Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Text Size

Fewer than half of Sask First Nations complying with salary disclosure law

By Jason Warick and Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix

The majority of First Nations leaders across Canada have complied with a new federal law ordering them to publicly disclose their salaries, but that’s not the case in Saskatchewan.


Nationally, 328 of 582 First Nations chiefs and councils are complying with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which came into effect July 29. That’s a compliance rate of 56 per cent.

Their salary and expense information has been posted on the federal government’s website. The act also requires disclosure of all salaries and audited financial statements.

In Saskatchewan, 30 of 70 First Nations have had their information posted publicly, a rate of 43 per cent.

Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar Member of Parliament Kelly Block, who pushed for the disclosures, said she’s pleased to see a majority of Canadian First Nations are complying. She confident others will submit information before the 120-day grace period expires. Block said it’s not clear why Saskatchewan chiefs and councils have not yet complied at the same rate.

“I won’t speculate on why the Saskatchewan numbers appear to be lower,” she said. “The expectation is they will comply with the legislation.”

She said the disclosures are important for band members “to ensure revenues are being used for their benefit.” Many First Nations already disclosed this information to their members, but some did not, she said.

“What this legislation does is provide a standard level of access,” she said.

Block hopes the new law will be welcomed by chiefs and councils as “a tool for delivering transparency” to their membership.

In Saskatchewan, among the First Nations leaders who have disclosed their information, most chiefs receive between $60,000 and $100,000 per year in salary, travel and other expenses.

The highest appeared to be Lorne Stewart, chief of the Cumberland House Cree Nation, located 500 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. His salary and all expenses totalled $142,346, according to the federal website.

The lowest appeared to be Wahpeton Dakota Nation Chief Leo Omani, who collected a salary of $19,110 and other band income of $9,549.

Block introduced the call for disclosure in a private members bill, but it died when the last federal election was called. Prime Minister Stephen Harper resurrected the idea after the election and it became law this summer.

First Nations leaders who do not comply will be sent several warning letters, Block said. If bands do not disclose the information within the 120-day grace period, the federal government can impose sanctions.

The new laws have been criticized by First Nations leaders and others as an infringement on First Nations’ sovereignty and an attempt to demonize chiefs. Some have pointed to the federal Senate expense scandal and noted First Nations are now forced to disclose more information to the Canadian public than federal politicians.

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