‘Bury the hatchet’: First Nations chiefs oppose suspension of AFN national chief

A majority of First Nations chiefs in Canada voted against suspending Assembly of First Nations national chief RoseAnne Archibald.

The resolution at Tuesday’s AFN AGM proposed that her suspension with pay be continued pending the results of a staff inquiry into staff grievances against her.

More than 60 percent of chiefs and deputies opposed it. Some speakers cited a lack of evidence against Archibald, support for their calls for a forensic review, and a desire for unity so First Nations can prioritize other, more pressing issues affecting their communities.

“I want to thank everyone for all of your comments and for putting down this unlawful suspension that happened,” Archibald said in response to the findings.

“I welcome the comments on burying the hatchet, I welcome the comments on forgiveness.”

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The national boss said she was “100 per cent” committed to meeting with AFN’s executive committee to resolve their differences, but she needed her phone back and email access first.

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Earlier this month, the AFN executive committee and national board suspended Archibald when an investigation was launched into workplace harassment complaints against her by four employees.

It came a day after Archibald publicly called for a forensic review and independent investigation into the assembly’s alleged corruption, claiming the four employees had demanded more than $1 million in payouts, which she refused.

According to a July 4 information note given to AFN’s executive committee, Archibald was made aware of the complaints against her before she went public with what the note describes as “confidential” information and “baseless” allegations .

Archibald’s attorneys and the Executive Branch’s attorneys are at odds over whether her suspension is legal and within the Executive Branch’s power as she is elected by hundreds of Chiefs across Canada.


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High-profile Indigenous group faces leadership crisis – June 18, 2022

Chiefs and deputies were given an extended lunch break Tuesday and an additional break to consider three resolutions: Archibald’s continued suspension pending a staff investigation; their removal by a vote of no confidence; and her full reinstatement as national leader with the initiation of a forensic review and an independent workplace toxicity assessment.

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They will vote on the latter two resolutions on Wednesday morning.

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Earlier in the day, AFN Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Region chief Paul Prosper confirmed Archibald’s continued suspension and condemned her public comments before and after her suspension.

Still, he expressed “tremendous love and respect” for Archibald and said the Executive Committee would support a forensic examination if welcomed by the Chiefs.

“No organization is perfect, not one,” he said. “We all face our own unique challenges and yes, as an organization we can and must improve.

“But I ask you, what would you do in this situation? What would you do if you, like many of you as a board member, were faced with these family challenges?”


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The First Nations Assembly’s annual general meeting begins amid turmoil


The First Nations Assembly’s annual general meeting begins amid turmoil

After Prosper, New Brunswick AFN regional director Joanna Bernard also expressed her concerns about Archibald’s public revelations, including a list of contractors the AFN worked with and the value of their contracts.

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“These people’s businesses are in danger here, they are accused of corruption,” she said.

“We took this seriously as an organization…if the AFN is to continue as a useful organization, the national chief has made that impossible.”

Bernard said Archibald’s actions also impede the fair workplace investigation process that was launched as a result of the complaints against her.

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First Nations Assembly Says Suspension ‘Unlawful’, Seeks Court Order

Archibald has called on the chiefs of the General Assembly to assist them in creating a revived AFN and a new accompanying financial society based not on colonial law but on the seven sacred Aboriginal teachings.

In formal remarks ahead of the suspension vote, she said the AFN Executive Committee “appropriated” her authority as a voter by suspending her and attempting to influence her decision-making on the matter. Corruption within the AFN is “one of the best-known mysteries in the Indian country,” she claimed, asking leaders to help her with her “positive vision for the future.”

Her comments were greeted by applause and catcalls from the crowd.


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Archibald requests a forensic examination and urges AFN to end their suspension


Archibald requests a forensic examination and urges AFN to end their suspension

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https://globalnews.ca/news/8968261/burying-the-hatchet-first-nations-chiefs-reject-suspension-of-afn-national-chief/ ‘Bury the hatchet’: First Nations chiefs oppose suspension of AFN national chief

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