First Nation Member Suing To Know Salaries And Financial Records

An Onion Lake Cree Nation, Sask., member has launched a court application against her band leadership under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

Charmaine Stick said she has a right to know her chief and council’s salaries and expenses, as well as the band’s basic financial statements.

Onion Lake Cree Nation, north of Lloydminster, is one of five First Nations who refused to publish their financial statements after the act came into effect.

Stick said even if they don’t want to publish to government, its members have a right to know.

She says members are struggling and living in poverty while the chief and council live large.

“Why would you want to see your own people starving? Why would you want to see your own people suffering,” Stick questioned.

“All for what? So you can drive the 2016 vehicle? Because you can wear $100 clothes? It’s not fair.”

Her case is now backed by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“Hopefully the leaders at Onion Lake look at this and recognize that they need to do what 98 per cent of other First Nations have done and provide some transparency for their folks,” Todd Mackay, CTF’s Prairie director, said.

The Federal Court sided with the band and halted legal action against the reserve, but the Liberal government announced last December that it was halting the act’s compliance measures.

Onion Lake’s chief and council have not yet commented on Stick’s application.

The Canadian Press

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