Transparency turmoil

By Nicole Trigg

Pioneer Staff

In complying with the First Nations Transparency Act, the Columbia Valleys Shuswap Band has revealed some startling figures. On one hand, the band should be congratulated for its economic success. To be able to pay its chief and councillors a combined renumeration of almost half a millon dollars (split between three people) due to the bands immense financial prosperity as a result of entrepreneurial management of its traditional territory is quite the achievement in a capitalist-driven economy.

However, there are two obvious issues that result from this disclosure that are certain to cause some disconcerting discussions both within and outside the band.

In addition to its own revenue sources, the Shuswap receives federal funding as stipulated by the 1867 British North America Act that created government obligations to provide aid and services in return for First Nations losing land and resources through treaties and land claim settlements.

The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development sets the amount of money that goes to each First Nation. For the Shuswap in 2013, that amount came to the tune of $985, 810, and for 2014 the band received $668,383.

As the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs struggles with limited resources to help many poverty-stricken First Nation groups across Canada to achieve basic services like clean water or affordable food, one has to wonder at the logic of continuing to fund an extremely prospserous band that claims, as Dean Martin states, to have $75,000,000 worth of assets.

The second issue is the disparity of wealth within the band itself. The Shuswap has less than 100 members living on reserve, and according to Barbara Cote, the bands immense wealth is not benefiting the majority. This is an internal issue that, with the bands upcoming election on November 7th, is likely to become a hot topic for some time to come.

Just Posted

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Come run for Terry this Sunday

Terry Fox Run in Invermere raises funds for cancer research

Council rejects water bottling plant in current spot

Cites possibility to having facility built at another location in the village

Climate change website launched by Selkirk College and Columbia Basin Trust

The site features climate information for communities in the Columbia Basin and boundary region

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read