Federal Government Moves Forward on First Nations Transparency Legislation

Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt
Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt

Ottawa Starts Posting Financial Information Online

OTTAWA – Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today on the First Nations Financial Transparency Act: “I am pleased to report that 529 of 582 First Nations now have their documents published under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), providing their members with more transparent and accountable governance and in turn helping to ensure band revenues are being used for their benefit”.

“The Act applies the same principles of transparency and accountability to First Nation governments that already exist for other governments in Canada and also helps to empower any person, including First Nation members, to hold governments accountable by seeking a Court Order for the publication of documents if the requirements of the Act are not fulfilled,” added the Minister.Val court says, “With regard to non-compliant First Nations, at this time our Government will be taking action according to the provisions of the law which will include:

  • Withholding funding for non-essential programs, services and activities
  • Withholding of new or proposal-based non-essential program funding;
  • Publishing the names of all non-compliant First Nations on the AANDC website; and
  • In the case of those First Nations who have indicated they have no intention of complying, seeking court orders to require publication”.

“I have directed that the sanctions not target essential services that support band members”.

Onion Lake Cree Nation Challenges Legislation

Onion Lake Cree First Nation has taken the federal government to court questioning the Constitutionality of the new federal legislation. The Cree First Nation says, “Unconstitutional Legislation Persecuting Indigenous Peoples & Infringing on their Inherent & Treaties. C-27 promotes Racial Profiling, Discrimination, & Genocide while Attacking Indigenous Self Determination. Canadians should be concerned, who is next?”

Due to extenuating circumstances, action against one First Nation will be postponed so that it may submit its documents at a later date. The First Nation is Kashechewan First Nation, Ontario, due to a flood.

Valcourt concluded, “With this Act, our Government has made financial information more accessible to First Nation members, which leads to more effective, transparent and accountable governance as well as stronger, more self-sufficient and prosperous communities.”

Ontario First Nations Facing Financial Sanctions

  • Wahta Mohawks
  • Taykwa Tagamou Nation
  • Weenusk First Nation
  • Wabauskang First Nation
  • Ginoogaming First Nation
  • Gull Bay First Nation
  • Whitesand First Nation
  • Bearskin Lake First Nation
  • Fort Severn First Nation
  • Chapleau Ojibway First Nation
  • Neskantaga First Nation
  • Kashechewan First Nation

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