FED: Navigating The Federal Government's First Nations Disclosure Site
After pushing for disclosure of Chief and Council pay disclosure, and annual band audited financial statements since 2009, the CTF is pleased to see the docs are finally being posted online!
Disclosure of such info is a basic component of any democracy. Kudos to the Harper government for listening.
For those looking to take a closer look at the info posted, here are a couple thoughts/useful links...
This is the page you want to start on. From here you can drill down into any aboriginal community in Canada and find all kinds of info -
Beside each community's name you'll see "FNFTA" - click on it, then click "OK" and you'll either find the community's financial info is posted or a "not yet posted" message. The latter obviously means the bureaucrats haven't had a chance to scan and post the info yet or the band hasn't handed it in yet. Remember, the deadline was yesterday (July 29). New docs seem to be posted each hour.
Keep in mind that the pay figures you see are almost always tax-free. To figure out what that works out to for someone off reserve and paying income taxes, try using this EY Income tax calculator (formerly Ernst and Young).
To find out the community's population, instead of clicking on "FNFTA," click on the band's name and then on the "Registered Pop." That link will provide you with an on reserve/off reserve population breakdown.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER POLITICIANS?:
Some claim aboriginal politicians are being held to a higher standard. That's nonsense. Politicians off reserves have had their pay posted and available to the public for years. Now aboriginal politicians are being brought in-line with such disclosure. For example:
Federal MPs - click here
Provincial Politicians - click here (Manitoba example)
Municipal Politicians - click here (Assortment of Manitoba examples)
However, even with the disclosure of aboriginal politicians' pay, we still don't know much about their travel expenses. In some cases bands record travel expenses as straight up reimbursement for expenses. However, other bands will sometimes include per diems in this category as well - like if you were paid $250 per day to attend a conference. Thus, there's still room for improvement.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BANDS DON'T POST THE INFO?:
The federal government has the authority to cut back or withhold funding.
WHO HAS POSTED:
July 29 was the deadline for band's to hand their financial info in to the federal government. There is likely an army of bureaucrats reviewing documents and scanning them as we speak...err type. In the mean time, it's a bit like a needle in a haystack to find info...but here are 125 or so that we know are posted so far:
Quatsino – fin. statements only
Xeni Gwe'in – fin. statements only
Alexis Nakota Sioux
Little Red River Cree Nation
Cumberland House Cree Nation
Kinistin Saulteaux Nation
Muskeg Lake Cree Nation
Thunderchild – fin. Statements only
Atikameksheng Anishnawbek - Only fin. statements
Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek
Lac La Croix
Mississauga's of Scugog Island First Nation - Only financial statements
Moravian of the Thames
Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci
Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
La Nation Micmac de Gespeg
Montagnais du Lac St.-Jean
Mohawks of KahnawÃ¡:ke
Nation Huronne Wendat
Première Nation Malecite de Viger
Taku River Tlingit