Aglukark to Children’s Treatment Center: ‘You are offering a safe place’ for healing

Singer Susan Aglukark speaks at the Children's Treatment Center Celebrity Walk & Breakfast on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A renowned singer and survivor of sexual abuse says her songs “became part of the healing” and part of the expression in her journey.

Susan Aglukark spoke Monday morning about her childhood upbringing and musical career to around 300 people at the Best Western Parkway Inn.

Aglukark says the “lights were shut off” in her world at 7 years old when she was abused by a family member. The family member is still serving time for abusing his own grandson, she added.

She doesn’t regret winning the court case against her abuser, even if it meant a complete life shift because she had to move away from her Arctic community to Ottawa in the early 1990s.

Aglukark spoke about her musical career and putting songs on “cassettes and LPs,” which drew chuckles from the audience.

“How fortunate I was so early in my (journey) and discovering, define myself in the company of artists. The best place I could have ever landed in the early years of what became my healing journey,” Aglukark said.

“In the studio, songwriters, wonderful people, was the best place I could have rediscovered or began to rediscover safety. And this is what you’re offering here and I will cry a few times this morning. But you are offering here is a safe place and that’s the most important thing that a child or a victim needs when they start a healing journey is to know they are safe,” she said.

Aglukark’s speech was peppered with songs during the Monday morning event.

Emceed by Sean Adams, the morning also started out with a number of corporate donations of at least $75,000.

The Children’s Treatment Center Celebrity Walk & Breakfast is one of the center’s largest fundraising events. The center receives no government funding and relies solely on community and corporation donations to treat children suffering from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.