National Chief Suspension Obscures AFN Annual Meeting

The controversy calls for a continued suspension of the country’s chiefs, thus obscuring the annual rally of this week’s First Nations plenary session.

From July 5th to 7th, AFN 43rd Annual General Meeting Virtually, and both at the Vancouver Convention Center. The organization’s executive committee has ratified the chief and drafted a resolution calling for continued suspension of state chief Rosanne Archibald.

On June 16, Archibald called for an independent audit of AFN over the last eight years. She also issued a statement that she was persecuted because she tried to investigate corruption in Congress.

The next day, AFN’s executive committee alleged that Archibald’s allegations violated her oath of office and AFN’s code of conduct and whistleblower policy. The Commission suspended Archibald for a fee while waiting for the investigation of four complaints filed against her by her staff.

Melissa Mbarki, policy analyst and outreach coordinator for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Indigenous Policy Program, says Archibald was an inspiring figure for those who voted her for AFN’s best office.

“When she was campaigning for AFN, she wanted transparency and accountability. This was a national sympathy. People are definitely interested in what she has to say. We had, “Yes, this is what we need. This is the kind of leader we need. For those who question things, and for the rights of all. “I’m the one who stands up,” said Mubarki, who grew up in the Muskowekwan Reserve in Saskatchewan.

AFN executives initially indicated that Archibald would not be allowed to speak at national conventions, but later forgave him. Mubarki called the first decision “look down”.

“It’s really insulting. First, it’s very difficult for women to stand in that position. And until they make a decision and say she’s no longer a leader, she’s theirs. She has the right to speak at these meetings because she has the right to go to meetings and her voice is still important, and even after all this, her voice will be important, “she said. Told.

“If they didn’t allow her to speak, it would have caused some commotion in my community and the surrounding community, as we all support her. Therefore, they are in this situation. You need to be very careful about what you do. [either] Do they look like an old man’s club bullying a woman, or are they going to move forward and work with her? “

and June 17 StatementArchibald said there was a “fictitious attack” on her by AFN staff. She was also locked out of her email and learned about her suspension through her media, she said. She called these events “seemingly step-by-step coups” She said she was targeted For refusing to approve payments for staff worth more than $ 1 million.

According to an AFN statement, Archibald attempted to hold a hearing in the Ontario High Court prior to the AFN Annual Meeting, arguing that the Executive Committee had no authority to suspend her. The judge stood on the side of AFN executives who argued that the matter should be resolved internally and in parliament.

“This decision … does not support the claim that our actions are illegal or out of our authority,” regional director Paul Prosper said in a statement. “I’m sorry that the President of the People’s Republic of China chose the path of confrontation in the colonial courts to resolve this.”

“It will cause a lot of repulsion.”

Mbarki says depriving Archibald of her authority over AFN’s company does not end the question posed by her claim.

“It’s very disdainful and they’re looking at them a lot right now, so we need to tackle this with great respect. I’m really wondering what’s going on. If so, it will cause a lot of backlash, especially now, “she said.

“The reserves are very poor, some have no clean water, and within a week new reserves will be added to the boiling water recommendation. We are dealing with so many things, she said. If you’re asking about the expenses of some executives or employees of the company, she’s all because some of that money can be sent to our community to help with these issues. I have the right. “

Professor Ken Coates of the University of Saskatchewan Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy likens this situation to the federal Liberal Party’s sponsorship scandal about 20 years ago. He believes the situation will be difficult to handle.

“Indigenous politics is very personal. It’s very networked, very supportive, very regional. And you’re leaving a lot of people. And this debate is now. It happens on a regular basis. It’s happening all over the country, “Courts said in an interview.

“If National Chief Archibald is dismissed, many people will be very angry about it, especially because she is the first female National Chief, but if she is dismissed, who will come in her place? And if she isn’t dismissed, she may be criticized for those who acted against her, especially the executive committee, so this can be happy for everyone. Is low. It’s almost impossible. “

AFN has said that the bands that support oil and gas development and pipelines have not always been driven by Ottawa-based federal-funded organizations, so AFN said in the past. It is said that the relationship with some bands has decreased in “about 10 years”.

Coates agrees that some bands are not as focused on AFN leadership as they used to be.

“If you have a modern treaty …[or] AFN is no longer at the forefront if you have just received a large settlement from a large land claim or proceeding. “

“If you’re involved in a major economic venture or activity, as mentioned in some of British Columbia’s Squamish First Nations and Saskatchewan’s First Nations, we expect to provide guidance to AFN. No. Control the future of your economy and do a lot of things again anyway. It’s a trend and it’s already undergoing a very dramatic transition. “

“I can’t imagine AFN disappearing altogether,” Coates adds.

“It looks like we need some sort of national association. What’s interesting is that there has been a lot of movement back to the local and community levels for some time now. So all the chiefs are paying attention to AFN about 20 years ago. I’m not paying for it. That’s not a bad thing. “

The Epoch Times tried to contact Archibald, AFN staff, and Prosper, but did not get a reply.

TCanadian Press contributed to this article.

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.