It was then that Hank Bear
went to access the files stating that they belonged to the firm.
must have gotten access to the names, and addresses of the Survivors because he
wrote to them asking them to give him permission to represent them.
He stated that he was a Maliseet Lawyer, and would be the best person to continue with their cases.
That is how Hank Bear came into the picture - although Norval Getty continued to do the paper work at Mother Earth Lodge, Hank became their lawyer, and Hank also involved a lawyer by the name of Harold Dourghty in the beginning.
By 2001 - after Survivors waiting to hear something for two years - Hank Bear
organized a meeting of Survivors held at the Lord Beaver brook Hotel, and asked me to provide Elders Services.
I attended the meeting.
It did not take very long to realize that there was great dissention among some of the Survivors - other survivors were attending for the first time and did not seem to be aware of what was going on.
The SOS group was present and indicated that they wanted a talking circle or at least an opportunity to speak with everyone - to explain what had transpired Hank
had hired Genine Paul, as his
secretary and they had set the Agenda.
The Survivors were not permitted to speak.
told the survivors that he
had been to Ottawa negotiating their Agreement and here it is "take it or leave it," I did the best I could on your behalf.
One Survivor got really angry and picked up a chair and put it through the wall - that provided the excuse for not having further meeting.
then approached individual Survivors and took them upstairs to his
suite - and got them to sign papers accepting the Agreement and told them not to discuss their case with any one, and that he
would treat the matter with lawyer/client privilege.
Over the next three years Survivors called me many times asking if I knew where Hank Bear
was because he
never returns their calls.
Survivors were pretty much left in the dark with little or no contact with the process, until it was time for them to come to Fredericton, NB for their psychological assessments and hearings.
Here are a number of things that transpired that I am personally aware of:
The "take it or leave it " Agreement that Hank Bear
negotiated included his
own remuneration would be paid directly from Justice - at $125.00 per hour - regardless of the outcome for Survivors in the ADR process.
took the ADR process away from the Mother Earth Lodge
and placed the headquarters in a law firm set up by himself and Chief Steward Paul on the Tobique Reserve.
over exaggerated the outcome of the ADR process - raising false hopes and dreams - before it even got off the ground.
told Survivor Dianne (Sacobie) Bali that she
would never have to worry about money ever again- she
will be able to buy a big house and a new car and still have lots of money left over.
told the seniors that they would get priority in the hearing process - none of which happened.
Survivors called me continuously trying to find Hank - he did not return their messages or phone calls - in fact Hank was busy running for Chief in the Tobique band elections.
paid Genine Paul $5,000.00 per month to write cheques - more to keep her
quiet - Genine's mother is a Survivor and she
had been elected as a spokes person for the SOS group during a meeting early on at the Mother Earth Lodge
hired Bob Johnson - who has a masters degree in Social Work to accompany him on home visits when recruiting more Survivors - a letter I personally received from a Survivor - the letter mostly talked about what a great guy Hank
was and how sensitive he
was with the Survivors etc.
Nothing about the safety of the survivors.
During the healing gatherings hosted through my project for healing - Hank
frequently came and met Survivors to do his
business dealings - this was a real distraction for those survivors.
I feel he
took advantage of our project and he
was told more then once not to bother the survivors at this time, and that he
should hold his
own gatherings to do his
When Dianne had finished - Dianne, Hank
and I went to the restaurant to get something to eat.