New developments in text-messaging controversy involving Manitoba chief

WINNIPEG — The women’s council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says it will no longer be part of what it calls a “social media drama” involving the grand chief.

Arlen Dumas announced last week that he was taking a temporary leave of absence following an accusation that he sent text messages of a personal nature to a woman he had met.

The woman told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network that she chatted with Dumas on Facebook about her job, and alleges that she began receiving more personal messages from a Facebook account under a different name, but which she believed were from Dumas.

The woman also said she received text messages asking her to meet privately from a phone number she believed to be his.

Dumas said some of the messages were his but others were not, and he denied pursuing an intimate relationship with the woman.

The women’s council said it offered to meet with the woman on Friday but she did not show up.

“Unfortunately, she decided to send three men to meet with us, who offered no evidence to support her claims,” the council said in a written statement Tuesday.

“Since then, she and (her boyfriend) 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.”

The woman, in a video on her Facebook page, said she was out of town when the women’s council offered to meet with her and did not get the message in time.

She said she has been affected by the whole matter, as Dumas is some 20 years older than her.

“I’m fresh into my 20s … I’m very young and I shouldn’t have these old men coming at me. I know it’s normalized right now, but it’s disgusting,” she said in the video posted Sunday.

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