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How an Indigenous man froze to death in a Montreal outdoor bathroom – Montreal Gazette

by ahnationtalk on May 17, 202421 Views

May 16, 2024

On the last day of his life, 51-year-old Raphaël “Napa” André visited the Open Door shelter in downtown Montreal for a meal and a shower. He had had a rough morning and so was appreciative of the kindness received. He gave a warm thank you to one of the workers. Another gave him a sleeping bag and a heating pad and wished him well.

A few days before, they called an ambulance because he was so inebriated he couldn’t be woken. A worker remembered being thankful he would have a warm place to sleep. She remembered being relieved “he wasn’t sleeping out on the street in the cold, during a curfew.”

André survived on the streets relatively well for years, despite his demons. Originally from the Innu village of Matimekush-Lac John in northern Quebec, in Montreal he struggled with chronic alcoholism and was a regular at the shelters serving the Indigenous community.

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