Best-Administered Reserves Have Highest Scores: Evidence points to connection between Administration and overall performance

Blog, Aboriginal Futures, Joseph Quesnel


Administration and Overall Score
·       The statistical connection between Administration and a band’s Overall Score was scored at .66.
·       Administration goes to the heart of the fairness and efficiency of the band’s administrative practices. It deals with fair hiring practices, as well as the state of the band’s finances, including whether the band has ever had to undergo remedial third-party management intervention. It stands to reason that band governments that are effectively governed are able to better provide services efficiently and fairly, are transparent, and are better able to provide human rights protection.
·       Ensuring that all business and employment decisions are depoliticized is an important indicator of an overall healthy indigenous government, as reported by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Administration questions determine if a band practices open consultation of all members when making decisions, and not just those who are politically connected within the community, and ensures that job postings are open and fair. First Nations in our survey, like Siksika Nation in Alberta, are moving towards ensuring that service delivery and administration is depoliticized.
·       First Nations do not need to amend the Indian Act to create effective Administrative structures that will allow them to score well overall. Jobs must be open to all and be posted publicly. Band governments can adopt hiring policies that prevent nepotism. Bands can adopt constitutions guaranteeing open consultation of community members. Chief and council can also take steps to ensure members have access to financial statements, including posting them on the community’s website, like O’Chiese First Nation in Alberta. 

Source: The Third Annual Aboriginal Governance Index. Available at

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