so that's when Connie, even you got pulled in to go look at the files with Anya.

Connie: We walked into a room that was filled with boxes. I thought, "Okay. Well, there's no way we're gonna do this in two days." But then we realized that the amazing people who work at those courthouses had actually pulled the files that were relevant to what we were interested in, and they were stacked on a big desk. And we just were taking pictures as quickly as we could, because we had so many to get through. And you're basically—you're just standing there, you're like, click, turn page, click, turn page, click, turn page, click. And we ended up taking, like, more than 4,000 pictures in that one day. So in total we had around 20,000 pages of documents to process.

Chantelle: Yeah.

Connie: All of this happened within the last month. We spent days furiously photographing in the courthouses, and once we were done, we sat down to read the documents. We found every file had a statement of claim where survivors detail what they say happened to them and the damage it caused them. And most records also included a statement of defense from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate denying the allegations made in the claim, denying their responsibility for the people who worked at the school, denying that they failed to do something about the abuse and denying that they failed to protect the plaintiff from harm.

Connie: Most of these lawsuits never saw their day in court, but what survivors described in these claims was shocking.

Chantelle: It's a nightmare factory. It spans from, like, the 1910s to about 1990.

Connie: So like 70 or 80 years. Wow!

Connie: These documents give what is probably the most comprehensive look we've ever had at what survivors say happened at St. Michael's. And the picture they paint is grim.

Chantelle: One of the words that's used in the lawsuits quite often as a descriptor of what the kids experienced was "sadistic." And I don't know if there's a word other than that that could give you a sense of what type of abuse we're talking about. Calling it physical or sexual abuse really sanitizes, I think, the horror.

Connie: Just one more warning before we go any further: the content of these lawsuits is incredibly disturbing. We're not naming survivors, and we're not sharing many of the most graphic details we read. Even still, this material is difficult to listen to.

Connie: Reading through the hundreds of lawsuits from survivors of St. Michael's, I can picture the school, the towering red brick facade with more than 80 windows in the front. Each lawsuit feels like it offers a glimpse into one of those windows, into one of those rooms—a bathroom, a hallway, a bedroom. I can imagine the nuns, priests and staff who lived there, and the children who were in their care.

Connie: St. Michael's comes alive, not as a school but as a place where these children were prey, where rooms weren't just spaces, they were opportunities for abuse.

Chantelle: Kids at St. Michael's were, we saw in the claims and in our interviews, they were doing all sorts of cleaning. And one of the places they talked about cleaning was the priest's bedrooms. It seems like this in particular provided this space for priests to abuse children.

Connie: We read this in the lawsuits. Survivors alleged that they would be assigned to clean the priests' and nuns' bedrooms, and would find themselves alone in these rooms. One survivor says one day when she was 12 or 13, a priest named Father Laurent Houde cornered her while she was cleaning a nun's room. He forced her to touch him and threatened her if she didn't. She says this abuse continued almost weekly for a year. We found more allegations of sexual abuse against Father Houde than any other priest. Houde was at the school for nearly 10 years, from 1953 to 1962. During that time, 17 survivors said he sexually abused them.

Connie: But Houde wasn't the most prolific alleged abuser at St Michael's. I'm surprised to learn that the person with the most allegations in the lawsuits was a nun.

Chantelle: There was one name we saw over and over again in the claims. That was a nun named Sister Joseph Anthony.

Connie: Sister Joseph Anthony was at St. Michael's for almost 40 years. Hundreds of students came and went during her time there. In our interviews and in lawsuits, we learned that 34 survivors alleged sexual abuse by Sister Joseph Anthony. Many said they were assaulted by her on a regular basis—often in the bathroom.

Chantelle: The nuns bathed kids regularly, and so in the statements of claim, in relation to bathing is where we saw dozens of allegations of sexual abuse.

Connie: Many survivors allege that nuns would "inspect" their vaginas to see if they were clean, sometimes poking their fingers inside. For some, these inspections continued into their teens. There were other allegations of sexual abuse against many other nuns. One St. Michael's survivor said he was sent to the infirmary where he was given codeine, and when he woke up, a nun named Sister Mark was molesting him.

Connie: Survivors said this abuse didn't only happen in private spaces. We read lawsuits where students said they were groped or touched in the classroom, in the priests' dining room, at recess and in the chapel.

Connie: The abuse that students said happened at St. Michael's seemed to live and thrive in silence. One survivor claimed he walked into a priest's room without knocking and saw him raping a young girl. He said he was strapped for not knocking before entering.

Connie: Some statements of claim describe the priests and nuns working together to maintain this silence and to perpetuate abuse.

Chantelle: There was one claim where a survivor talked about having a nun come into the dorm room regularly in the middle of the night, and this nun would come in, wake her up and then bring her into a priest's room where she would then be sexually abused.

Connie: Another St. Michael's survivor claimed that after a priest named Father Eugene Labonte molested her, she tried to tell a nun what happened, but instead of believing her, they told her to go apologize to Labonte for accusing him. They said he worked for Jesus. When she went to apologize, she said Labonte groped her and said, "No one is going to believe you now." Labonte was at the school between 1964 and 1968. In the lawsuits, six survivors said he sexually abused them.

Connie: According to the claims, there was one place at St. Michael's where abuse was talked about: in confession. It's where children were told they could confess their sins and be forgiven by God.

Chantelle: There's one really hard claim that we saw. It was a survivor talking about being sexually abused regularly by father Duhaime. And then her claim goes on to say that she told him that the sexual abuse was making her feel bad and she felt guilty. And in response, he apparently told her to go to confession.

Connie: This survivor claims that after Duhaime sent her to confession, he was the priest waiting to hear it. He told her to recite 10 Hail Marys or 10 Lord's Prayers. The lawsuit says Father Duhaime told her if she did this penance, she would be forgiven. Then the next day, the claim says Father Duhaime would start the assaults all over again.

Connie: This is the priest who had negatives of teenage boys changing in a locker room in his folder at the archives. He was principal of St. Michael's for six years. Our reporting found 15 survivors who accused him of sexual abuse.

Connie: We saw another familiar name in these court records—Gilles Gauthier. One of the first statements of claim I read was from a survivor accusing him of sexually assaulting her in the front seat of his car. She said her brothers were in the backseat. She said he also sexually abused her in a stairwell at St Michael's. We read another claim where a survivor said Gauthier made her strip naked in front of him when she was around eight years old. When I spoke to him, Gauthier denied ever sexually abusing children, but Thorson told us he was credibly accused by 16 survivors.

Connie: And there's something else he revealed—they weren't all from St. Michael's. Thorson said most of them were actually from two other residential schools in Alberta. From what we can tell, Gauthier was never assigned to work at those other schools, but we know that Oblate priests traveled around a lot. We saw this in the court records, a claim by a St. Michael's survivor of sexual abuse by a visiting priest. It seems that wherever some priests went, allegations of abuse followed them. That's what Gauthier told me: that abusers don't stop.

Connie: There doesn't seem like there was much pressure for them to stop because from what we can see from these lawsuits, students say abuse was happening at the highest levels of the school. Four out of five of the last Oblate principals from St Michael's are accused sexual abusers. They were at the school between 1939 and 1972.

Connie: When I talked to Gauthier, he said the way to stop abuse was to tell the superior. But if the person in charge was sexually abusing children, what would stop staff, nuns and other priests from doing the same?

Connie: Take the year 1963 as an example. Anthony Duhaime was principal, and there were four other priests at the school who reported to him, and all of them are accused of sexual abuse. If these claims are true, every single priest at St Michael's in 1963 was sexually abusing children—and every single priest was getting away with it.

Connie: It's hard to process the scale of alleged abuse at this school, and even more heartbreaking to know what we're reporting is an undercount. We found 15 staff members, 13 nuns and 17 Oblate priests accused of sexual abuse at St Michael's. Against these 45 adults, we counted 219 allegations, which means the majority of these alleged abusers had more than one allegation against them. And in many cases, the allegations did not refer to a single incident, but abuse that continued over weeks, months or even years.

Connie: These are the priests and nuns who were accused of sexually abusing children: Anthony Duhaime, Georges Chevrier, Gilles Gauthier, Denis Dubuc, Georges Latour, Eugene Labonte, Georges Roussel, Armand Allard, Louis-Clement Latour, Antonio Alberti, Toussaint Bouchard, Ernest Lacombe, Lionel Dumont, Armand Rodrigue, Irenee Gauthier, Laurent Houde, Lucienne LaFlamme, Irene Lalonde, Bernadette Lemay, Brigitte Simard, Laura Fortier, Therese Gosselin, Lucille Hudon, Marie Rose Gauthier, Marguerite Lajeunesse, Roseanne Roy, Anna Gaudet, Elodie Dery and Edna Marois.

Connie: Most of these people are dead, but two of the nuns are still alive. One didn't return our calls, and the other, Irene Lalonde—known as Sister Mark—denied the allegations. We reached out to Sister Lise Paquette, head of the Sisters of Presentation of Mary, the order of nuns who worked at St Michael's. She acknowledged the painful legacy of residential schools but said quote, "We have no record or documentation of sexual abuse or complaints of sexual abuse in our St Michael's records."

Connie: Eugene Labonte is one of two Oblate priests from St Michael's who is still alive, though he's no longer an Oblate. He left the order in 1986.

[phone rings]

Connie: We found a number for him and tried calling repeatedly. He never answered.

[Voicemail: Please leave a message after the beep.]

Connie: We asked Father Ken Thorson about Labonte, too. He said the Oblates have no contact with him.

Connie: Gilles Gauthier is the only other living priest from St. Michael's. He's now 90 years old, and lives in a nursing home outside of Edmonton. Father Thorson told us that, in response to our reporting, the Oblates launched an internal investigation into Gauthier. He also said they are taking steps toward removing themselves as gatekeepers of the personnel files of priests. But as of today, those records still aren't available to the public.

Connie: And going forward, Thorson also said they plan to review historical allegations made against other Oblates—and they're going to prioritize looking into living priests. We asked him how many Oblate priests who were accused of sexual abuse in residential schools are still alive. He didn't answer the question.

Connie: As far as we know, there hasn't been a single nun or Oblate priest who has ever been charged for a crime relating to St Michael's. St. Michael's was just one residential school, one out of 48 schools that the Oblates ran across the country, which means there could be dozens of alleged abusers still out there living out their final days in peace, never having had to answer to their accusers. But maybe it's not too late.

Rob Talach: You can chase a perpetrator to their deathbed, just like we do the concentration camp guards from World War II, okay? We can try a 98-year-old priest who worked at residential schools from his wheelchair.

Connie: Rob Talach is a lawyer who works on church sex abuses cases. He's sometimes called "the priest hunter." I first called him up months ago, when we were just starting our reporting. For the last 19 years, Rob's taken on cases against orders within the Catholic Church—including the Oblates.

Rob Talach: they ran 70 percent of the Catholic residential schools. There should be prison busloads of them. I think I can confidently say that the few convictions we do see of priests in Oblate-run residential schools is just the tip of the iceberg.

Connie: Through our investigation, we discovered a huge number of alleged abusers—and zero convictions against Oblate priests from St Michael's, so I wanted to call Rob back to tell him what we found.

Connie: What we were able to access were the statements of claim, the lawsuits that were filed ...

Connie: I walked him through the hundreds of civil claims we were able to uncover.

Rob Talach: I'm quite surprised to hear 482 lawsuits were individually filed. That is huge.

Connie: And I told him about going to Alberta and my conversation with Gilles Gauthier.

Rob Talach: His comments where he says it's not "his style." I mean, that—that choice of words is just indicative of that culture that this is not a crime, this is a style. It's not golf. You don't go out one weekend and then decide to sell your clubs. It's not for you. I mean, this is something that these guys do their whole career until either they can't anymore or their access to children has been limited.

Connie: Rob says the Oblates have historically treated priests abusing children as a moral failing, one that can be overcome with prayer. And this thing we saw in the records with priests moving school to school? Rob says this is part of how the Oblates have protected these priests.

Connie: What kind of protection? What does that look like?

Rob Talach: Well, the easiest protection is the silent shuffle. You just transfer the guy out of the province or out of the country, and when the police come knocking, there's nobody to interview.

Connie: We asked Father Thorson about this "silent shuffle." He called it a quote "dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church," and said that priests now need a letter of suitability from their superior in order to be transferred. Rob says he saw how the Oblates used the silent shuffle in one case involving a former Oblate priest named Eric Dejaeger.

Rob Talach: This is an Oblate from Belgium who, you know, found his way into the Canadian North, working with the Inuit. And he abused everywhere he went. So he was shipped back to Belgium by the Oblates, really in my assessment to avoid justice.

Connie: Rob says Dejaeger's case is a prime example of how the Oblates have typically handled priests accused of sexual abuse. He told me about an internal Oblate letter from 1995 that came out during the case.

Rob Talach: A brief little letter where the Oblate superior, so sort of the Oblate supervisor in Canada, is writing Eric Dejaeger in Belgium, and essentially saying "The police were here. I told them I didn't know where you were, and you should not come back here because you will—you will face charges if you do." Like, it's—it's an extraordinary letter because the first start of it is about, you know, the cops were here, they're looking for you type of thing. And then the latter part of the letter just goes on to sort of a social update, like how everybody's doing. You know, how's Bill and, you know, Ted's got a sore foot. It just—you know, they just kibitzing with each other. And that's how the letter closes out.

Connie: Dejaeger was eventually brought back to Canada, and convicted of 32 counts of sexual abuse against mostly children between the ages of 9 and 13. In 2015, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison, but earlier this month, Dejaeger was released on parole after serving just seven years.

Connie: This case wasn't that long ago, and the way Rob talks about how the Oblates handled Dejaeger seems so different from the way Father Thorson says they would handle abuse allegations now.

Connie: I mean, now at least the Oblates, you know, they say that they acknowledge the physical and sexual abuse that happened in residential schools, and they have new policies in place to try to protect minors and vulnerable people. That seems like, at least tonally, a different take than the letter that you referenced in the Dejaeger case.

Rob Talach: Yeah, so they've got better at public relations, and they've got, you know, a couple of pieces of paper in their policy binders. But I mean, in practice on the ground, I don't think there's been a lot of change.

Connie: Rob says the Oblates know which priests in their order are alleged abusers, and there's nothing to stop them from releasing a list of their names.

Rob Talach: The list is an easy thing, frankly. And, you know, it does have both healing effect and it sets the record straight.

Connie: That's what this investigation has tried to do. We spent months digging into St. Michael's to learn the names of alleged abusers, and we found dozens of them. But is it enough to just know their names?

Connie: Rob says law enforcement can chase a perpetrator to their death bed, and just last week, a retired 92-year-old Oblate priest was arrested. He was charged in connection with a sexual assault on a 10-year old girl, a student who attended a residential school in Manitoba in the late 1960s.

Rob Talach: There's no statute of limitations on the criminal prosecution. So, you know, calling the police and trying to put someone behind bars. That being said, there is the reality of the investigative process. There is the reality of evidence in the sense that stuff gets stale. People die, people forget, documents get lost or destroyed.

Connie: This is exactly what we've run into: forgotten names, hidden records, and a shrinking window of accountability as survivors and abusers die.

Connie: Like St. Michael's, for example. I mean, we've only found two priests from that school who are still alive.

Rob Talach: Right. And they're probably eating Jell-o as we speak. So, you know, sexual abuse by an authority figure on a vulnerable population is the perfect crime because no one's even gonna start to look into it for at least a quarter century.

Connie: The Oblates' Ken Thorson told us they're launching an investigation into Father Gauthier or into Gauthier now that we've reached out.

Rob Talach: They've had decades to investigate. They have all the information already from the lawsuits that were—that were served on them. So I mean, if they really want to look into him, I am standing by to conduct the investigation. I can just imagine who they're gonna hire to do it. And I'll leave that there.

Connie: This story began by searching for one priest—the priest who my dad beat up on the side of the road, the priest who abused him in residential school. I set out looking for that one person, but instead I found dozens of priests and nuns who are accused of hurting generations of children at St. Michael's. At least four of these priests who were accused of abuse overlapped with my dad at residential school, but I may never know who the priest was who abused him.

Connie: The impact of their alleged crimes didn't stop when the children left the school. It didn't stop when St. Michael's closed, or when the building burned down. As I sat across from Gilles Gauthier in a nursing home in Alberta, there was something else I knew about what he might have done to my family.

Connie: Next time on Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's.

Connie: When you came forward you were one of eight that you knew then?

Cousin: Nine.

Connie: Nine that you knew then?

Cousin: Mm-hmm.

Connie: How long did it take from ...

Cousin: The investigation took months I remember. I just remember the reading—like, the verdict. We were all sitting in the bench, holding hands. All of us.

Connie: Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's is a Gimlet Media and Spotify original production. The show is hosted and reported by me, Connie Walker. Additional reporting by Betty Ann Adam. Reporting and producing by Chantelle Bellrichard, Max Green and Anya Schultz. Our supervising producer is Ellen Frankman. Our editor is Devon Taylor. Our consulting editor is Heather Evans. Our intern is Julia Martin. Additional editorial support from Lydia Polgreen and Reyhan Harmanci. Fact-checking by Naomi Barr.

Connie: Original music by Emma Munger, Cris Derksen, Raymond Cameron and Catherine Anderson. Scoring, sound design and mixing by Emma Munger, Enoch Kim and Daniel Ramirez. Music supervision by Liz Fulton.

Connie: Special thanks to Russell Gragg and Ryan Berger of Lawson Lundell, LLP. Interview of Father Ken Thorson by David Cochrane and CBC News.

Connie: Legal support from Iris Fischer, Nathalie Russell, Whitney Potter and Rachel Strom.

Connie: If you have any information that you'd like to share about St. Michael's Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, you can write to us at: stolen(@)spotify.com.

Connie: If you are a survivor or intergenerational survivor of Canada's residential school system and you need help, there's a 24-hour support line you can call: 1-866-925-4419.

Connie: And if you or someone you know is dealing with physical or sexual violence, you can find resources in your area by going to Spotify.com/stolen.

Connie: Thank you for listening.