Sunday, September 21, 2014
Text Size

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

Most First Nations have yet to post salaries

By Susana Mas, CBC News

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 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.

First Nations already have to produce their financial statements as part of their funding agreements with the federal government, but this is the first time they are being asked to post the information online.

First Nations without a website can ask larger First Nations organizations to post their financial statements for them.

Under the new rules, the minister in charge must also publish the documents on the department's website.

First Nations who refuse to comply could be subject to a court order or see funds withheld from them.

Transparency and accountability

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt reminded First Nations of the new rules in a written statement last Friday.

"First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials," he said.

"With increased access to basic financial information, community members can make more informed decisions about the financial management and reporting of their elected officials."

"First Nations that have yet to submit their audited consolidated financial statements and schedules of remuneration and expenses for chiefs and councillors are encouraged to submit the documents as soon as possible. My department will continue to post as the documents are received," Valcourt said.

The Assembly of First Nations does not support the new legislation.

The AFN regional chief for B.C., Jody Wilson-Raybould, has told Parliament on more than one occasion that many chiefs resent the added measure.

"Chiefs were clear in their assertion that the proposed measures are both heavy-handed and unnecessary and they suggest that First Nation governments are corrupt, our leaders are not transparent and consequently need to be regulated by Ottawa," she said a year before the act became law.

The government has said all along it was First Nations members who approached Ottawa asking for greater transparency "as a result of difficulty obtaining financial information from their elected local officials."

Although there may be a delay between the time First Nations submit their documents to the government and the time they are posted online, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs has committed to publishing them "without delay."


■ This story has been updated to make it clear that the 20 First Nations that have posted statements online as of Monday refers to the number posted to the government's website.

Jul 29, 2014 8:34 AM ET

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins