Please watch the video below. I am sharing my story for the victims who do not have a voice.
I’ve been through so much in this life. I owe everything good that I’ve gotten out of this life to my mom and to my family and to the people that supported me.
In 2001, I was a victim of child sexual abuse while attending Kanakuk Kamps as a ten-year-old. I held the secret for a long, long time.
The trauma that you have to live with after something like this happens is indescribable because it’s something that is very rarely felt by this population. It’s a pain so deep that if you don’t turn to something that gets your mind off of it, whether it be a good thing or a bad thing like drugs, it’ll eat at you until you take your own life like unfortunately some of us has.
In 2017, I finally told my family that I had been sexually abused while attending Kanakuk Kamps. They didn’t believe me: my life had spun out of control while I was dealing with the trauma, and Kanakuk had never contacted us to let us that one of their staff members who had close contact with me was later convicted for child sexual abuse. I had no idea that I wasn’t the only victim.
In 2021, over 20 years after I had been sexually abused at Kanakuk, I Googled “Kanakuk Kamps” and learned that I was not alone. After reading the recent articles, I discovered that Pete Newman had other victims, and that the camp knew about Pete Newman sexually assaulting children as early as 1999. I also learned for the first time that there were other convicted child sexual abusers affiliated with Kanakuk. Once my family read the articles, too, they believed me.
Kanakuk’s insurance company bullied me into taking a settlement that was more than a slap in the face. The agent knew that I was an addict because he acted like I could open up to him and tell him my life story. He knew what was meant by saying “the best we can do is $25,000 due to the statute of limitations”. He knew I was an addict.
I was abused in 2001. Kanakuk knew that Pete Newman was sexually assaulting children as early as 1999. In 2001 Pete Newman received a warning to show restraint “in the area of kid time” and restrain from “sleeping alone with a kid who comes to visit you at Kamp.” Yet, he was promoted. In 2003, he was caught sexually assaulting children again. He was allowed to be a leader at Kanakuk until 2009.
Before I was abused, Kanakuk had full evidence that Pete Newman was a child predator. If they had told my family, they would never have sent me. Joe White and Doug Goodwin are still running the camp to this day. This could have been prevented.