National chief issues memo to ‘set the record straight’ on harassment allegations

RoseAnne Archibald encouraging chiefs to urge executive to stop using ‘corporate means’ to get rid of her.

The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations has issued a memo to chiefs across the country in an attempt to “set the record straight” on allegations against her of harassment and wrongdoing.

In the memo, RoseAnne Archibald makes a number of recommendations including urging regional chiefs to “cease using corporate means to usurp the will of the chiefs” and “complete a fulsome report to examine the active lawsuits, complaints and exit interviews from former AFN staff with the intent of eliminating toxicity within the AFN Secretariat.”

APTN News verified the veracity of the national chief’s memo with her office.

Archibald was not made available for an interview.

The memo, dated May 29, was issued as a result of a third-party investigation into allegations Archibald engaged in harassment and wrongdoing.

It also included Archibald’s own summary report of the investigation’s findings.

The investigation was prepared by lawyer Raquel Chisholm and delivered to chiefs in assembly on May 18.

It looked into complaints by five people who alleged Archibald engaged in workplace harassment and created a “toxic” or “poisoned work environment.”

The summary of Chisholm’s report didn’t provide details of the allegations other than to conclude that Archibald’s conduct amounted to harassment.

“We conclude that by making statements that question the motives, intentions and integrity of the staff members that have made complaints and by making that suggestion in such public venue, the respondent’s conduct amounts to reprisal,” the report said.

Chisholm told APTN she would not be commenting on the investigation.

Archibald made public statements about four staff in June and July 2022.

She alleged they trying to secure over a million dollars in contract payouts in an attempt to stop Archibald from uncovering wrongdoing within the AFN.

The findings of reprisal for the fifth complaint were unique as several accusations by Archibald emerged in more public settings.

The investigation found Archibald also breached an AFN resolution when she put out a press release on April 21 saying she was “vindicated by the contents” of the investigation.

Archibald’s memo to chiefs concludes by saying that “it is imperative that chiefs/leadership demand to see the full hr investigation report to read the facts for themselves. Once the full hr reports are rightfully shared with the first nations in assembly, everyone will agree that the national chief has been substantively exonerated.”

The report said the national chief’s legal counsel disputes the findings and said that 93 per cent were found to be unsubstantiated.

Archibald’s legal counsel is expected to provide full details to the chiefs in assembly before June 28.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the national chief released a statement calling the ongoing leaks to the media a concern.

Archibald said in the statement that it is her “obligation to protect the integrity of the AFN while making sure it is truthful, transparent and accountable to our communities and therefore it’s essential to fulfill my oath of office and sacred duties, including the open and honest dialogue I have built with Chiefs and Leadership.”

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