Shane Gottfriedson, B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), has resigned from his role as head of the missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) portfolio after facing backlash over a social media post.
Gottfriedson recently posted a photo of his legs on Instagram with an emoji – googly eyes and red kissing lips – near his crotch.
Gottfriedson offered a public apology during a chiefs meeting last week, saying that his post had “offended many people.”
“I stand before you today in a humble way; I make no excuses for this regrettable action and I have immediately apologized to our women’s council about the post that I ran on Instagram,” he said. “The post was incredibly insensitive; I offer my sincere apology to our women’s council.”
“My heart tells me this is the right thing to do because all along in this process I’ve saying that we need to change our attitudes and how we conduct ourselves,” he continued, referring to his decision to resign from his MMIW role.
“I can tell you right now this is not one of my greatest moments,” he added.
The long-awaited MMIW inquiry was officially launched on Sept. 1, 2016. The commissioners are expected to start hearing formal testimony from the affected families in 2017.