AFN national chief criticizes probe into workplace bullying

RoseAnne Archibald claims non-Indigenous investigators 'may not have grounding in our traditional practices'

AFN national chief criticizes probe into workplace bullying

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) national chief RoseAnne Archibald is crying foul about the investigation into her alleged bullying and harassment.

"I have met the investigators and am concerned that they're non-Indigenous and may not have a grounding in our traditional practices and ways of being,” she wrote in a memo labelled “confidential”, according to a CBC report.

This, he said, “could easily lead us down a colonial path of having this process demonize our cultural practices.”

"This kind of non-Indigenous investigation is antagonistic, confrontational, and moves us further away from bringing healing and harmony to our working relationships," she said, according to the CBC report.

Four senior staff members Archibald hired to move to Ottawa and run her national chief's office made the allegations.

Archibald also accused the investigators of withholding information from her and her legal counsel, including which sections of the Canada Labour Code and the AFN's own workplace personnel and ethics codes she's alleged to have breached.

"I'm not being given access to what I need to defend myself against these allegations," said Archibald in the CBC report.

Whether it’s a toxic message or an in-person verbal attack, harassment is harassment, according to Mike MacLellan, partner at CCP.

Video in December

Archibald issued the memo in response to a video presented at the last AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa on Dec. 6 by Raquel Chisholm, a partner with law firm Emond Harnden. AFN hired Chisholm to investigate the allegations against Archibald, said the CBC.

That day, Chisholm said that Archibald hadn't made herself available for an interview despite repeated requests between August and December 2022. Chisholm said Archibald cited concerns about the fairness of the process.

In the memo, Archibald said neither she nor members of her legal team were allowed to view Chisholm's video before it was played to the chiefs-in-assembly, and that prevented her from providing a detailed response, said the CBC.

Archibald claimed she's been targeted by complaints because she has pursued allegations of corruption within the AFN.

More than half of respondents of an internal survey revealed that they have experienced and/or witnessed some form of harassment or discrimination within Toronto Police Service (TPS) organisation in the past five years, according to a report released in June 2022.

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