Former Keeseekoose chief heading to trial on historical child sexual abuse charges

A Saskatchewan judge is moving ahead with the case after hearing evidence against Ted Quewezance

Saskatchewan justice

A former chief of Keeseekoose First Nation has pleaded not guilty to charges of historical sexual abuse. Photo: APTN file

A Saskatchewan judge is sending historical sexual abuse allegations to trial after hearing evidence against Ted Quewezance, a residential school survivor and former chief of Keeseekoose First Nation.

Quewezance, 70, has pleaded not guilty.

He is charged with sexual assault, touching a young person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose, counselling a person under 16 to touch for a sexual purpose, and being in a position of trust while counselling a person under 16 years to touch for a sexual purpose.

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Court documents show the offences are alleged to involve a youth on Keeseekoose First Nation, a Saulteaux community in southwestern Saskatchewan, between September 1997 and September 2004.

A publication ban prevents the media from publishing any details.

Quewezance is a high-profile reconciliation spokesperson in Saskatchewan who was removed as a member of the Survivors Circle at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation after his charges became public.

He is also a member and former chairperson of the governing senate at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), a Saskatoon-based organization that advocates for 72 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

The trial is scheduled to be heard in Yorkton, Sask.

The accusations have not yet been tested and Quewezance is presumed innocent.

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. Contact The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 for more information.

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