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AFN executive committee to recommend national chief’s removal

The executive committee of the Assembly of First Nations passed a resolution Friday recommending assembly leaders remove RoseAnn Archibald as national chief at their next meeting, CBC News reports.

The resolution says a human resources investigation into Archibald’s conduct found he violated the national organization’s harassment and whistleblowing policy, as well as the code of conduct and ethics, according to multiple sources present at the meeting and a copy of the resolution shared with CBC News.

The CBC has not independently verified the content of the investigative reports.

“The AFN Executive Committee is out of line and their motion is completely unnecessary as 75% of First Nations at the meeting overwhelmingly support my leadership and approach to creating more transparency and accountability at AFN,” replied Archibald to the decision of the executive committee. a statement from his press secretary, Andrew St. Germain, to CBC News.

‚ÄúResolution 3/2022 is very clear that the first meeting should receive and discuss the report, not the AFN Executive Committee, which is once again overstepping its authority. Once the report is released, everyone will know. truth.”

His latest statement comes after he released his own interpretation of the investigation’s findings in an April 21 statement, saying he was “vindicated.”

According to the document, the leaders of ten regions unanimously adopted the resolution on Friday. It was moved by Joanna Bernard, AFN Regional Director for New Brunswick, and seconded by Glenn Harey, Regional Director for Ontario.

Archibald was not present at the meeting of the executive committee where the proposal to remove him was accepted. Sources tell CBC News that would be a conflict of interest.

“The executive committee hereby condemns the national leader for his violations,” the resolution reads.

5 reports, 1 per complainant

The outer probe was launched last spring Four of Archibald’s senior staff have made complaints of bullying and harassment against him, followed by a fifth complaint by the then AFN CEO.

Ottawa-based lawyer Raquel Chisholm has been hired by AFN to oversee the investigation.

Investigators compiled five reports, one for each complainant, according to the decision.

First Nations leaders sit together on stage.
First Nation leaders voted to remove RoseAnn Archibald as national chief by the executive committee of the Assembly of First Nations at a convention in Vancouver last July. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The resolution says the reports cannot be disclosed to meeting leaders because of AFN’s harassment policy and the confidentiality requirements of the Canada Labor Code.

But it also said Chisholm would prepare a summary of the five reports for assembly leaders, including the context of the executive committee’s recommendation.

Congregational leaders ultimately have the final say on Archibald’s future. Their next meeting is scheduled for July in Halifax.

The executive committee said Chisholm found Archibald had harassed the two complainants in violation of AFN’s Workplace Violence, Discrimination and Harassment Policy, according to the resolution.

The resolution also alleges that Archibald violated the confidentiality requirements of the harassment and whistleblower policies, the Code of Conduct and Ethics in all five reports. It said investigators found Archibald retaliated against all five people for coming forward with their complaints.

The executive committee also said Archibald’s actions put AFN at risk of “significant liability for constructive and tortious damages, [as] as well as other statutory and common law damages caused by his actions.”

A story of tension

This is not the first time the executive committee has tried to punish Archibald over allegations of harassment and harassment by AFN staff.

Last June, district leaders suspended Archibaldd, after initial complaints against him.

A few weeks later, in July, First Nations leaders voted against continuing Archibald’s suspension At the Vancouver convention.

Archibald, who was elected as the first female national leader in July 2021, has always maintained that he did not harass or harass anyone. He called the investigation a “smear campaign” and an attempt to undermine his leadership when it was announced.

Archibald also expressed concern about the investigation, calling it “confrontational” and “colonial”.

In a memo sent to First Nations leaders earlier this year, he also said he was not allowed access to anything necessary to protect himself.

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