By Lara Schroeder
WINNIPEG – The financial statements and salaries of two Manitoba First Nations’ can now be found on a government website.
First Nations defined as Indian bands under the Indian Act must begin publishing basic financial information online this month under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act passed in November 2011.
The audited consolidated financial statements and schedule of remuneration and expenses for two Manitoba First Nations – Buffalo Point and Gamblers – were available on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada website on Tuesday morning.
Financial information for the other 61 First Nations in Manitoba wasn’t yet available, the site said.
Gamblers First Nation, a small reserve at Binscairth, Man., with a registered on- and off-reserve population of 257, paid its chief and four councilors a total of $55,341 plus expenses of $12,445, the website says.
Buffalo Point, which has a registered population of 125, paid its chief, councillor/program manager, councillor/assistant superintendent and honorary councillor a total of $280,368, plus expenses of $20,257. Chief John Thunder received $116,918 plus expenses of $12,480.
Thunder, the son of an American adopted into the Ojibway First Nation, has been a controversial hereditary chief at the Lake of the Woods community near the U.S. and Ontario borders. Some members of the First Nation have called for Thunder to be ousted.