June 11th, 2024

Mamakwa Demands Justice: “Scouts Canada and Anglican Church Must Apologize to First Nations Survivors of Ralph Rowe”

QUEEN'S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Deputy Leader Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong) released the following statement after sitting with the Debwe Boonendamowin group, a First Nations group of survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by former Anglican Minister, OPP officer and Scout Leader Ralph Rowe:

"Today, I listened to horrific and traumatic testimonies from these men whose lives were irrevocably changed by Ralph Rowe. The Anglican Church of Canada and Scouts Canada betrayed the trust of these children, now men, using their positions of power to exploit and abuse them, forever changing the trajectory of their lives while also harming their families and communities.

"The impact of one man has caused immense damage, affecting survivors and their families for generations. These children should have been safe, but instead, they were targeted and subjected to unimaginable trauma. One of the survivors stated, 'I don’t want to die with the pain caused to me by Ralph Rowe, and I don’t want to have anyone else live with this pain.'

"The courage of these survivors to share their stories is powerful and important. Their voices, once silenced, now demand justice. We must stand with them and ensure their pain is acknowledged and their healing journey is supported.

While no apology or compensation can erase the pain, an apology from Scouts Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada is crucial. They must fully acknowledge the suffering of survivors and validate their experiences. This is a necessary step in their healing journey.

The Anglican Church of Canada must recognize the severity of these actions and commit to supporting these men by implementing and fully funding resources for healing initiatives for all those affected."


Ralph Rowe is a former priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, Ontario Provincial Police officer and Boy Scout leader who has been accused and convicted of sexually assaulting hundreds of First Nations youths in Ontario and Manitoba.

From the 1970s until the mid-1980s, Rowe engaged in rampant sexual abuse of young boys across the north. Nishnawbe Aski Nation estimates that Rowe victimized up to 500 people and is one of Canada's most prolific pedophiles. However, he has only been charged with about 60 sex crimes and served no more than five years in prison because of a plea bargain.