Ilisaqsivik stands behind executive director charged with sexual assault

Organization’s board vice-chairperson ‘sees no truth in the accusations’

The Clyde River-based non-profit and Inuit counselling centre Ilisaqsivik is standing behind its executive director after he was charged with sexual assault this summer. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Ilisaqsivik’s board of directors is standing behind the Clyde River-based organization’s executive director after he was charged with sexual assault this summer.

Malcolm Ranta, 34, was charged July 18 with one count of sexual assault against a woman, according to court documents filed with the Nunavut Court of Justice.

The alleged assault took place in January 2021, in Clyde River, according to the court documents. The woman’s name is protected under a publication ban.

“He has kept us informed throughout the process and we have done our own investigation into this matter,” said Jukeepa Hainnu, the Ilisaqsivik Society board’s vice-chairperson, in an emailed statement.

“We see no truth in the accusations that have been made against him and we are confident the court system will come to the same conclusion.”

Ranta has been the non-profit’s executive director for the past four and a half years.

The Ilisaqsivik Society runs programming and Inuktitut-language counselling in Clyde River and other Nunavut communities. It is the largest employer in Clyde River, with about 200 employees.

Hainnu said the board has the “highest level of confidence and trust” in Ranta, and has asked him to stay on as executive director.

“We stand by him. With this matter before the courts, we will not be making any further comments,” said Hainnu.

Solomon Friedman, Ranta’s defence lawyer, echoed statements from the organization, saying Ranta is innocent and the allegation is false.

“We are confident that when the facts are presented in full before a fair and impartial court, Malcolm will be found not guilty,” he said

Friedman went on to say Ranta is a dedicated community worker who has devoted his professional life to improving and supporting remote northern communities, and will continue that work while awaiting his day in court.

Ranta’s next court appearance is Nov. 28 in Iqaluit.

 

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