AFN’s National Chief RoseAnne Archibald says she’s been ‘undermined’ and ‘attacked’ within organization

National chief slams ‘smear campaign’ after an unverified draft resolution calling for her removal leaks.

RoseAnne Archibald

In a statement posted on Twitter, Archibald says in an effort to clean up corruption, she's been undermined, discredited, and attacked." Photo: APTN

Facing a call for her to be removed as Assembly of First Nations national chief, RoseAnne Archibald has released a statement on Twitter denouncing a faction of chiefs and AFN staffers she claims are trying to undermine her leadership.

“I have spent my 33 years in leadership cleaning up political messes. I stand for truth, transparency, and accountability,” Archibald said in a statement released Thursday night.

“However, for nearly a year now there has been extreme resistance to this positive change. In my efforts to clean up the corruption within the AFN, I’ve been undermined, discredited, and attacked.”

The statement went on to claim Archibald has been targeted by a “smear campaign,” blaming the AFN secretariat along with two unnamed regional chiefs for “choosing to focus on infighting rather than advocacy for the people that we serve.”

While not mentioned in the statement, minutes before it was released, APTN News obtained a leaked copy of a draft resolution that may be tabled during the AFN’s annual general assembly next month calling for Archibald to be removed as head of the national lobby group.

It says the national chief must receive 60 per cent of the ballots cast under AFN election procedures, but that Archibald only received 50.5 per cent of the votes during the AFN’s July 8 vote, which was held virtually because of the pandemic.

“The Electoral Officer made a mistake to declare her a winner when Reginald Bellerose [her top competitor] conceded,” the draft resolution says. “There should have been another vote to determine if she had 60% support to be the National Chief.”

It says the AFN has no election appeals process and calls for Archibald to be removed so a new election can be held in person.

It also calls for the organization’s election procedures to be revised and updated.

APTN could not independently verify the contents of the document. APTN contacted Archibald’s press secretary and lawyer asking if her statement was linked to the resolution but did not immediately hear back.

In her press release, Archibald accused the AFN of broad wrongdoing including “corruption and collusion,” backroom deals and large payouts, reiterating her call for a forensic audit and independent inquiry into the organization’s dealings over the last eight years.

“I believe this investigation will help to identify the toxicity within our organization and bring about a healing and cultural shift that is critically needed.”

She also revealed four staff have launched an investigation against her, calling it “a desperate attempt to stop me from uncovering wrongdoing within the AFN.”

The statement didn’t offer details about the allegations or the investigation.

Archibald was previously subjected to an internal probe over harassment allegations when she was still Ontario regional chief prior taking control of the organization, the first woman to do so.

She maintained the probe was reprisal launched because of her push for financial transparency and a forensic audit of AFN contracting policies.

The organization was roiled at the time by internal controversy prompting multiple external investigations.

Her statement said the Ontario region has passed a resolution validating her election as national chief.

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