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CANADA: AFN suspends National Chief RoseAnne Archibald pending probe

In a statement, Archibald says she's being "undermined, discredited and attacked" for trying to clean up corruption in the Assembly of First Nations
Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald speaks during a news conference ahead of a Tk'emlups te Secwepemc ceremony to honour residential school survivors and mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in Kamloops, BC., on Thursday, September 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Assembly of First Nations says it has voted to suspend National Chief RoseAnne Archibald.

The AFN's executive committee and board of directors say in a release Friday that her suspension is effective immediately pending the outcome of investigations into four complaints against her.

It says Archibald's suspension was prompted by public statements she made Thursday that breached her obligations to the AFN and are contrary to her oath of office, the AFN's code of conduct and its Whistleblower Policy.

The AFN says Archibald has been ordered not to discuss the investigation publicly and is prohibited from attending its annual general assembly and chief’s assembly meeting next month.

In a statement Thursday, Archibald said she was being "undermined, discredited and attacked" for trying to clean up corruption in the AFN.

In her statement, Archibald called for a forensic audit and independent inquiry into the conduct of the AFN over the last eight years.

Regional Chief Paul Prosper, an AFN spokesman, said Friday in a statement that it is regrettable that it 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,” he said.

Archibald could not immediately be reached for comment on her suspension.

But in a release Friday, she said she will not back down in her attempt to shine a light on what she calls "corruption and collusion within the AFN."

"I am of the opinion that there is a pattern at the AFN of launching false investigations," she said.

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

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2022

The Canadian Press