National Chief RoseAnne Archibald suspended from Assembly of First Nations

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National Chief RoseAnne Archibald suspended from Assembly of First Nations
Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald was suspended Friday by AFN's executive committee and its national board. She was suspended with pay pending the outcome of a current investigation into four complaints against her. – Jun 17, 2022

Effective immediately, National Chief RoseAnne Archibald has been voted to be suspended by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Executive Committee and its national board of directors.

The decision comes after four complaints were made against her so an investigation can take place, the AFN said in a statement on June 17.

The national chief will be suspended with pay until the Executive Committee reviews the investigation report and makes a final decision.

Archibald was locked out of her emails at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, according to a statement she made.

“While the Regional Chiefs have the authority to suspend me from the Board and as Board Chair, they do not have the authority to remove me as the AFN National Chief,” she said.

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Archibald will also not be allowed to attend the Annual General Assembly and Chief’s Assembly meeting at the beginning of July, according to the AFN.

“It is regrettable that we had to take this severe action but we had no other choice. The National Chief has committed serious breaches of her obligations to the AFN through unfounded and unsubstantiated public attacks on the integrity of our organization and our employees that will only serve to undermine the good work we do as we continue to serve our First Nations communities,” said Regional Chief Paul Prosper, an AFN spokesperson.

On June 16, Archibald released a public statement calling for a forensic audit and independent inquiry into the assembly’s alleged corruption and “toxicity.”

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She said she’s been “undermined, discredited and attacked” in her efforts to clean up the organization, which she accused of mounting “smear campaigns” in order to silence her.

The statement prompted the assembly to suspend her as it breached her obligations to the AFN, their release said.

On June 17, Archibald made another public statement saying she will “not back down her attempt to shine a light on what she believes to be corruption and collusion within the AFN.”

“I am of the opinion that there is a pattern at the AFN of launching false investigations and leaking confidential information, particularly among the most senior staff,” she said in the release.

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“What’s happening is wrong, but it’s not about me; it’s a manufactured distraction from my repeated calls to investigate the past eight years of wrongdoing within the AFN.”

She also publicly enclosed an aforementioned whistleblower complaint regarding those in senior positions within the AFN Secretariat.

The complaint details three staff members allegedly planning to go on a work hiatus after a May speech from Archibald, despite other staff being “optimistic” after listening. The three staff members also allegedly tried to convince other staff members to join them and had pre-written a time off request.

“I am writing to notify you that I require some time off. I am in duress and my mental health is suffering due to the information that was shared on Friday, regarding the potential upheaval of the office and I am extremely concerned about this situation. I require to this week off to take some time for my mental health,” the pre-written email, detailed in Archibald’s public statement, reads.

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Archibald also says the nature between the three staff members and the CEO of the AFN is “highly suspicious” and “worth investigating.”

Archibald was elected as the assembly’s first female national chief in July of last year.

At the time of her election, she was facing an investigation into allegations of harassment and bullying from her time as Ontario regional chief. She said then that the probe, which has since been resolved, was due to her vocal allegations that women and LGBTQ2 members of the organization were facing harassment and bullying.

— with files from Sean Boynton

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