Future Of Grand Chief Arlen Dumas Uncertain After Latest Allegation Of Sexual Assault
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Future Of Grand Chief Arlen Dumas Uncertain After Latest Allegation Of Sexual Assault

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In 2019, Dumas was also accused of Sexual Assault by a young woman twenty years his junior

Manitoba’s Grand Chief Arlen Dumas’ suspension for the allegation of sexually assaulting a senior member of his administration was swift by The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC). Dumas’ allegation resulted in the calling of an emergency meeting by the AMC to appoint a third-party legal advisor to investigate the latest allegation against Dumas. 

“On March 18, 2022, the AMC Executive Council of Chiefs held an emergency meeting to discuss the formal complaint filed by a senior staff member. The following decisions were made based on legal advice provided to the AMC Secretariat and are as follows: 

  1. that the AMC Personnel and Finance Committee engage the services of Manitoba Human Resource Lawyers to investigate the complaint in a manner that is impartial, neutral and objective;
  2. that Grand Chief Arlen Dumas is suspended for the duration of said investigation;
  3. that the AMC Executive Council of Chiefs reconvene on Monday, March 21, 2022 to appoint an Acting Grand Chief;
  4. that the AMC Personnel and Finance Committee review the existing workplace harassment policies and make amendments to them, and also review the current provisions of the AMC Constitution and identify proposed amendments for consideration by the Chiefs-in-Assembly.

Given the nature of this matter, no interviews or further statements will be offered at this time. The AMC will endeavour to provide timely updates in an ongoing manner when reasonably possible to do so.” Said, the release issued by the AMC

It was only a few years ago, similar allegations had been brought forth by two courageous young ladies, Ms Bethany Maytwayashing, twenty years his junior and Ms Renée Yetman. In that incident relating to Ms Maytwayashing, Grand Chief Dumas said, “I did not pursue a relationship of an intimate nature with this woman,” and further denied her allegations of unwanted advances or sending inappropriate text messages. He also did not provide further comments with respect to the allegations made by Ms Yetman.

Dumas underwent sensitivity training followed by a two-week sabbatical and was able to return to his job after an investigation by the AMC. It is important to note, the details of the investigation and its results have not been fully disclosed to the public.

Because this is not the first time allegations of sexual assault have been levied against Dumas, members of the community are demanding his resignation. They feel the workplace is not safe and jeopardizes the work of the organization, especially in situations involving advocating on behalf of victims of sexual assault. 

“My personal experience of harassment and sexual misconduct has created an unsafe work environment where I have been subjugated to gender-based violence.” Said the accuser

She was unable to provide further details at this moment as a formal complaint was filed with the Winnipeg Police Services.

The position of Grand Chief is sacred and represents the voices of Manitoba’s Indigenous peoples, and the person elected to lead should never put themself in a position that may cast doubt on the importance of the office and its integrity by being the subject of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. 

All Manitobans deserve the very best from their elected officials. They expect them to rise to the occasion and lead their people. They are tired of scandals, allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct or stupid insensitive comments like those recently uttered by their Premier Stefanson in question period. 

The fate of Dumas hinges on the outcome of the pending investigation by the Winnipeg Police Services and the third-party legal firm hired by the AMC. Until that happens, an interim Grand Chief will be appointed on March 21, 2022, to ensure the AMC can continue its important work advocation, for the Manitoba Indigenous community.

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