The former president of the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association (NSNWA) is alleging she was bullied and harassed in the workplace by a regional chief who denies the claim.
Cheryl Maloney filed the complaint against Morley Googoo back in 2017, and the federal, provincial, and indigenous governments launched an internal investigation by an independent lawyer.
According to Global News, Googoo denies ever bullying or intimidating members of the NSNWA despite findings from that internal investigation that say he was aggressive toward some women, and made some fear for their jobs.
The lawyer conducted interviews, reviewed emails, texts, and other communications, and eventually concluded Googoo's actions in some cases constituted bullying.
Maloney says while president of the NSNWA, she was bullied by Googoo, and alleges he tried to force her from her position and harassed her over the phone in a 20 minute long conversation in 2017.
Maloney says after years of advocating for the rights of Indigenous women, she has lost all faith in the government's support system.
"This is a huge eye opening experience for me, where federal, provincial and indigenous governments, and the assembly of first nations turned a blind eye," says Maloney.
Googoo, meanwhile, denies any accusations of gender bias.
"I have women all working for me, and they all can tell you I allow empowerment, I allow them to lead, and same with my community when I was chief for 19 years," says Googoo. "I've had over 70 per cent of my staff being women, and I actually find women to be harder workers."
Googoo says he reached out to Maloney to try to repair the damaged relationship, but she says it's now up to the government to respond, as a personal apology won't fix the systemic issues of gender discrimination,