Suspended NAN grand chief says he’s been ‘possibly defamed’ by statement from organization

Derek Fox

'I have been wrongfully and possibly defamed by statements that are untrue,' says Fox. Photo: NAN

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Derek Fox, who has been suspended with pay from his position pending an investigation into alleged code of conduct violations, says he’s been “wrongfully and possibly defamed.”

On Feb. 27, NAN issued a statement that said “an internal investigation has been directed due to alleged violations” by Fox of the organization’s executive council code of conduct.

The statement doesn’t give any indication about what Fox is alleged to have done.

On his Facebook page, Fox issued his own statement about the suspension.

“I have been wrongfully and possibly defamed by statements that are untrue,” he wrote. “I’ve asked the NAN Chiefs to call for an election of the entire executive so that a trusted leadership group that can work together is put in place for the benefit of the people we serve.

“I propose an election be held in the next 60 to 90 days so that the new leadership, being whoever the Chiefs decide, will be able to continue to move our people forward.”

Also on his Facebook page are a number of posts outlining Fox’s trip to NAN communities.

The NAN statement was issued by Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum and Deputy Grand Chief Victor Linklater.

“To protect the integrity of the investigation, no further comment will be made at this time,” the statement said.

APTN News reached out to NAN and requested a copy of the organization’s code of conduct but didn’t hear back.

NAN represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario.

Fox is one of three grand chiefs in NAN and is from Bearskin Lake First Nation in Treaty 9.

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