Few answers offered in Nunavut woman’s brief escape from custody last month

Joyce Kringuk serving life sentence in Winnipeg for 2008 killing of common-law spouse in Naujaat

Joyce Kringuk, pictured here entering the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit in 2008, temporarily escaped from a minimum-security correctional facility in Winnipeg on Boxing Day. (Photo by David Murphy)

By Andrea Sakiyama Kennedy

Updated Friday, Jan. 13 at 3:40 p.m.

More than a week after Joyce Kringuk escaped custody in Winnipeg, no information has been released explaining how the Nunavut woman was able to get away.

Kringuk, of Naujaat, was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for a minimum 10 years, after pleading guilty in 2012 to the second-degree murder of her common-law spouse in 2008.

She had been serving part of her sentence at the Eagle Women’s Healing Lodge, a minimum-security correctional facility in Winnipeg, Man.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 26, Kringuk was seen fleeing the healing lodge through a rear door, according to a news release from Correctional Service of Canada.

About 13 hours later, on Dec. 27, she was back in custody after turning herself in to Winnipeg Police Service, correctional services reported.

“The Correctional Service of Canada and Eagle Women’s Lodge are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident,” correctional services indicated.

Kringuk was 32 years old when she pleaded guilty on Nov. 6, 2012, to second-degree murder in the shooting death of her common-law spouse, Joani Kringayark, on Aug. 8, 2008.

Kringayark, who was 47 at the time of his death, was a local wildlife officer and the father of one of Kringuk’s children.

The two had been involved in a long-term on-again, off-again relationship characterized by Nunavut Court Justice Robert Kilpatrick in his sentencing decision in 2012 as “stormy.”

“This was a turbulent relationship,” said Kilpatrick . “It was a relationship punctuated by intermittent periods of emotional and physical abuse.”

This week, Nunatsiaq News attempted to confirm with correctional services whether Kringuk was returned to Eagle Women’s Healing Lodge, but did not receive a response at time of publication.

Citing privacy rules, Winnipeg Police Services is unable to provide that information, said public information officer Const. Dani McKinnon.

Eagle Women’s Healing Lodge is one of 10 Indigenous healing lodges across Canada that are either funded or operated by correctional services, and one of only three facilities dedicated to women.

According to the correctional services website, healing lodges offer culturally appropriate services and programs to Indigenous offenders with the main goal being to address factors that led to their incarceration, and to prepare offenders to reintegrate into society.

Authorities have not said yet how Kringuk was able to walk out of the correctional facility unchallenged, or how such incidents will be prevented in the future.

Eagle Women’s Healing Lodge executive director Annetta Armstrong did not respond to a request for more information.

Correction: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Judge Robert Kilpatrick’s name.



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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    Why do they escape just before the eligibility for parole?

  2. Posted by No thou shall for jews on

    Man killer for rcmp and white hate system. Sick prayers no more Inuit for elders. Sick prayer for sale.

  3. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    They should have considered battered wife syndrome when they tried her at the time. But being aboriginal I guess no body cared at the time. Very Sad indeed for everyone involved both sides of the families for their loss.

    • Posted by Avingaq on

      They did, they also looked at the battered husband syndrome, this man was murdered, did you know in Canada there’s more murdered and missing men than women?
      There is also abuse against men and it is very difficult for men to come out and seek help as there is so much social stigma around it. Most times men keep silent, when some men finally come out about being in a abusive relationship they are not taken seriously and most times made fun of and not believed.
      Just like your comment, trying to make it acceptable that this lady killed her partner assuming it was his fault and he must of deserved it.
      We need to be more open and compassionate to all, stereotypes come in all shapes and we need to break this one too.

  4. Posted by Ikajuqpagit on

    I love you Joyce!!!
    Many women in Nunavut are actually living in danger but cannot leave them out of fear.

    • Posted by Tukisivunga on

      Many men are also in the same situation, it is why we have one of the highest suicide rates in the world and most of the suicides are men, they cannot get help.

  5. Posted by Evie Thordarson on

    I feel for Joyce she has suffered at the hands of that man for many years and she is still suffering why the courts never took into consideration all the physical abuse she endured over the years is beyond me. She needs a better lawyer to make sure she gets out on parole so she can start a new life and finally be at peace. It seems to me that the crown prosecutor portrayed that man as a saint when we all knew much different. The court system needs some training in spousal assault period.

    • Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

      Totally agree with you ; battered wife syndrome should have been taken into consideration. She suffered many years of physical and emotional abuse in that relationship. Very sad how it all ended for everyone for her and the spouse and his family. This reflects the sad lack of resources in all Nunavut communities, both for safe shelters and mental health for people who are troubled. There is so much trauma and pain in our communities that needs to be healed.

    • Posted by Really! on

      I take offence to your comment, she was just as abusive and no way a saint, she murdered her partner and you are trying to make her into the victim!

      I feel for the family of this man who has to read your comments, why don’t we remove the genders and look at the facts here, if this was the other way around you would be demanding for a harsher sentence, these backwards views you portray just makes me sick!
      Abuse goes both ways and it’s no wonder men have such a difficult time seeking help when there’s people like you who try to bring the true victim down, it’s easy for you to say these things against a dead man, he cannot defend himself.
      Get out of your little world and educate yourself!

  6. Posted by Oh? on

    Here’s how she escaped: She just walked out! These “healing lodges” are not jails and she was never in custody. Sad!

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