Blog Archives

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

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

Squamish Nation officials removed after financial investigation

Krisandara Jacobs, former communications manager for Squamish band council.

Krisandara Jacobs, former communications manager for Squamish band council.

Cheques issued by Krissy Jacobs and Glen Newman lead to their removal from band positions

CBC News, Oct 20, 2014

Two officials with the Squamish Nation have now been relieved of their duties after an investigation found problems with how nearly $1.5 million was spent from an emergency fund.

The investigation looked into a series of cheques issued over the past six years from funds set up to help First Nation’s members with emergencies such as rent, travel to funerals, or clothing. Read the rest of this entry

Cut funding, face blockades: chiefs

Magnifier over FiguresFighting back over threat from Ottawa’s FN Financial Transparency Act

Manitoba First Nations will fight back with blockades and other economic barriers if the federal government follows through with a promise to cut funding from bands who refuse to make their finances public, says a native official.

Only eight of Manitoba’s 63 First Nations have so far filed documents to comply with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. The deadline to file the documents was July 29. Read the rest of this entry

Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht should resign, band councillor says

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation near Vancouver, BC.

Ron Giesbrecht, chief of the Kwikwetlem First Nation (formerly the Coquitlam Indian Band) near Vancouver, BC.

‘We’re a national embarrassment right now,’ says councillor calling for chief’s resignation

CBC News, Aug 02, 2014

Some members of a tiny Coquitlam-area First Nation want their chief to resign after damning financial disclosures were published this week.

In filings published under the new First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht disclosed he earned an $800,000 bonus last year on top of his salary.

Marvin Joe, who has been head of the 81-member First Nation in the past, says the revelation of that extra compensation has deeply angered many of the band’s members. Read the rest of this entry

First Nations Transparency Act may do more harm than good: Hayden King

Magnifier over FiguresAboriginal people may find themselves with even less power to create change

By Hayden King, for CBC News, August 2, 2014

This week the federal government’s legislation, The First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), was made law.

Financial statements and salaries of First Nation council’s were posted on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s website earlier this week. And those councils who refuse to participate will face a court order.

According to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, this is an effort to provide First Nations people with transparency and allow them to hold their elected leaders accountable. In other words, to empower them. Read the rest of this entry

First Nation chiefs’ salaries due to be posted under Transparency Act

New ChiefMost First Nations have yet to post salaries

By Susana Mas, CBC News, July 29, 2014

The vast majority of First Nations chiefs and band councils have yet to post their financial statements online under new transparency rules passed by the federal government last year.

Under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, First Nations leaders have 120 days after the first quarter — so, by end of day Tuesday — to make public their audited financial statements for the last fiscal year, including the salaries and expenses of their chiefs and councillors.

As of Monday night, on the eve of the deadline, the government confirmed that 20 First Nations out of more than 600 had their financial statements posted on the government’s web site. Read the rest of this entry

New election rules at Garden Hill FN rankle residents

Residential SchoolGarden Hill First Nation prevents 80 per cent of residents from being nominated

By: Alexandra Paul, Winnipeg Free Press, March 19, 2014

Garden Hill First Nation has set up new rules that eliminate 80 per cent of residents from running for political office.

Under the rules, no one under age 50 may run for chief and no one under 40 for council. Further, people in common-law relationships will not be allowed to run for either chief or council. Read the rest of this entry

Manitoba Chiefs recognize new chief at Buffalo Point

The four women charged by Buffalo Point First Nation chief for entering band office.

Kari Cobiness, Helen Cobiness, Brittany Cobiness and Andrea Camp (from left) were charged with violating an injunction banning Buffalo Point First Nation members from public spaces on the reserve.

By Alexandra Paul, Winnipeg Free Press, March 12, 2014

A powerful Manitoba chiefs association has taken the unusual step of backing calls for democratic elections at scandal-ridden Buffalo Point First Nation by recognizing a new chief. Read the rest of this entry

Guilty pleas in political stand against Buffalo Point FN chief

The four women charged by Buffalo Point First Nation chief for entering band office.

The four women charged by Buffalo Point First Nation chief for entering band office.

By Alexandra Paul, Winnipeg Free Press, Feb 21, 2014

Though visibly frail, Helen Cobiness entered court in Steinbach Thursday on the arms of two granddaughters ready to face charges for doing what most of us take for granted: entering her First Nation’s government offices, the equivalent of a town hall. Read the rest of this entry

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