The First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which was passed by parliament in 2013, helps band members take steps to improve the governance of their communities.
It requires the Chief and Council to post audited financial statements including their salaries and benefits on a public website and on the website of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
In the past, band members often found that they did not have easy access to such information.
The posting of financial statements online ensures that band members can now access these documents quickly, and anonymously.
Transparency and accountability have been enshrined in the nine principles of good governance of the United Nations Development Program.
It should help to foster economic growth and stabilize governance on First Nations.
A recent report in BC found that improved transparency and accountability on the Westbank First Nation resulted in greater respect for the government from band members as well as from businesses and other governments.
When First Nations are transparent with their own people, all day to day life becomes more accountable, resulting in a better future.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on Aboriginal policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.