TORONTO – INDIGENOUS – On Friday, June 17, 2022, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Executive Committee and national Board of Directors voted to suspend AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, effective immediately.
The decision was made in response to statements made by National Chief Archibald at the Chiefs of Ontario Annual Chiefs Assembly and in public statements she released last week.
The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) supports the mandate and the integrity of the AFN, as an organization. COO will continue to work with the AFN to ensure that it can promote and protect the interests of First Nations across Canada and in Ontario.
Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare in a statement says: “The AFN is a vital and effective organization. National Chief Archibald has made some very serious allegations about the AFN and its employees and we have yet to see any evidence supporting her claims.
“In her statements over the past few days, National Chief Archibald called our national organization corrupt and disclosed confidential information about employees. She called for the dissolution of the AFN’s operations, whose 200 employees work hard to fulfill the directions set out by the National Chiefs Assembly. It should be noted that AFN’s annual, regular audits have not indicated any impropriety. I have great confidence in the integrity and responsibility of the AFN. That said, if a forensic audit is necessary in order to address the National Chief’s allegations, then perhaps that is what should occur. Transparency is a key part of integrity and accountability.
“It is very regrettable that in her statements, the National Chief has attacked and undermined the very same organization she was elected to lead and to which she has a fiduciary obligation. The investigation underway into the complaints against her will continue. Until the results of that independent investigation are complete, the AFN must be able to continue its vital work and protect the privacy and well-being of its employees.
“The AFN’s decision to suspend National Chief Archibald was necessary in order for it to ensure it could fulfill those obligations. The Chiefs of Ontario will continue to support the AFN as it does this work.”
In a media statement, Chiefs of Ontario says, “The National Chief appeared at the Chiefs of Ontario Annual Chiefs Assembly on Wednesday, June 15 and made comments that contained inaccuracies and appear to have breached AFN employees’ right to privacy and confidentiality. In her subsequent statement, released on Thursday and Friday, she claimed that the Ontario Chiefs-in-Assembly had passed a resolution requiring the AFN to install an oversight body over the AFN’s Executive Committee. No such resolution was passed: Resolution 22/27A, passed by the Ontario Chiefs-in-Assembly, supported the continuation of the mandate of the AFN’s Restructuring Committee. That resolution did not call for the creation of a body to oversee the AFN’s Executive Committee”.
Roseanne Archibald has taken to social media to express she has had her AFN phone shut off and she is locked out of her email.
On Facebook, Archibald says, “What you see unfolding is 34 years in the making. I’ve always fought and pushed back against patriarchy, corruption and oppression – continually asking for accountability, transparency and truth.
“I’m always grateful when others have joined me in my relentless pursuit of justice, especially for our most vulnerable and marginalized in my mind and heart.
“I’ve worked for the last four years to make processes transparent and honest. The AFN likes to only “tweak” things. Substantial changes have been resisted heavily.
“I’ve taken on the federal government as a student. I’ve taken on international foresty giants as a Chief. With the help of others, I’ve always won.
“I am calling on allies and friends to reach out to your Chief and Council to make a resonable request: (1) a forensic audit into salary payouts and contracts at AFN; and (2) an independent investigation into the corruption, collusion and toxic environment at AFN.
“It’s reasonable to ask for this given what is happening, with a questionable investigation, my suspension from the board of directors (although I am still the duly elected National Chief), and the AFN CEO cutting off my phone, I hope everyone can see that the AFN needs an overhaul.”