Native financial transparency law may lessen on-reserve tensions

Blog, Aboriginal Futures, Frontier Centre

Pickets and sit-ins by First Nations members are increasingly becoming a preferred way to handle issues surrounding lack of transparency or accountability.

One example is the Acadia First Nation near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Band members picketed the office today.

Protesters were apparently upset about salary advances to band chief and council that were not paid back.

This sort of information would be contained in audited financial statements and in letters from the auditing firm to band management.

First Nations band members have become much less patient with unaccountable band governments. Sometimes these confrontations would lead to sit-ins at band council offices.

The newly enacted First Nations Financial Transparency Act (Bill C-27) requires that and governments provide this sort of information to members “without delay” and ensure it is all available on websites accessible to members.

Rather than have to wait for all band governments to provide disclosure, this new law requires it now. This could help avoid confrontations and tension on many First Nations.