AFN BC regional chief embroiled in photo controversy resigns post

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
An Assembly of First Nations regional chief who became embroiled in controversy over a photograph posted to his Instagram account has resigned.

The British Columbia AFN board of directors issued a statement Monday saying Shane Gottfriedson resigned from his role as AFN regional chief for the province.

“It was determined in a meeting with Shane, the board of directors and the BC AFN Elders Gwen Point and Bobby Joseph that, in order to best move forward, the BC AFN board of directors and Shane Gottfriedson feel strongly that this decision is in the best interest of BC First Nations,” said the statement. “Further to this, the BC AFN board of directors continue to stand, support and honour the role and importance of Indigenous women and girls.”

The statement was signed by board members Chief Maureen Chapman, who is the acting BC AFN regional chief, Chief James Delorme, Chief Liz Logan and Chief Rebecca David.

Gottfriedson had just returned from a board-approved leave of absence after facing controversy during the AFN’s annual winter gathering this past December. The controversy was sparked over a photo Gottfriedson posted to his own Instagram account showing his bare legs and a googly-eyed and red-lipped emoji near the crotch area.

Gottfriedson faced calls for his resignation from the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Organization and the Native Women’s Association of Canada said it was “disturbed” by the posting.

Gottfriedson deleted the photo and apologized for posting it. He said at the time he would be embarking on a journey of healing. He also resigned as the AFN’s portfolio holder for the murdered and missing Indigenous women file.

Champman will remain acting regional chief until the next election in 2018.

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