Stones Left Unturned

Pete Newman abused and groomed me starting in 1996, which was Newman’s second year as counselor, through when I went to college. My family was never contacted by Kanakuk. I found out through the internet after he was imprisoned. Kanakuk claims they contacted victims and sent a mass email; however, in 1996, email was not yet a popular form of communication as everything was handled on those ‘Blue Boys’ information sheets, handwritten postcards and standard mail.  Even with an upgrade to an electronic records system (“Circuitry”), they still had old contact information.  Therefore, rather than sending a handful of emails, Kanakuk Kamps should have reached out in every way possible including the information from those ‘Blue Boys’ sheets (physical addresses, emails and phone numbers).  The system update did not delete all contact information this institution possessed. I later had written correspondence with Joe White.  Kanakuk had my contact information as it was the only way Joe could have replied to me.  Again, this shows Kanakuk had camper contact information they chose not to use even in an emergency situation. One point I’d like to make is that I knew about hot tub masturbation, late night Kamper selection, show and tell of his groin scars (in front of another counselor, too), shower conversations, and the family grooming behaviors since 1996. There may be several reasons we weren’t contacted. It could be that I didn’t make his “list,” or they never contacted families without emails, or they may have chosen not to contact families when he was a counselor because of the direct contact he had with them, or they lost information due to the Circuitry switch, or all the above. The point is, we are a very much affected family that was not contacted. Had I not searched the internet on a whim, I would never have known. The nightmare and trauma I’ve experienced from Kanakuk since he’s gone to prison is of utmost importance. I cannot express the guilt or frustration I’ve felt contacting Kanakuk personally through these years. They “forget” the details I’ve presented after every call.  As I was speaking to Nancy French, I was infuriated when she conveyed that Kanakuk claimed “no stone was left unturned.” Obviously, that’s not true. My stone was left unturned. So, I called again before the first recent interview was released. I spoke to their HR lead Julie Coxie. She confirmed that the only known way families were contacted (aside from the “list” calls) was through email with no answer as to if or how Kanakuk followed up with these families to ensure the message was received or gather important information for an investigation. It is clear that Kanakuk doesn’t want all the details, and one presumes this is connected to legal liability. The entire staff and institution want to protect the ministry rather than those of us who suffered and still suffer due to their inaction. In one such call before the interviews were released, Coxie suggested that since it was on the internet already, it would be okay if others learned the way that I did, not through Kanakuk or a specialist but through a random article or video through the internet (one that didn’t link more information or was simply a response from PN or another). This is unacceptable and abusive. Also, in a subsequent call since the interviews were released, Coxie had somehow “forgotten” our other 2 recent calls, asking me for “bullet points she could send up” the chain. I not only had to recall my trauma again because it was “forgotten” (I’m not sure how many times I’ve called through the years with information), but the choice of “bullet points” was either rude or absentminded or insensitive. It feels like she wants my demands in case there’s another settlement. Folks, I’m in this for the truth and healing. But Coxie finally condescendingly asked, “So, you want us to contact the families without emails, right?”  Absolutely!  How many calls does it take to understand that?!  It’s such a glaring hole that is so hard for my family to ignore because we know other families are being ignored.  We as a community needed a renewed and refreshed response that links the details to what happened with Pete Newman and other counselors, and one that details all Kanakuk’s ongoing abuses toward victims. Thank you for reading or caring. Please help if you have more information or questions.

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