VANCOUVER — The national youth council co-chair for the Assembly of First Nations says politics and squabbling around leadership are getting in the way of Indigenous topics that matter most.

Rosalie LaBillois says the youth council has been left to fend for itself on issues like child welfare as executives and the national chief dominate the annual meeting with leadership woes. 

The assembly’s executive voted to suspend National Chief RoseAnne Archibald last month pending results of investigations into four complaints against her. 

Archibald has alleged she was suspended for trying to investigate corruption within the assembly and called for a forensic audit of the organization. 

Chief Scott McLeod of the Nipissing First Nation in Ontario later approached the microphone to apologize to the youth council, saying he was “humbled by their words.”

A vote of non-confidence in Archibald’s leadership was withdrawn today, while a second emergency resolution, calling for her to be fully reinstated and an audit, was delayed until Thursday while chiefs review the changes.

An emergency resolution before chiefs to reaffirm the suspension of Archibald failed yesterday by a vote of 252 to 25, while 44 abstained.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

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