Category Archives: Indian Act Indians

Government to withhold cash to non-compliant First Nation band in Chilliwack

 

Squiala Chief David Jimmie. Photo: Times/file

Squiala Chief David Jimmie. Photo: Times/file

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 named new AFN national chief

The new head of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde.

The new head of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde.

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

MKO grand chief David Harper.  Graphic by APTN.

MKO grand chief David Harper. Graphic by APTN.

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

AFN to elect new leader amid questions about organization’s relevance

Ghislain Picard, Perry Bellegarde and Leon Jourdaine are vying for the job of national chief at the Assembly of First Nations. Voting takes place in Winnipeg on Dec. 10. (Chris Wattie/Reuters, Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press, Facebook)

Ghislain Picard, Perry Bellegarde and Leon Jourdaine are vying for the job of national chief at the Assembly of First Nations. Voting takes place in Winnipeg on Dec. 10. (Chris Wattie/Reuters, Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press, Facebook)

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

Members of Opaskwayak Cree Nation protest reserve’s debt

OCN Chief Michael G. Constant.

OCN Chief Michael G. Constant.

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

Safety officers to replace First Nation band constables

Band constable Gary Wass of Garden Hill FN, northern Manitoba.

Band constable Gary Wass of Garden Hill First Nation, northern Manitoba.

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

Chief Wallace Fox of Onion Lake FN leads the "charge" into House of Commons, Dec 4, 2012, an action that helped jump start the INM rallies.

Chief Wallace Fox of Onion Lake FN leads the “charge” into House of Commons, Dec 4, 2012, an action that helped jump start the Idle No More rallies.

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

First Nations to ‘resist’ complying with financial transparency act

Magnifier over Figures84 First Nations have yet to comply with the transparency act on eve of final deadline

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

First Nations join pipeline protest in B.C. amid more arrests

Read the rest of this entry

Shuswap reserve chooses new council after spending became key issue in band election

Shuswap First Nation band office.

Shuswap First Nation band office.

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

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