Its two reserves straddle the Alberta Saskatchewan border

Its two reserves straddle the Alberta Saskatchewan border

First Nations members say laws fail to protect economic rights

canada goose coats “The system does not protect the rights of band membership,” said Karen McCarthy, an off reserve member of Alberta’s Whitefish Lake First Nation 128, 220 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. canada goose coats

Canada Goose Jackets ‘Under canada goose clearance the canada goose uk black friday Indian Act buy canada goose jacket cheap there is no recourse for band membership to challenge their chief and council’ Karen McCarthy, Whitefish Lake canada goose uk shop First Nation 128 “The Indian Act system just protects the chief and council,” added McCarthy, who has a management degree in First Nations governance. Canada Goose Jackets

In September, a CBC Edmonton investigation revealed an audit had identified $2.1 million in “unexplained payments” to a former chief and some staff at Alexander First Nation, which has a reserve northwest of Edmonton.

Canada Goose sale Since then, band members from eight communities across Canada have contacted CBC Edmonton with similar complaints about financial irregularities involving band leaders. Canada Goose sale

canadian goose jacket Audit identifies $2.1M in ‘unexplained payments’ to Alexander First Nation former chief and staff Samson Cree leaders deny financial wrongdoing as critics rally for audit Improve rules governing First Nation spending, critics demand McCarthy has recently held meetings to help foster greater understanding among band members canada goose about First Nations finances and rights. canadian goose jacket

“Under the Indian Act there is no recourse for band membership to challenge their chief and councils,” she said. “And the system where we file grievances and allegations to uk canada goose outlet INAC [Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada] it doesn’t really go anywhere.”

‘We need help’ It’s an issue Charmaine Stick hoped to see addressed at this week’s Assembly of First Nations (AFN) special chiefs meeting in Gatineau, Quebec.

canada goose clearance “They buy canada goose outlet canada goose jacket need to start listening to grassroots people,” said Stick, a resident of Onion Lake Cree Nation. Its two reserves straddle the Alberta Saskatchewan border, with an office in Edmonton to assist off reserve members. canada goose clearance

canada goose black friday sale Charmaine Stick took legal action to force her band to release financial documents. (Micki Cowan/CBC) canada goose black friday sale

Stick earlier this month launched a court application, paid for by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, to force her band administration canada goose uk outlet to disclose detailed financial canada goose clearance sale information.

She said the taxpayers organization took up her case after a three Canada Goose online year Canada Goose Online struggle in which INAC and the AFN refused to help.

“They (INAC and AFN) need to help us,” she said. “We need help instead of taking our own leadership to court.”

buy canada goose jacket cheap AFN did not respond to a request for comment. buy canada goose jacket cheap

buy canada goose jacket Philip Chief, associate director of operations for Onion Lake, a leading oil producing First Nation, said while the band does not provide copies of audits, they can be viewed at the administration office or at membership meetings. buy canada goose jacket

Onion Lake drafts financial policy The band has also drafted financial administration policy laying out rules around investment, conflict of interest and transparency, Chief said, adding investments into infrastructure total nearly $250 million.

cheap Canada Goose “I’m not going to say every community is as lucky and fortunate as Onion Lake is,” said Chief. “There’s some communities Canada Goose Coats On Sale out there that do require that overarching supervision or monitoring because of their lack of ability canada goose black friday sale or because of their isolation.” cheap Canada Goose

‘There’s some communities out there that do require that overarching supervision’ Philip Chief, Onion Lake Cree Nation canada goose factory sale The First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), passed under the former federal Conservative government, aimed to respond to that need, in part by penalizing bands that did not submit annual audits.

canada goose clearance sale But last year the federal court sided in a ruling with Onion Lake and other bands that refused to publicly report financial information. canada goose clearance sale

They argued the requirement violated privacy and treaty rights, while undermining the Canada Goose Jackets competitiveness of business ventures.

Federal transparency law court case wraps in Saskatoon Carolyn Bennett reinstates funds frozen uk canada goose under First Nations Financial Transparency Act

Canada Goose Parka Two months after the ruling, Indigenous canada goose coats on sale Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett ended penalties under the law, noting most members continue to comply anyway. Her office has said upcoming talks with First Nations will look at new approaches. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose In October, dozens canada goose coats from the Samson Cree First Nation marched in protest, backed by the collection of more than 300 signatures, to demand a forensic audit in that community south of Edmonton. canada goose

Samson Cree canada goose store members call for a forensic audit Canada Goose Outlet at a rally in October. (Trevor Wilson/CBC News)

A few days later, Conservative MP and Indigenous Affairs critic Cathy McLeod raised their request with Bennett during question period in Ottawa.

Canada Goose online “Any cheap Canada Goose member of any First Nation can ask our government to provide the audited financial statements at any time,” replied Bennett. Canada Goose online

canada goose coats on sale ‘Any member of any First Nation can ask our government to provide the audited financial statements at canadian goose jacket any time’ Carolyn Bennett, Indigenous Affairs Minister Although anyone from a band can technically request a forensic audit, the chances of getting one are slim, according to McCarthy. canada goose coats on sale

canada goose store She said they require approval by the chief and band council, which pays for them. canada goose store

Canada Goose Outlet “A First Nation with a council that isn’t being transparent or accountable to their nation aren’t going to do an audit on themselves,” said McCarthy. Canada Goose Outlet

‘Nowhere cheap canada goose uk to turn’ Angela Flett, from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation in northwest Ontario near Kenora, waited nearly a year to find out the federal government had rejected the forensic audit she and others had requested.

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