For a year now, the ruined church has stood at the center of the Listuguj community. The complete cleaning of the site is still not yet started.
Léon Boulet, bursar of the diocese of Gaspé, refused interview requests from Radio-Canada. By e-mail, he indicates that the presence of asbestos made the work impossible before winter. The sections of walls still standing will therefore be demolished as soon as the thaw ends.
Once the cleaning is finished, the bursar ensures that exchanges will take place with the Listuguj Band Council
regarding the follow-up.
Despite the loss of the church, masses continued to be celebrated every Sunday in Listuguj on the airwaves of the community radio station, at the request of several elders and people unable to travel.
There were people who parked in front of the church to listen to the mass on the radio from their vehiclesays Justin Caldwell, radio host at CHRQ 106.9 FM Listuguj.
For the past few weeks, mass has been said from the community’s Elder Center.
This radio meeting is not unanimous within the community, notes Justin Caldwell.
There are some people who do not want the Mass to be broadcast on the community radio. We understand, given the situation with residential school survivorshe says.
” We know this is a controversial issue. But as much and as long as the elders and the people who cannot move want this mass on the radio, we will broadcast it. »
A month after the fire that engulfed the church, the remains of 215 children were found at the site of a former Indian residential school in Kamloops.
Rebuild the church?
While some community members still mourn the loss of their church, others see it as a symbol of colonialism.
April Isaac grew up with the trauma residential school left on her mother. She vigorously rejects the construction of a new Catholic church in the community.
If anything should be built, it should be around our cultureshe argues.
” Christianity has never been an integral part of who we are as a people. It was shoved down our throats. »
On the contrary Joshua Martin was devastated by the fire of the church, of which he hates the sight of the carcass. He hopes that a new, smaller church will quickly replace the old one, which was an important presence for him.
It’s important because that’s how I was raised. Every Sunday I went to church, for many yearshe explains.
A year after the church fire, the cause of the blaze is still undetermined. The police investigation is ongoing.
No representative of the Listuguj Band Council was available to comment on the file.
Based on a report by Isabelle The Rose