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

Survivor compensated for Sixties Scoop

Meraw recently received compensation from the Sixties Scoop Settlement

Interim payments issued to survivors

Interim payments issued for claims made through Collectiva’s Class Action Sixties Scoop Settlement

Advocacy for Secwepemc language

Archie believes Secwepemc language learning can steer First Nation children toward a positive life

Pruden plans to step down

Pruden will not run as an incumbent for the Métis women’s chair during this year’s MNBC election

Sport camps to help youth become better overall athletes

Athletic camps for youth coming to valley this month

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

Most Read