An investigation into a messaging scandal involving the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ grand chief Arlen Dumas appears to be over.
The Women’s Council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs launched its own investigation last week following reports Dumas had sent 22-year-old Bethany Maytwayashing unwanted and inappropriate messages and texts.
In a news release Tuesday, the council said it “will no longer be part of the social media posts targeting First Nations leaders in Manitoba.”
The council had planned a meeting with Mayatwayashing and other women to give them an opportunity to hear her concerns.
According to the release, a meeting was arranged for Friday, July 12 at the Long Plain First Nation urban reserve in Winnipeg.
(Francine Meeches, a member of the AMC’s Women’s Council released a statement on the allegations against grand chief Arlen Dumas on Tuesday. Photo: AMC)
The council said Mayatwayashing “did not show up.”
Mayatwayashing says she “went out onto the land before a set time was given” for the meeting.
“Francine Meeches did not update me with a time on Facebook until I was already gone and in a poor service area she messaged at 12:32 am the night before the meet,” Mayatwayshing said in a Facebook message, on Tuesday.
Mayatwayashing says her boyfriend Matthew Shorting attended the meeting in her place and that she was present on the conference line while the meeting continued.
Shorting posted the original screenshots of messages allegedly from Dumas to Mayatwayshing.
He says he was fired from his restorative justice job after he posted allegations against Dumas saying he was harassing Mayatwayashing.
In it’s statement, the AMC secretariat “categorically denies” Shorting was “fired from his job because of political interference.”
Swan Lake First Nation Chief Francine Meeches, who is the chair of the AMC Women’s Council said in the statement, “the AMC Women’s Council reached out to Ms. Maytwayashing in good faith to hear her concerns.
“Unfortunately, she decided to send three men to meet with us, who offered no evidence to support her claims.”
(22-year-old Bethany Maytwayashing says she was supposed to meet with the AMC Women’s Council on July 18. Photo: APTN)
The council said “shortly thereafter, Ms. Maytwayashing posted new allegations on Facebook, this time against the AMC Women’s Council alleging that some members were biased – an allegation the Women’s Council categorically denies.”
The Women’s Council accuses Maytwayashing and Shorting of making “numerous unfounded allegations against the AMC’s Women’s Council, the AMC Secretariat, and are now soliciting complaints from the community at large against our First Nations leadership in Manitoba.
“As a result, the AMC Women’s Council will no longer be part of this social media drama which is clearly targeting all of our First Nation leaders in Manitoba.”
The statement comes as a surprise to Maytwayashing because a new meeting had been set up for July 18.
“I’m still unsure really. Nobody contacted me about it” says Mayatwayashing who replied “this is overwhelming I just want an apology, for him to man up, admit it was him and for him to fix this all.”
Dumas announced July 12 that he was taking a leave of absence.