To say that Senator Patrick Brazeau has been going through a rough patch of late would be an understatement. The controversy over his offensive remarks against Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence quickly blended into a growing Senate scandal over unmerited housing allowances he and other Conservative Senators claimed by allegedly lying about the address of their principal residence.

Now, however, after a shockingly public arrest stemming from a domestic incident February 7, Brazeau faces charges of assault and sexual assault. The arrest was quickly followed by his ejection from the Conservative caucus in the Senate and then culminated in an enforced leave of absence from his senatorial duties, though he will still continue receiving his annual $132,000 salary.

While the Algonquin senator has never shied away from the spotlight to broadcast his partisan Conservative views, often criticizing various rights-based grassroots Native movements, it was late last year when the series of events that would eventually lead to his fall from grace began.

It started with an investigation into Brazeau’s $21,000 housing-allowance claim in November 2012. Though he lives in a rented home in Gatineau, he claimed his father’s house in Maniwaki as his primary residence. This wasn’t a first for Brazeau as he had also claimed his former father-in-law’s home on the Kitigan Zibi reserve as his principle residence in other court documents.

These revelations followed his publicly mocking of Attawapiskat Chief Spence as a “fatty” during her hunger strike to support the Idle No More movement. Then, on February 6, Brazeau responded to a report on his questionable income tax returns by CTV reporter Robert Fife by using his Twitter account to accuse Fife of being a “racist.”

Then, on February 7, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expelled Brazeau from the Conservative caucus after the senator spent his now-famous night in jail following the charges stemming from a domestic dispute. Brazeau was formally charged with assault and sexual assault against an unnamed victim and will return to court in March for trial.

Finally, on February 12, the Senate placed Brazeau on a temporary leave of absence.

Now members of his First Nations community are emerging with messages for him. According to Kitigan Zini Chief Gilbert Whiteduck, these events will hopefully serve as a wake-up call for Brazeau. Recently, Whiteduck accused Brazeau of using his First Nations heritage as an excuse to attack other Natives.

“My general comment about him being a senator right now is that I believe that Brazeau needs to sit down with people, family or whoever and reassess whether he should continue to be a senator. If I had to give him a recommendation, it would be no. I think he needs to get his life together. He needs to get things in order, maybe meet with some Elders to help him reassess and then come back in a more positive and stronger way,” Whiteduck said.

“But this is not the time,” he added. “The attacks have been relentless and the information provided, although not totally false, is unfortunately full of holes with misunderstandings and misinformation [about Natives] to the rest of Canadians via the mainstream media.”

Whiteduck is saddened by what he sees as a squandered opportunity for Brazeau, given his high profile, to advocate for First Nations people in Canada. His hope had been that Brazeau would have been more “proactive” when it came to supporting Native causes, such as Canada’s lengthy list of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Instead, Brazeau has been notably “counterproductive,” said Whiteduck, particularly on the issue of missing women.

Chief Whiteduck acknowledges that he has never met Brazeau in person, even though the senator has at times claimed Kitigan Zibi as his home.

Nor has Kitigan Zibi resident Bridget Tolley, the founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit, an advocacy group for missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Tolley said she reached out to Brazeau for assistance in the past, but her request was ignored.