© Submitted photo
FILE PHOTO: Chief Matilda Ramjattan, of the Lennox Island First Nation, Premier Robert Ghiz, center, and Chief Brian Francis of the Abegweit First Nation sign an economic development agreement.
Under new federal transparency law, all bands across Canada must disclose how much their chiefs are paid and report travel expenses
Following the passage of a financial-transparency law by the federal government in 2013, First Nations are required to publish audited financial statements of salaries and expenses online.
Under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, the documents must be published online within 120 days of the end of the financial year, March 31, but some links on a federal government website say the documents have not yet been posted.
That includes the Abegweit First Nation, which has approximately 300 residents in the Morell, Scotchford and Rocky Point areas, and Lennox Island First Nation, which has 450 residents.
Calls were placed to, but not returned, to Abegweit band Chief Brian Francis and Lennox Island band Chief Matilda Ramjattan. A call was also placed to the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. but no one from that office immediately returned the calls.
A document containing salaries and expenses for Francis and his councillors was mailed to The Guardian but the newspaper was unable to verify the information and has chosen not to publish it.
A document published by Metro Vancouver’s Kwikwetlem First Nation shows economic development officer and Chief Ron Giesbrecht was paid $914,219 in compensation and $16,574 in expenses for the financial year ending March 31, 2014.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada reports the Kwikwetlem band has a registered population of 37 and 33 people.
(With files by The Canadian Press)