AMC Women’s Council Statement
July 16, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, MB. _ The Women’s Council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) will no longer be part of the social media posts targeting First Nations leaders in Manitoba.
On July 9, 2019, posts were made on Facebook by Matthew Brian Shorting alleging that the AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas sent inappropriate Facebook messages and mobile texts to his girlfriend, Bethany Jenelle Maytwayashing. Grand Chief Dumas issued an official statement denying the allegations and explained he regularly engages in message exchanges with community members seeking help.
Last week, the AMC Women’s Council reached out and offered to meet with Ms. Maytwayashing to give her an opportunity to share her concerns. A meeting was arranged for Friday, July 12, 2019 at the Long Plain First Nation reserve, Winnipeg. Ms. Maytwayashing did not show up. Instead, Mr. Shorting and two other men attended. 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. She also posted on Facebook a call for anyone to come forward with allegations against any Chief and made statements to the media seeking a police investigation into the social media posts. Mr. Shorting also posted on Facebook additional allegations that he was fired from his job because of political interference by AMC due to his social media posts – an allegation the AMC Secretariat categorically denies.
Swan Lake First Nation Chief Francine Meeches, chair of the AMC Women’s Council, said: “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. Since then, she and Mr. Shorting have gone on to make 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. This has created a media frenzy based on little more than Facebook posts. 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.”