RoseAnne Archibald is calling on supporters to tell their chiefs and councils to reinstate her after she was voted out as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations last week.
In a five minute video posted to Facebook, Archibald also urged supporters to ensure a forensic audit of the national advocacy organization moved ahead.
“You can call or text or email your chief and council and you can ask for two things. One, that they reinstate me as national chief and two, that they make sure that the forensic audit goes ahead,” she said in the video statement recorded in her car in a B.C. parking lot.
Archibald was voted out as national chief last Wednesday after more than a year of turmoil involving her leadership.
The vote took place during a special chiefs assembly that was convened in part to address the implications of a human resources investigation related to complaints that AFN staff had filed against Archibald.
The resolution to oust her, just over two years after she became the first woman to serve in the role, passed with support from about 70 per cent of those who took part in the virtual meeting.
The infighting at the organization for more than 600 First Nations played out in public last July at a gathering in Vancouver, when Archibald showed up despite having been temporarily suspended.
After chiefs voted down an emergency resolution to affirm her suspension, Archibald expressed her gratitude, alleging she was unfairly suspended because she had been trying to investigate corruption within the assembly.
In Monday’s video, Archibald repeated those claims, stating “pushback” she’s been receiving is because she’s been fighting corruption at the AFN since October 2020.
“I don’t want to be reinstated because of my ego. I want to be reinstated because I have a sacred responsibility that I have to fulfill,” Archibald said in the video.
“What the chiefs did on June 28 is … they just went ahead and did one of the most violent acts against an Indigenous, First Nation woman leader.”
The AFN has said the top post will be vacant until an interim national chief is selected from the executive committee, and that an election is set to take place during a special chiefs assembly in December.
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