OTTAWA (CelebrityAccess) – Governor General Mary Simon has stripped actor and athlete Johnny Issaluk of the Order of Canada.
A notice was published Saturday (October 15) stating Issaluk’s appointment was terminated effective August 31, 2022. An appointment to the Order of Canada may be terminated by the governor general on the recommendation of an advisory board.
The notice does not include the reasons for withdrawing Issaluk’s membership, yet Rideau Hall stated the advisory board “concluded that there were grounds for termination.” Issaluk was given Canada’s highest civilian honor in 2019, with the vice-regal’s office saying at the time that Issaluk was picked “for his contributions as an athlete, actor, educator, and Arctic Ambassador.”
Issaluk stepped down from two leadership positions back in 2020 after social media posts by Inuk filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril surfaced. He resigned from the Arctic adventure company Sedna Epic Expedition on December 9, 2019, as the company’s Inuit cultural advisor and from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on February 7, 2020, where he was an Explorer-In-Residence.
Arnaquq-Baril posted on social media that Issaluk “grabbed/fondled my ass” at a party. She wrote, “I immediately yelled at him in front of whoever else was in the room, telling him it’s not cool to touch women without their permission and without any warning. He apologized profusely immediately on the spot.” She said she was over it and had forgiven him until others began speaking out.
“I’m not the only one who … put these words together,” said Arnaquq-Baril in an interview with CBC. She says she is part of a group called Arnaqquasaaq Collective— a group of Inuit women who talk about social justice issues online.
With the group and other conversations with friends, Arnaquq-Baril says they decided she was in the best position to speak up publicly.
Issaluk is best known for his roles in Clint Eastwood’s Indian Horse and AMC’s The Terror.