Two Mi’kmaq politicians in Nova Scotia, including a former regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), have been charged with sex crimes in two separate cases.
Court documents obtained by APTN News show RCMP charged Morley Googoo on Dec. 23, 2020 with one count of sexual assault for an incident alleged to have occurred in March 2013.
Court documents also show RCMP, on Nov. 30, 2020, charged Waycobah band councillor Cyrus Bernard with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of sexual interference related to incidents allegedly stemming from 2014 and 2015.
The charges have not yet been tested or proven in court.
APTN is not publishing further details to protect the identity of the alleged victims.
Bernard, who was re-elected to council during band elections in October, was released on conditions that include he have no contact with the complainant.
He could not be reached for comment.
The 52-year-old has since resigned his council position with the First Nation in Cape Breton, and is next scheduled to appear in provincial court on Jan. 6 in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.
Googoo, also 52, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His next court date is Feb. 3.
Googoo was removed from his role as AFN regional chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in 2019 after he was investigated for alleged abusive behaviour against women.
The investigation – by an Ottawa-based law firm for the AFN – was sparked by complaints he bullied, harassed and intimidated some women in the Mi’kmaw community. Googoo is also a former Waycobah chief.
The law firm investigators told the AFN that they heard “other allegations of rape and assault” and that many of those allegations “involved women from the Mi’kmaq community.”
Googoo denied the allegations in an exclusive interview with APTN after he was removed from his position with the national advocacy organization.
The AFN declined a request to comment for this story on Monday.
UPDATE: This story was amended after Morley Googoo emailed a response on Jan. 5 that called the criminal charge against him “unfounded.”