British Columbia

AFN chief resigns from missing women portfolio over Instagram photo

The B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations has resigned as head of the assembly's missing and murdered Indigenous women portfolio after posting a picture on Instagram of a wide-eyed emoji with red lips near his groin.

Shane Gottfriedson apologizes for picture of his bare legs with eyes and red lips near his groin

B.C. chief resigns as head of Assembly of First Nations MMIW portfolio

6 years ago
Duration 2:09
BC Chief Shane Gottfriedson offers his resignation as head of the AFN's MMIW group after posting a picture on Instagram of his lower body with an emoji on his groin.

The B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations has resigned as head of the assembly's missing and murdered Indigenous women portfolio after posting a picture on Instagram of a wide-eyed emoji with red lips near his groin.

Shane Gottfriedson told a special meeting of chiefs in Gatineau, Que., that posting the picture was "not one of my greatest moments."

"I offended many people ... I stand before you today in a very humbled way. I make no excuses for this regrettable action. I immediately apologized to our women's council last night when APTN ran a story."

At the assembly on Tuesday morning, he made a public apology and announced that he was stepping down as head of the portfolio.

"My heart tells me that is the right thing to do because all along in this process I have been saying we need to change our attitude and how we conduct ourselves," he said.

Gottfriedson said he spoke to Perry Bellegarde directly about the matter, and the AFN national chief hugged him after he apologized at the meeting.

Lack of judgment

The Official Opposition critic for Indigenous Affairs Cathy McLeod, who is the Conservative MP for Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo, agreed that stepping down from the portfolio was the right thing for the former Tk'emlúps First Nation chief to do.

"It definitely showed a lack of judgment.... It is such a sensitive file, that to have someone in charge of that file who posted pictures with sexual innuendo on a social media account really is not appropriate," she said.

The organization has yet to indicate who will replace Gottfriedson in the portfolio. Hearings are expected to begin early next year to examine the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.

CBC News contacted Gottfriedson for comment Tuesday morning but has yet to hear back.

APTN posted this image of the Instagram post from AFN B.C. Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson that shows his legs, with an emoji with red lips near his groin.

With files from Doug Hebert and The Canadian Press

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