CANADA The Assembly of Chiefs of Manitoba voted to remove...

The Assembly of Chiefs of Manitoba voted to remove Grand Chief Arlen Dumas from office.


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On Friday, the Assembly of Chiefs of Manitoba held a vote of no confidence in which they voted to dismiss Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. (Trevor Lyons/CBC)

The Manitoba Chief Assembly voted to remove Grand Chief Arlen Dumas from office and publicly apologized to two women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.

At a special general assembly held in Winnipeg on Friday, dozens of Manitoba leaders voted in a no-confidence vote to formally remove Dumas from his post following allegations of sexual harassment and assault on an employee.

Interim Grand Chief Cornell McLean told CBC News that 30 voted in favor of removing the Grand Chief immediately, while 13 voted against.

“On behalf of the assembly, we must [apologize]because we need to protect them from things like that,” McLean said.

Dumas was suspended in March pending an investigation into the allegations, he engaged in sexual harassment in the workplace and raped an employee who was anonymous at the time. The employee filed a police report, but no charges were filed.

McLean apologized to Shauna Fontaine, who spoke publicly in June as the employee who filed the complaint and expressed her disappointment with AMC and the police response to her report.

He also apologized to Bethany Meitvayashing, who accused Dumas of sending her inappropriate text messages in 2019.

In response to Fontaine’s allegations, the assembly ordered a third-party investigation that found Dumas involved in workplace sexual harassment.

Earlier this week, Dumas announced that he would seek trauma-based treatment to “start healing not only from the events of the last five months, but from the trauma of a lifetime,” he said in a press release.

On Friday, he did not appear at the special general assembly, despite AMC asking its lawyers to have him attend virtually. He previously denied the allegations.

Dumas was first elected chief executive of AMC in 2017 and was re-elected last summer.

In a press release emailed after the vote, the caucus announced that a by-election would be held on October 19 to elect a replacement. Until then, McLean will act as great leader.

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