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NWT First Nations comply with act
21 out of 22 governments hit Nov. 27 deadline for First Nations Transparency Act

Randi Beers
Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 1, 2014

With the exception of Acho Dene Koe in Fort Liard, every First Nation in the territory has complied with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

The act, which became law in March 2013, requires all First Nations make their audited consolidated financial statements, as well as their chief and council wages and expenses, publicly available online. First Nation governments across the country had until Nov. 27 to publish their numbers.

Now that the deadline has passed, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt has announced his department will cut funding from First Nations that have not complied. He may also seek a court order for the release of the financial statements not disclosed to the federal government.

In a Nov. 27 news release, Valcourt stated only funding for "non-essential programs, services and activities" is in danger of being withheld.

Deninu K'ue First Nation was one of the last to comply with the act, slipping their finances in the day before deadline. To explain the delay, Chief Louis Balsillie pointed to his auditor.

"We did everything we could do, but there was a delay with the final audit," he said.

Most First Nations are reporting accumulated surpluses, but three are operating in a deficit. Those nations are West Point First Nation in Hay River, Gwichya Gwich'in Band in Tsiigehtchic and Deninu Ku'e First Nation.

There is a large range of chief salaries - Yellowknives Dene First Nation Chief Edward Sangris is the highest paid at $166,000, while Chief Lloyd Chicot of Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation in Kakisa reports no salary.

News/North tried repeatedly to get in touch with to Chicot to clarify his salary, but did not succeed by press time.

In a press release yesterday, Valcourt said he was "pleased to report that 529 of 582 first nations now have their documents published."

The statement went on to say the documents will provide band members with transparent and accountable governance and help make sure band revenues are used to members' benefit.

NNSL photo/graphic

NWT First Nation finances disclosed to the federal government

Acho Dene Koe First Nation (Fort Liard)

Acho Dene Koe First Nation finances not yet posted


Chief Danny Greenland wages - $83,160

Chief's travel and honoraria - $8,629

Aklavik Band 2014 accumulated surplus - $1,953,010

Behdzi Ahda First Nation (Colville Lake)

Chief Alvin Orlias wages - $47,868

Chief's expenses - $8,655

Behdzi Ahda First Nation accumulated surplus - $8,514,926

Dah Gah Gotie Dene First Nation (Fort Providence)

Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge wages - $46,639

Chief's honoraria and travel - $12,960

Dah Gah Gotie Dene First Nation accumulated surplus - $1,436,689

Deline First Nation

Chief Leonard Kenny wages - $95,337

Chief's honoraria and travel - $1,540

Deline First Nation accumulated surplus - $538

Deninu Ku'e First Nation (Fort Resolution)

Chief Louis Balsillie wages and honoraria - $89,00

Chief Louis Balsillie travel expenses - $3,664

Deninu Ku'e First Nation deficit - $226,961

Fort Good Hope

Chief Wilfred McNeely Jr. wages (for four months as chief) - $13,154

Chief's expenses - $0

Fort Good Hope Community Council accumulated surplus - $353,390

Gwichya Gwich'in Band (Tsiigehtchic)

Chief Phillip Blake wages - $64,000

Chief's expenses - $21,215

Gwichya Gwich'in Band deficit - $4,802

Inuvik Native Band

Chief Herbert Blake wages - $74,420

Chief Herbert Blake expenses - $1,917

Inuvik Native Band accumulated surplus - $6,305

Jean Marie River First Nation

Chief Stanley Sanguez wages - $88,463

Chief's expenses - $8,304

Jean Marie River First Nation accumulated surplus - $3,964,928

K'atlodeeche First Nation (Hay River Reserve)

Chief Roy Fabian wages - $81,300

Chief's expenses - $30,900

K'atlodeeche First Nation accumulated surplus - $8,368,108

Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation (Kakisa)

Chief Lloyd Chicot wages - (no number reported)

Chief's expenses - $13,816

Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation accumulated surplus - $2,263,059

Liidlii Kue First Nation (Fort Simpson)

Chief Minnie Letcher wages - $82,706

Chief's expenses - $900

Liidlii Kue First Nation accumulated surplus - $1,763,519

Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation

Chief Dora Enzoe wages - $87,443

Chief's expenses - $6,324

Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation accumulated surplus - $2,236,612

Nahanni Butte Dene Band

Chief Michael Matou wages - $63,965

Chief's expenses - $570

Nahanni Butte Dene Band accumulated surplus - $4,148,877

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation (Wrigley)

Chief Sharon Pellissey (for 7 months as chief) wages - $23,410

Chief Pellissey's expenses - $658

Chief Tim Lennie (for 5 months as chief) wages - $22,825

Chief Lennie's expenses - $1,177

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation accumulated surplus - $6,895,734

Salt River First Nation (Fort Smith)

Chief Frieda Martselos wages - $81,349

Chief's expenses - $12,591

Salt River First Nation accumulated surplus - $6,162,850

Sambaa K'e Dene Band (Trout Lake)

Chief Dolphus Jumbo wages - $50,000

Chief's expenses - $3,995

Sambaa K'e Dene Band accumulated surplus - $2,300,766

Teetlit Gwich'in Council (Fort McPherson)

Chief William Koe wages - $55,813

Chief's expenses - $3,821

Teetlit Gwich'in Council accumulated surplus - $1,538,307

Tulita Dene Band

Chief Frank Andrew wages - $84,399

Chief's expenses - $2,481

Tulita Dene Band accumulated surplus - $640,909

West Point First Nation (Hay River)

Chief Courtney Cayen wages - $17,250

Chief's expenses - $0

West Point First Nation (no accumulated surplus) deficit - $7,120

Yellowknives Dene First Nation

Chief Edward Sangris wages - $116,000

Chief Sangris' Dene Resources payment - $750

Chief Sangris' IBA payment - $300

Chief Sangris' expenses - $15,101

Chief Ernest Betsina wages (for 9.5 months as chief) - $86,308

Chief Betsina's IBA payment - $300

Chief Betsina's expenses - $6,981

Yellowknives Dene First Nation accumulated surplus - $8,286,335

Source: Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

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