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Federal government reinstates funds frozen under First Nations Financial Transparency Act

Canada dollarsLiberals to suspend court actions against First Nations that have not complied with act

By Kathleen Harris, CBC News, Dec 18, 2015

The Canadian government is reinstating funds frozen under the controversial First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says.

The government is also halting compliance measures that required bands to post detailed financial information online.  Read the rest of this entry

Lillooet Bridge River Indian band office attacked: 1 dead, 10 injured

Xwisten First Nation band office, where 10 people were injured by an attacker.

Xwisten First Nation band office, where 10 people were injured by an attacker.

Attack sends 10 people to hospital, suspect ‘restrained’ before police arrive

CBC News, Oct 14, 2015

The alleged suspect in an attack on a band office near Lillooet, B.C. is dead following a rampage that injured at least 10 people, RCMP say.

Lillooet RCMP say a man entered the Xwisten (Bridge River Band) office with weapons just before 8:30 a.m. PT. Wednesday and assaulted staff.

The Canadian Press reported that an emergency worker, who didn’t want to be named, said the man apparently attacked one person with a hammer, and when others in the office went to help they were also beaten. Read the rest of this entry

People furious over report of chiefs per diem rate: ‘double dipping has to stop’

Mikmaq chiefs 1by Trina Roache, APTN National News,
People across Nova Scotia are furious after finding out chiefs make hundreds of dollars in per diems for doing as little as sitting on a conference call for the Mi’kmaw Family Services Agency.

“This double dipping has to stop,” said Daniel Toney, a member of Annapolis First Nation in Nova Scotia. Toney was part of a protest there earlier this month.  People are upset over the amount of money his chief, Janette Peterson takes home. Read the rest of this entry

No jail for band executive who stole $725,000 from B.C. First Nation to cover her gambling debts

Aboriginal organizations hit with $60 million worth of cuts, Inuit faced steepest reduction: AFN analysis

Money Canada 1by Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, Jan 13, 2015
Aboriginal organizations have faced $60 million worth of cuts from the Harper government over the past three years and Inuit groups were hit the hardest, according to an internal Assembly of First Nations analysis obtained by APTN National News.

The analysis, which is based on federal Aboriginal Affairs department figures as of Jan. 7 of this year, found Inuit organizations faced a cut of 71 per cent between 2012 and 2015.  First Nations organizations absorbed 65.5 per cent worth of cuts over the same time span. Metis organizations saw cuts of 39 per cent, non-status Indian organizations 14 per cent and women’s organizations were hit with a 7 per cent cut, the analysis found. Read the rest of this entry

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

Wet’suwet’en signs LNG pipeline deal

Wet'suwet'en First Nation band council sign LNG deal. Photo from CFNR FM

Wet’suwet’en First Nation band council sign LNG deal with Coastal Gaslink Project. Photo from CFNR FM.

Another Burns Lake area First Nation has signed an agreement with the BC government related to a natural gas pipeline project.

The Wet’suwet’en First Nation, formerly known as the Broman Lake Band, stands to receive $2.8 million dollars from the province for the proposed Coastal GasLink project.

The pipeline would transport gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat where it would be liquefied for export to overseas markets. 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

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

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