Kelowna woman raises allegations against Indigenous healer, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society

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A Kelowna woman claims she was inappropriately touched on her private parts during a massage with an Indigenous healer, according to allegations made in civil court documents.

Global News is not identifying the woman because she is an alleged sexual assault victim.

The woman, who identifies as Indigenous, says that Joseph Camille, or Buckles as he is better known, was contracted by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society to perform traditional healing.

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After the massage she “had evident bruising on the inside of her legs, back, breasts and over her buttock,” according to the woman’s civil claim.

She says that she immediately reported the alleged sexual assault to the society, but it still allowed Camille to treat other people, including a teen girl.

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Camille declined an interview but says he totally denies the allegations against him.

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According to civil documents, the woman made a report to RCMP in the summer.

Police have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Camille has not been charged.

“The executive director and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society were aware of the allegations of Camille’s inappropriate touching and sexual assaults prior to the incident,” according to the woman’s civil allegations. “However, they did nothing to protect the plaintiff.”

“The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society allowed Camille’s reputation and elder status within the Indigenous community to blind their eyes,” the woman alleges in court documents.

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“The plaintiff pleads that Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is vicariously liable for negligence and breach of its duty to the plaintiff by failing to protect her from being a victim of sexual assault, emotional and physical abuse caused by their willful blindness to the activities of Camille,” she claims.

“Despite Camille’s reputation as a sexual predator, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society continued to encourage Indigenous community members to use his services,” she alleges.

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The woman also claims that she was then harassed by the society’s management.

The alleged victim says she is now suffering from depression and nervous shock, and she’s seeking punitive damages.

A lawyer for the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society told Global News it’s not in a position to comment, both because an internal investigation into the matter is still ongoing and because it’s now before the court.

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The allegations have not been proven.

Neither Camille nor the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society have yet filed a statement of defence.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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