Monday, September 22, 2014
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Northern Ontario First Nations ignore financial demands

By LEN GILLIS

timminstimes.com

Most Aboriginal First Nations across Northeastern Ontario have not complied with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), which required each band council to file public financial reports with the federal government within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year.

 

The fiscal year ended March 31. The deadline came and went on July 29th, with most First Nations in this region ignoring the new law.

Three band councils did comply; Matachewan First Nation south of Timmins, Moose Cree First Nation north of Timmins at Moosonee, and the Wahgoshig First Nation (Abitibi Reserve 70) located east of Timmins near Matheson. This is based on information on the federal government website: http://fnpim-cippn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/index-eng.asp

The same website shows salary information for band council members, along with amount of federal funding sent to various First Nations.

Matachewan First Nation, with a registered population of 722, showed federal funding received of $1.3-million. In March 2014 the band reported that Chief Elenore Hendrix was paid $18,200 with expenses of $4,274, for 12 months.

Moose Cree First Nation with a registered population of 4411, showed federal funding received of $16.8-million. In March 2014 the band reported that Chief Norm Hardisty Jr. was paid $154,340 with expenses of $53,000, for 12 months.

Moose Cree deputy chief Earl Cheechoo was paid $112,809 with expenses of $52,000 for the same period.

Wahgoshig First Nation, with a registered population of 318, showed federal funding received of $2.2-million. In March 2014 the band reported that chief Dave Babin was paid $102,550 with expenses of $58,750, for 12 months.

Several other Northeastern Ontario First Nations have not filed financial information or band member salaries with the federal government.

The federal government has now imposed a new 120-day deadline, to the end of November 2014, to comply with the Act or face the loss of their federal funding.

Federal Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt told reporters last week that First Nations could be subjected to a court order forcing them to meet the same requirements as town councils, city councils and publicly funded corporations.

Following is an alphabetical list of First Nations across this region that received federal funding but have not filed an up-to-date financial report to the federal website.

Attawapiskat First Nation, registered population of 3510, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $35.7-million.

Brunswick House First Nation (near Chapleau), registered population of 766, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $1.6-million.

Chapleau Cree First Nation, registered population of 452, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $1.9-million.

Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation, registered population of 42, last report in March 2011, received federal funding of $330,000.

Constance Lake First Nation (near Hearst), registered population of 1656, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $8.3-million.

Flying Post First Nation (west of Timmins), registered population of 212, last report in March 2013, received federal funding $448,000.

Fort Albany First Nation and Kashechewan First Nation reported a joint population of 4746. The last financial reports were filed in March 2013, showing Fort Albany received federal funding of $10.9-million, while Kashechewan received $15.1-million.

Mattagami First Nation, registered population of 553, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $2.1-million.

Taykwa Tagamou First Nation (near Cochrane), registered population of 511, last report in March 2013, received federal funding of $1.6-million.

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