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Nunavut dental therapist victims compensated

A settlement has been reached between plaintiffs and the Government of a Canada in a historic sexual assault civil suit involving a deceased dental therapist.

Plaintiffs who allege they were sexually assaulted by the late dental therapist Daniel Nahogaloak have settled their civil suit against the Government of Canada. Terms have not been disclosed.
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The terms of the deal and the number of plaintiffs remain a secret, however.

"Settlements of this type are confidential between the parties involved. It would be inappropriate for the Department of Indigenous Services to provide further comment," Martine Stephens, a department spokesperson, wrote in an email.

Alan Regel, who represented the plaintiffs, concurred that confidentiality in settlements is commonplace.

Regel spoke to Nunavut News about the case last August when he was actively seeking additional individuals who may have been molested as children by dental therapist Daniel Nahogaloak in the early 1980s. At the time, 12 people in Iglulik had joined the civil suit as well as two from Cambridge Bay. Nahogaloak, who was from Cambridge Bay, also worked in Taloyoak.

He was trained by Health Canada and under their supervision, therefore the Government of Canada was named as the defendant.

Nahogaloak, who was charged with four counts of sexual assault, was sentenced to one year in jail on Oct. 15, 1986 after those charges were reduced to a single sexual assault conviction. Nahogaloak died in 2016 at age 63.

Last August, Regel said it hadn't yet been determined how much the plaintiffs would seek in monetary compensation.

"It's always up in the air until the court looks at all the circumstances," he said at the time. "You really can't put a number on it because it depends on so many variables."