Ten Saskatchewan First Nations have been highlighted in the Frontier Centre for Public Policy’s aboriginal governance index (AGI), five having superior systems of governance and five scoring on the low-end of the scale.
Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, with a total weighted score of 67.8 per cent, is the highest-ranked First Nation community in Saskatchewan, according to the Frontier Centre.
Also in the top five are the Muskoday First Nation at 65.3 per cent, the Ochapowace First Nation at 64.8 per cent, the Okanese First Nation at 63.9 per cent and the Saulteaux First Nation at 63.5 per cent.
In the bottom five, meanwhile, are the Thunderchild First Nation at 56.3 per cent, the Kinistin Sauteaux Nation at 56 per cent, the Sturgeon Lake First Nation at 55.5 per cent, the Poundmaker Cree Nation at 52.3 per cent and, with the lowest score, Key First Nation at 50 per cent.
The AGI evaluated the First Nations in five categories: Elections, administration, human rights, transparency and economy. The evaluation was done by asking on-reserve residents to answer a questionnaire in person about their reserve government, the Frontier Centre said.
In Saskatchewan, 2,616 people from 29 First Nation communities participated in the survey. Prairie-wide, 5,100 on-reserve residents from 98 communities participated in the questionnaire, however 30 communities did not provide a sufficient quantity of surveys to be rated so were not included in the final ranking.
The top-ranked First Nation in Western Canada, according to the index, is the O’Chiese First Nation in Alberta with a score of 73.2 per cent. The Frontier Centre has awarded the O’Chiese band $50,000 for its success.
The lowest-ranked First Nation, meanwhile, is Alberta’s Piikani Nation with a score of 45.9 per cent.