NWAC special meeting to decide fate of president cancelled

The board of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met for two hours on Saturday and then adjourned the meeting having not resolved the seemingly irreconcilable differences between its President, Francyne Joe, and Chief Operating Officer  Lynn Groulx.

For months the differences between Joe and Groulx has created what employees are calling a “toxic” work environment.

The board had planned to meet Saturday to decide the fate of Joe, and resolve the organization’s internal issues.

But NWAC’s Elder Advisor Roseanne Martin told APTN News there was no quorum Saturday morning to decide whether Joe will continue on as president.

There are 79 board members who are able to make decisions regarding the organization’s president.

APTN learned that only 28 NWAC members made it to the special meeting, cancelling the vote until further notice.

“So apparently they didn’t have enough quorum this morning,” said Martin.

“You needed at least 35 delegates of membership to be here.”

NWAC

(NWAC Elder Advisory Roseanne Martin at the meeting Saturday. Photo: Amber Bernard/APTN)

Martin said there are better things to worry about, than this vote.

“So what I’m always saying is that, what’s important is that we move forward, you know let’s move on,” she said.

Martin said she wants NWAC to move on with their mandate, which she says is supposed to be helping Indigenous women.

“What we have to focus on is the 231 calls to justice,” Martin said.

She said the organization should be looking at the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous women and girl’s final report.

“In my mind that’s how we should be proceeding, instead of fighting against one another,” said Martin.

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In another emailed statement to APTN, NWAC said the organization is trying to arrange a new meeting.

“A meeting is being planned to address and resolve the issue in July,” said Gail Paul, First vice president of NWAC.

At the moment Joe is banned from the office and not permitted to speak to the media. She did not attend the closing ceremony of the national inquiry Monday.

APTN asked Joe for comment, she declined.