Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Text Size

First Nations finance reports show trouble in balancing the books

First Nations need to find new revenue to cut debt, Atikameksheng Chief Steve Miller says

CBC News

Records made public under the new First Nations Transparency Act show some bands in northeastern Ontario are deep in debt, while others are posting surpluses.


As of two weeks ago, First Nations are required to post their financial reports.

So far, the audits of 15 of 40 First Nations in northeastern Ontario have been placed on the federal government's website.

Atikameksheng, near Sudbury, is carrying a $400,000 deficit. But the First Nation had expected to be $1.5 million in the red this year.

With the scaling back of federal funding, Atikameksheng Chief Steve Miller said First Nations need to find new revenue to balance the books.

One option might be to charge a fee to local businesses, such as the half-dozen smoke shops in Atikameksheng, he said.

"Because roads, and lights, and police officers and other things, garbage pickup, cost the community, and people are generating money and using those services."

Juggling priorities

Many chiefs say federal funding uncertainty makes it tough to balance the books.

Most of the $56-million budget in Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island is government funding.

But Chief Duke Pelletier said he and his band council don't get to decide how most of it is spent. That's dictated from Ottawa or Toronto.

"It becomes challenging in juggling what are the priorities of my community, versus the priorities of the government."

Pelletier said the amount of money Wikwemikong can expect from the federal government is a moving target, which makes it hard to plan.

Miller said he is frustrated by that as well.

The community has to keep running, while waiting to see if promised federal funding makes it into the First Nation's bank accounts.

"And that's why we do get monthly statements for each department, making sure they have enough money to run their program."

Meanwhile, Atikameksheng continues to find new ways to fill its coffers, Miller said, including business ventures, such as a proposed industrial park.

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


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

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