The dozens of Kanakuk abuse survivors from the 1950s to 2022 who joined their voices in An Open Letter From Kanakuk Survivors continue to petition Joe White and Kanakuk Ministries to admit to known failures, release victims from their NDAs, and invite an independent investigation.
The February 25, 2022 statements made by Kanakuk Kamps and Letter for From Joe White have not responded to the survivors’ pleas for accountability nor provided us with any remedies that prioritize our healing, our stories, and our desire to make the world safer for children everywhere. Until there is accountability, Kanakuk cannot be considered safe. We know that Pete Newman was not “one bad apple” nor a singular tragedy twelve years ago. He is one super-predator among many who accessed children at Kanakuk and through its affiliated entities in a disturbing systemic pattern.
Those of us who were abused by perpetrators other than Pete Newman remain unacknowledged and swept under the rug in the greater story of Kanakuk’s institutional failures to protect children. Kanakuk says they are “devastated by the deceptive practices of [an] individual,” which ignores other known perpetrators and their enablers, including those in leadership at Kanakuk to this day, as forthcoming evidence will prove.
Kanakuk’s public statement today tells victims under NDA “you should keep the terms of your settlement confidential,” which not only doubles down on intimidating, ordering and silencing us, but also contradicts Joe White’s empty statements about how victims should be allowed to tell their stories in environments such as a private meeting with him. NDAs prohibit victims from even accepting his invitation (and we strongly advise against any direct communication with Kanakuk and its officials due to their general use of manipulation tactics, including putting a victim under a settlement agreement just last month, around his legal counsel). Those of us under NDA remain fearful of Kanakuk’s insurance companies after being reminded that they may choose to “protect their interests” and now knowing of Kanakuk’s choice not to defend or protect us from their representatives.
Healing happens when truth comes to light, and we will continue to fight for ourselves and each other. We’re an army now. Thank you to everyone who has chosen to take a public stand with us.