The Chief of a Manitoba First Nation has been arrested on serious sex-related charges after RCMP said he sent inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old girl, leading to a police investigation.
RCMP said on Friday that Little Grand Rapids First Nation Chief Raymond Keeper has been charged with charges including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, luring a person under the age of 18, and using his position of authority for sexual purposes.
RCMP said Keeper is also charged with careless storage of a weapon, and possessing a restricted weapon without a license.
“On September 23, 2021, at approximately 11:45 am, Little Grand Rapids RCMP received a report of inappropriate text messages being exchanged between a 16-year-old female and a 65-year-old male. An investigation was launched,” RCMP said in a Friday press release.
“Officers with the Little Grand Rapids RCMP Detachment as well as the RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit and Major Crime Services determined that the male involved was Raymond Keeper, Chief of Little Grand Rapids First Nation. Further investigation led officers to charge Keeper with multiple offences.”
RCMP said they believe there may be more victims and are asking for anyone with information to come forward directly to police, or to a third-party organization.
“If you are a survivor or have information on this investigation, please call Little Grand Rapids RCMP at 204-397-2249,” RCMP said.
RCMP added that Klinic Community Health is also able to receive third-party reports from survivors of sexual assault 16 years and older anywhere in Manitoba.
Third-party reporting is a process where a survivor is able to pass on information about the sexual assault they experienced to the police without having to speak directly to the police or make a formal report.
For more information on third party, reporting RCMP said to contact Klinic’s 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 204-786-8631,or toll free at 1-888-292-7565.
Little Grand Rapids First Nation is a remote First Nation community, located approximately 370 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun