Federal inmate escapes from Indigenous healing lodge in Quebec 


Provincial police in Quebec have issued an arrest warrant for a federal inmate who, on Wednesday evening, walked out of an Indigenous healing lodge in the Lanaudiere region and did not return.

David Everett Alexson, 51, is serving an indeterminate sentence at the Waseskun Healing Lodge in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, located approximately 90 minutes north of Montreal.

According to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), Alexson’s crimes – including two convictions for second-degree murder – were committed in the prairie region of Canada.

They did not disclose which First Nation or community Alexson is connected to.

CSC officials say he was transferred to Waseskun, a minimum-security facility specializing in Indigenous-specific cultural services, only after undergoing – and passing – a rigorous assessment process.

“Public safety remains the paramount consideration for CSC,” Edith Desnoyers, deputy warden for the Archambault Institution, a federal facility in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, said in a phone interview Thursday.

“To be able to be in a minimum-security institution such as Waseskun – it means that the inmate has the capacity to operate within a minimum monitoring environment,” Desnoyers told APTN News.

“For sure, the individual was serving an indeterminate sentence since 2005, but since then, he was able to – we call it ‘cascading down.’

“There are several security levels within the institution, and he was able to acquire some competencies and some capacity to operate within that type of environment.”

According to CSC, Alexson was spotted by Waseskun staff as he left the building around 6 p.m. on Feb. 10.

Waseskun Healing Lodge declined APTN’s request for comment, citing an open police investigation.

Officers with the provincial police, Surete du Quebec (SQ), believe Alexson hitched a ride to the southern portion of Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, and may have been dropped off by a highway, according to a press release.

On Thursday afternoon, the SQ set up a command post in the area Alexson was last seen wearing jeans and a grey hoodie.

According to the SQ, Alexson stands 5’7 and weighs approximately 183 pounds. He has scars on his right hand and his left arm, as well as tattoos on his arms, chest, and back.

Anyone with information regarding Alexson’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Surete du Quebec anonymously at 1-800-659-4264.

If apprehended, Desnoyers says Alexson will likely be re-assessed in a higher-security facility.

Reporter / Montreal

Lindsay was born and raised on the unceded territory of Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), and joined APTN News as a Quebec correspondent in 2019. While in university, she collaborated on a multiplatform project about the revitalization of the Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) language to commemorate the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Before APTN Lindsay worked at the Eastern Door, CTV Montreal and the Montreal Gazette.