The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) will vote next month on whether to remove Arlen Dumas from the role of Grand Chief, and it now seems all but certain that he will soon be permanently stripped of that position.
On Wednesday AMC, an organization that represents and advocates for 62 Manitoba First Nations, said their Executive Council of Chiefs will hold a non-confidence vote regarding Dumas at a Special Assembly planned for Aug. 5.
The vote will come after AMC recently received the results of an independent report into workplace sexual harassment after allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against Dumas back in March by a woman who worked at AMC.
Results of that investigation showed that, according to AMC, “the conduct engaged in by Arlen Dumas amounted to workplace sexual harassment under the AMC’s Personnel Policy Manual, and under applicable workplace legislation.”
Dumas was suspended by AMC from his role as Grand Chief in March after being accused of sexual assault, and after the news was confirmed that a criminal complaint had been made to Winnipeg Police.
The accuser has since come forward and identified herself as Shauna Fontaine, who is employed by AMC but is currently on a temporary leave of absence from the organization.
Dumas has served in the role of Grand Chief of AMC since 2017, and the accusations are not the first to be levelled against him for alleged inappropriate conduct since he took on the role.
Dumas was accused of inappropriate conduct in 2019 when he took a temporary leave of absence from his role as Grand Chief after being accused of sending unwanted text and social media messages to Bethany Maytwayashing, a woman who says she received numerous unwanted messages from Dumas.
AMC said that until the Aug. 5 vote, Dumas will remain suspended without pay, and added that should Dumas ultimately be suspended, they will hold a by-election at a later date to elect a new Grand Chief.
Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun