Googoo removal ‘a small victory’ says former president of Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association

Cheryl Maloney in an undated photo. She says the removal of Morley Googoo from office is “a small victory” for women. Photo: APTN file

The former head of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association is calling it “a small victory” for women.

Cheryl Maloney is applauding Mi’kmaw Chiefs of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for removing Morley Googoo from representing them at the national level.

Googoo was serving a suspension with pay as regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) while it investigates allegations he harassed and discriminated against members of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, including former president Maloney, and other Mi’kmaq women.

“This is a small victory for women,” Maloney said in a video on her personal Facebook page.

The eastern chiefs publicized their decision in a statement released Oct. 10.

They said they held a special meeting and collectively voted to remove Googoo “in response to events that have occurred during Googoo’s suspension from his role with the AFN.”

Googoo could not be reached for comment.

He has denied the allegations.

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The chiefs said they continue to support the AFN investigation and would have no further comment at this time.

Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the AFN, was not available for an interview. But his organization released a statement.

“The (AFN) executive recognizes and respects the removal of Morley Googoo,” it said in part.

“Mr. Googoo is no longer a board member of the AFN and the region must appoint or elect a new member.”

The statement said the AFN executive adopted “a code of conduct” on Sept. 25 “to ensure a safe environment, free of violence, discrimination and harassment.”

But it did not share the code with APTN News despite two requests.

(Morley Googoo has been removed from office by Mi’kmaw Chiefs of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Photo: APTN File)

The AFN claims the code “is in effect” and plans a formal signing at a special chiefs assembly in Ottawa in December.

The action comes after accusations of physical and sexual harassment against several chiefs in media reports across the country. (LINK)

Maloney, of Sipekne’katik First Nation, appeared emotional and elated at the news Googoo had been removed as regional chief.

She live-streamed a video on her Facebook praising chiefs in her territory for acting.

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.