Former AFN National Chief retaliates, calls for support and her reinstatement

Archibald calls upon women and marginalized groups within First Nations communities to support her

(Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Former AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald has called on her supporters to demand her reinstatement and push for a forensic audit of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) finances.

In her first public remarks since being ousted as leader last week, Archibald made the plea in a video posted on her Facebook page.

Despite regional chiefs claiming the vote had nothing to do with gender, Archibald called upon women and marginalized groups in First Nations communities: “Women and […] other marginalized groups in our communities can take action. You can call, or text, or email your Chief and Council, and you can ask for two things. One, that they reinstate me as National Chief, and two that they make sure that the forensic audit goes ahead.”

Regional chiefs ousted Archibald during a virtual assembly attended by only 231 delegates, less than half of the eligible 634 First Nations representatives. The vote resulted in 163 in favour of a non-confidence motion, 62 opposed, and six abstentions.

“I don’t want to be reinstated because of my ego, I want to be reinstated because I have a sacred responsibility that I have to fulfill. They [regional chiefs] just went ahead and did one of the most violent acts against an Indigenous First Nation woman leader ever, in a national kind of way, in a world stage kind of way.”

The assembly was convened to address the findings of an investigation into workplace misconduct complaints filed against Archibald last year. The investigation concluded that Archibald had harassed two staff members and retaliated against all five complainants.

Archibald regarded the investigation into misconduct allegations as a diversionary tactic and labelled the complaints as politically motivated. She asserted that her efforts to combat corruption within the AFN, a battle she claims to have been engaged before her election as National Chief, have faced significant opposition.

In her plea, Archibald also asked for healing, “to make sure that we are healing from this, that this becomes an opportunity for us to turn a corner away from the colonial path of attack and political garbage that’s been happening in our communities, and in our organizations for the last three or four decades. The time has come to change.”

Her removal marks the first time a national chief has been voted out of office mid-term.

While some national chiefs blamed Archibald for the organization’s woes, others criticized the assembly itself.

The AFN Executive Committee has affirmed their commitment to appointing an interim National Chief from within their own ranks, in accordance with the AFN Charter.

However, it is unclear who will assume the role of interim National Chief.

The AFN announced, in a press release, plans to conduct an election for the National Chief during the Special Chiefs Assembly scheduled for December 2023.

About the Author

Eden Maury
Eden Maury is a multimedia story teller, born in France but her family lives in Dettah and N’dilo. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Audiovisuel, department of cinematography, with a Hons. Master of Arts and Languages. She spent more than a decade working on film sets in Paris and she travelled the world working as a videographer for many news networks in France. Next time you tune in 101.9, look out for the Native with a French accent. Please, feel free to reach out anytime at Masi cho!