THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler will participate in a discussion about the legacy of sexual abuse inflicted upon First Nation youth at the Thunder Bay premier of Survivors Rowe, a documentary film about survivors of convicted pedophile Ralph Rowe, a former Anglican minister who sexually abused hundreds of boys in First Nation communities in the 1970s and 1980s.
“The survivors of this horrific abuse displayed remarkable courage throughout the lengthy litigation process that led to his convictions, and their continuing struggle to heal from this legacy of abuse is a story that deserves to be told,” said Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, who attended the film’s premier in Toronto last month. “Survivors Rowe is a powerful film by a promising young filmmaker that tells a remarkable story of resilience. And while these horrendous crimes will never be forgotten, our focus is to raise awareness and support for the survivors, their families and their communities.”
Produced by 21-year-old Daniel Roher, Survivors Rowe is the story of four men who were victimized by the former minister and Boy Scout master. The short film will be presented to 200 guests on Saturday May 9 at 3:30 p.m. at the Airlane Hotel & Conference Centre, Tiberio Room. A symposium will be held at 2 p.m. and a question-and-answer with survivors and filmmakers will be held after the screening.
It is estimated that Rowe abused as many as 500 boys during the time he spent in 18 NAN First Nations. And while he has been convicted on dozens of counts of sexual offences involving First Nation boys he has served only minimal jail time. Most recently he served a conditional two-year sentence with no jail time in 2012 after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault. He currently lives in British Columbia as a free man.
NAN has supported survivors through the Men’s Healing Initiative and continues to advocate for counselling and community supports to assist with their healing.