Johannes Rivoire agrees to meet with NTI delegation

Former Nunavut priest accused of sexually abusing Inuit during his time in Nunavut

Rev. Vincent Gruber, on the left and wearing a white shirt, sits with members of the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. delegation at the French Oblates’ headquarters in Lyon, France on Wednesday. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Emma Tranter

LYON — Former Nunavut priest Johannes Rivoire has agreed to meet with a delegation of Nunavummiut that includes one of the victims of his alleged abuse.

The French Oblates, a Roman Catholic order, confirmed the meeting moments before the Canadian delegation arrived by train in Lyon from Paris Wednesday afternoon. Prior to its arrival, the delegation was not sure if Rivoire would agree to meet with its members.

Father Vincent Gruber, head of France’s Oblates, poses for a photo inside the Oblates’ headquarters in Lyon, France on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

The delegation includes Steve Mapsalak, a victim of Rivoire’s alleged abuse, and Tanya and Jesse Tungilik, children of Marius Tungilik, another victim of Rivoire’s alleged abuse. RCMP laid charges of historical indecent assault in relation to these allegations in 1998, and those charges were stayed in 2017.

RCMP laid a new charge of indecent assault against Rivoire earlier this year.

Rivoire left Canada in 1993 and has lived in France since. Even though France has an extradition treaty with Canada, French nationals are protected from it. The delegation, led by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., is in  France this week trying to convince Ministry of Justice officials to extradite Rivoire anyway.

The delegation arrived at the Oblates’ headquarters in Lyon just after 2:15 p.m. local time, walking up the stone stairs to a boardroom-like meeting room.

Photos of what appeared to be victims were spread out on the table facing Rev. Vincent Gruber, who they will meet with before they see Rivoire.

NTI president Aluki Kotierk and NTI’s chief executive officer, Kilikvak Kabloona, are also part of the delegation.

Kabloona arrived at the headquarters a few minutes early to help set up the room and she addressed the media.

“This is a bit of a surprise to the survivors because we have been trying for a while to get the meeting … it is a very difficult situation,” she said.

Kabloona said the meeting had been “tentative” but was confirmed Wednesday.

“We did not have a lot of time to prepare … it’s short notice for such a significant meeting. It’s something that [the delegation] is processing at this time,” she said.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nattering Nabob on

    There you go, cynics, rakes and naysayers…

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      • Posted by Nattering Nabob on

        What do you see happening, John?

        To me a face to face meeting with Rivoire is a significant accomplishment.

        I hope it is handled well, and that those who attend are able to get the best they can from it. At best it may be a tremendous opportunity for closure and at some point, healing.

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  2. Posted by Seriously?! on

    The delegation was “processing” the fact that they were going to get the meeting that THEY requested?! Come on, that just shows your intentions here. You say one thing and in secret you expect another. I hope NTI handles this meeting appropriately so the surviviors are protected and receive what they need. Maybe instead of your EA and an I’ll prepared manager, you should have brought a trained mediator or someone with experience with trauma resolution.

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    • Posted by oh ima on

      I am pretty NTI have thought about it and the trained professionals are probably in the background.

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      • Posted by John K on

        I do not share your faith in NTI. Inept at every turn.

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        • Posted by oh ima on

          I am pretty sure you got a job with GN or Feds, so I guess that makes them inept. If it wasn’t for Article 23 you wouldn’t have a job.

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          • Posted by G-man Choi on

            I’m pretty sure ima if it wasn’t for Article 23 and the Feds, the Russians would have taken over the north and there definitely wouldn’t be an Article 23 and the billions of dollars pumped into the North, they wouldn’t be so nice. Period!

        • Posted by oh ima on

          Run for a position with NTI so you can change that.

          Robert

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      • Posted by Observation Post on

        They should have thought about it, and really should have people on hand to help with the potential trauma. Still, I’m less confident than you that any of that is happening.

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  3. Posted by Justice on

    Good for him for agreeing to meet with them. Too bad we will not get any neutral coverage of the meeting.

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