Category Archives: Indian Act Indians
by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times, Dec 10, 2014
A local First Nation band won’t face court action for defying new financial disclosure laws, but the federal government will suspend funding for non-essential programs.
The Popkum Indian Band is the only one in the Times readership area that did not file audited financial statements and band council remuneration figures by Nov. 26, as required by the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) Bernard Valcourt said the act was brought in to apply “the same principles of transparency and accountability to First Nation governments that already exist for other governments in Canada.” Read the rest of this entry
Perry Bellegarde wins majority vote on first ballot to replace Shawn Atleo
CBC News, Dec 10, 2014
Saskatchewan’s Perry Bellegarde has been named the new national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. It only took one round of voting for Bellegarde to win, after getting more than 60 per cent of the 464 ballots cast during the event in Winnipeg. “It‘s done now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get some work done,” Bellegarde told the crowd.
And he had messages for both the chiefs who elected him and other Canadians.
“To the people across the great land, I say to you, that the values of fairness and tolerance which Canada exports to the world, is a lie when it comes to our people,” he continued. Read the rest of this entry
Chiefs organization hosting AFN election kept $1.9 million in training dollars destined for member First Nations, according to auditors
Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, Dec 9, 2014
Auditors appointed by the department of Aboriginal Affairs have found that Manitoba Keewatinow Okimakanak (MKO) kept at least $1.9 million worth of federal training dollars that was supposed to flow to member First Nations, APTN National News has learned.
MKO represents 30 First Nation communities in northern Manitoba and is hosting the Assembly of First Nations election for national chief in Winnipeg. Some of MKO’s member First Nations are among the poorest in the country. Read the rest of this entry
3 candidates vying to replace Shawn Atleo as Assembly of First Nations’ national chief
By Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press/CBC News, Dec 8, 2014
Outside Winnipeg’s convention centre, a sacred fire is burning.
Inside the building, chiefs from across the country are meeting to elect a new national leader for the Assembly of First Nations amid questions on whether the organization is still a relevant voice for aboriginal people.
As the assembly prepares for some soul-searching over the next three days, many say it will take a monumental shift to regain the support of the next generation. Read the rest of this entry
Within one year, the reserve’s net debt increased from $5 million to $6.2 million.
By Tiar Wilson, CBC News, Nov 29, 2014
It has taken Tannis Blacksmith 33 years to open her eyes to politics on her reserve, and she has a word for her actions, or lack thereof: Shameful.
As recently as mid-November, Blacksmith discovered the location of the chief and council chambers on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), where she has lived most of her life.
She found it when she showed up with around 40 fellow band members in protest.
“[I had no idea]…if we were even allowed to go there,” she said. Read the rest of this entry
Manitoba will create a new policing program for 31 First Nation communities to replace the Band Constable Program being cancelled by the Harper government.
Legislation to create the First Nations Safety Officer Program was introduced Wednesday by Justice Minister James Allum.
Allum said under the proposed program, safety officers will be responsible for law enforcement, emergency response, promoting crime prevention, assisting RCMP and directing community members to appropriate social service agencies. Read the rest of this entry
Top oil producing First Nation launches $50 million court action against Ottawa over First Nation financial transparency legislation
by Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, Nov 26, 2014
EDMONTON-The country’s top oil producing First Nation has launched a $50 million court action against Ottawa over damages suffered as a result of “punitive measures” imposed by the federal Aboriginal Affairs department after the Cree community refused to publicly disclose its finances as required by recently passed legislation.
The legal action also seeks to have the Federal Court find that the legislation, known as the First Nation Financial Transparency Act, has no force on Onion Lake Cree Nation and that the legislation breaches the community’s treaty rights. Onion Lake is also seeking a ruling that finds Ottawa has breached its fiduciary duty. Read the rest of this entry
By Susana Mas, CBC News, Nov 25, 2014
Three Western Treaty First Nations say they will “resist” the federal government’s order to comply with the financial transparency act by tomorrow or risk losing federal funding.
The government tells CBC News that 84 First Nations bands have until Wednesday to post their audited financial statements for the last fiscal year, including the salaries and expenses of their chiefs and councillors. The grand majority — 498 out of 582 First Nations bands — have complied. Read the rest of this entry
Documents show millions unaccounted for despite lack of housing, education
CBC News, Nov 07, 2014
A member of the new council elected for the small Shuswap First Nation near Invermere, B.C., says excessive spending spurred band members to vote for change.
The reserve has had the same chief for more than three decades, but the band’s finances recently came to light under a new federal law.
“The majority of us are just elated and happy, and we’ve had tears and crying for joy and happiness,” said Barb Coté, who was successful in her bid for re-election. “Finally we have people that will do something for the community for a change.” Read the rest of this entry