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Murray Sinclair to help AFN with conflict resolution after 'turmoil': national chief

Sinclair to help mend fences

Murray Sinclair, a former senator and commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will help the Assembly of First Nations with conflict resolution in 2023, national chief RoseAnne Archibald said Tuesday.

Archibald made the announcement in her opening remarks to chiefs gathered in Ottawa for a three-day special assembly.

The organization, which serves as the national advocacy voice for more than 600 First Nations, has spent months dealing with infighting in its highest ranks over complaints lodged against Archibald by her staff.

That conflict played out in public during the last AFN gathering in Vancouver in July. Archibald attended the meetings despite a vote from the executive committee and board of directors to temporarily suspend her leadership.

On Tuesday, Archibald told chiefs there are important matters the organization must deal with and warned that it cannot afford to spend more time embroiled in conflict.

"We can't spend another minute, never mind a chiefs' assembly, in turmoil," she said.

"Our people are watching."

Archibald said there are still human resources and legal matters that need to be resolved over the coming months.

Since the gathering in July, she said she has "made every effort to heal and create harmony" in her relationships with the organization's regional chiefs.

"In the new year, former justice and senator Murray Sinclair will be assisting us with conflict resolution and mediation."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as some of his ministers tasked with leading files that deal directly with matters affecting First Nations, are set to address the assembly later in the week.

Chiefs will also vote on a list of some 73 draft resolutions ranging from positions on child welfare to justice reform.



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