Two women allege inappropriate messages from Manitoba grand chief
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV News' Manitoba Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon
Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:45PM EDT
Two women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate text messages involving the province’s grand chief, while the First Nations leader denies any wrongdoing.
Bethany Maytwayashing said she first met Manitoba Grand Chief Arlen Dumas while working at a Winnipeg restaurant in 2018 and saw him again in May 2019. She told CTV News that Dumas began sending her messages shortly after the second encounter.
Maytwayashing said the messages began with someone she didn’t know under the name “Charles Forbes” asking her to guess who the account belonged to. At one point Maytwayashing asks “Arlen?” and the person responded with “Lol yes. Man you are good Haha.”
The alleged messages then continued with texts like “What r u doing today?”, “Can we meet up?” and “What your number? I’ll send you a text.”
Maytwayashing is calling for an apology from Dumas.
“I have nothing to gain from this,” she said. “I just want the truth out there.”
Dumas temporarily stepped aside last week for professional sensitivity training following the allegations, but has denied ever operating a fake Facebook account or ever sending an inappropriate message.
“These allegations are entirely false,” Dumas said in a statement. “I did not pursue a relationship of an intimate nature with this woman.”
Dumas did say he provided advice to Maytwayashing through separate text message chain and that the informal communication may not be suited for someone with the role of grand chief.
Dumas said he has hired a third-party firm to investigate who is responsible for impersonating him online.
Since Dumas stepped aside last week, a second woman has come forward with a similar story.
Renee Yetman posted a Facebook Live on Monday where she said she met Dumas at an event in northern Manitoba. She said the two began sending messages over Facebook for several months, which eventually led to a consensual sexual encounter.
“He shouldn’t be going around though, abusing his power and his trust towards women,” Yetman told CTV News.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Women’s Council Chair told CTV News the organization does not have “a mandate to oversee a dispute such as this.”
The council offered to meet with Maytwayashing on Friday, but she didn’t show up. Maytwayashing said on her Facebook page that she was out of town at the time of the meeting and didn’t get the message in time.
There is nothing criminal about the allegations.
With files from The Canadian Press