Statement from Audrey Poitras, President of Métis Nation of Alberta on criminal charges laid against Dwayne Roth
Métis Nation of Alberta
Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta condemns, in the strongest of terms, all forms of bullying, violence, sexual assault, coercion and manipulation of anyone by individuals in positions of power.
As information has come to light about sexual assault charges laid by the RCMP against Mr. Dwayne Roth, CEO of the Fort McKay Métis Group Ltd., the Métis Nation of Alberta offers its support to the Métis women who have bravely come forward to share their stories. They deserve to be heard, and, much more importantly, supported and believed. Sexual assault, violence, bullying and abuse of power have no place within the Métis Nation or Canadian society as a whole.
While the Métis Nation of Alberta will not be further commenting on the specifics of the charges laid against Mr. Roth, these issues need to be raised and addressed within our communities and the Métis Nation as a whole. Very often Métis women and girls are put in positions where they are forced to remain silent because of pressures from our communities and existing power structures as well as systemic and institutional biases.
In the #MeToo era, it is more important than ever that victims are supported as they come forward to identify these repulsive and unacceptable behaviours and share their experiences. This type of conduct has been common in our society for far too long. Our people, communities and Nation need to work together to create safety for girls and women who have endured abuse as well as change the power structures that allow this sort of abuse to continue, including within Métis communities and the Métis Nation.