‘Opening the Books’


A courageous woman from the Onion Lake Band in Saskatchewan, with the help of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, has won a court ruling that effectively restores the ‘First Nations’ Financial Transparency Act – at least for her Band.
Congratulations, Charmaine…

CTF Prairie Director Todd McKay and Charmaine Stick. (Kevin Martel--980 CJME)

“A Saskatchewan ‘First Nation’ is being forced to reveal how it spends its money after a legal battle that’s played out over the last year.

“The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld a June 15, 2017, ruling from Court of Queen’s Bench which ordered Onion Lake Cree ‘Nation’ — {a ‘nation’ of 5,032 people} situated about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster — to publish basic financial information.

“The court application that was launched required Charmaine Stick’s leaders to publish audited financial statements, in addition to the salaries and expenses paid to chief and council as set out by the ‘First Nations’ Financial Transparency Act.

“The court of appeal is very, very clear. Grassroots people in Onion Lake Cree ‘Nation’ have the right to know what’s happening with the Band’s money”,
said Todd MacKay, prairie director with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“The CTF helped launch the legal fight with Onion Lake member Charmaine Stick.
https://www.facebook.com/Maciwinow.omamawa/posts/10215805724924460
{For more background, see below…}

“If you don’t have accountability and transparency then all hell breaks loose”,
Stick said.
“I’ve come to see and know the consequences, the implications on our people, especially our youth, without having the transparency and accountability.”

“The court of appeal’s ruling is a landmark decision, according to MacKay.

“This is a huge precedent for ‘First Nations’ {‘descendants of Siberian settlers’} people across Canada. They have the same right to know what’s going on with their community’s money that all Canadians have”,
he said.

“As part of the decision, Justice Jacelyn Ryan-Froslie wrote:

“The ‘First Nations’ Financial Transparency Act has not been found constitutionally invalid and until it is or until there is an order staying its enforcement, Onion Lake has a legal obligation to comply with its terms.”

“The CTF said the federal government stopped enforcing the law in 2015 but if Onion Lake decides to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, it must still comply with publishing its documents.

“MacKay also recently stood outside Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina to launch a similar court order in partnership with a man from the Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ who was concerned with his band’s financial transparency. However, that matter has already been concluded {See below…}.

“They decided not to fight it”,
MacKay revealed.

“MacKay said Thunderchild looked at the Onion Lake court case, and handed over documents for publishing…”

–‘Court upholds decision for First Nation to reveal finances’,
Kevin Martel, 980 CJME, March 29, 2018

Feature PHOTO: CTF Prairie Director Todd McKay and Charmaine Stick.
(Kevin Martel–980 CJME)

http://www.cjme.com/2018/03/29/court-upholds-decision-for-first-nation-to-reveal-finances/

Members of Thunderchild ‘First Nation’, with CTF Prairie Director Todd McKay, posing with the financial documents. (Photo: Joel Willick)

“Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 2,914 people} has decided to release their financial documents rather than fight the matter in Court.

“This past November, Harrison Thunderchild, a member of the ‘First Nation’, took his home reserve to court for refusing to comply with the ‘First Nations’ Financial Transparency Act’.

“Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ was among a handful of Saskatchewan Bands refusing to comply with the ‘Transparency Act.’ This act required ‘First Nations’ {‘communities of descendants of Siberian settlers’} across Canada to disclose their financial statements to the public.

“The process was initially implemented by the Harper government; however, when the ‘Liberals’ came into power, they decided Ottawa would no longer enforce it.

“This lead a few members of ‘First Nations’ to challenge for compliance in the courts, a move that was backed by the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’.

“Harrison showed real courage by calling on his Band’s leaders to follow the law…by providing transparency”,
said CTF Prairie Director Todd McKay.

“On Thursday morning in Saskatoon, Harrison Thunderchild and Todd McKay announced that Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ had released their financial documents and the court application has been withdrawn. Both men stood with large binders of documents that they seemed eager to explore.

“Thunderchild says this is a good day for peace and transparency on the reserve.

“This matter should never have occurred, however, (The court process) did have to happen”,
said Thunderchild.
“We need our leaders and all governments to be accountable to their people.”

According to the financial documents, the salary for chief and council on Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ was $90,000 and $61,428, respectively. The national average is $58,856 and $35,235 for the same two positions.

“Thunderchild’s leaders are getting more money than most ‘First Nations’ leaders and that’s something Band members need to talk about in the next election”,
said Thunderchild.
“Making these documents public makes it possible for us to have those discussions.”

“According to the CTF, the average income for residents on Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ is $15,811

“Officials from Thunderchild ‘First Nation’ were not immediately available to comment on the matter.”

–‘Thunderchild releases financial statements, avoiding court challenge’,
Joel Willick, MBC News, Mar. 15, 2018

https://www.mbcradio.com/2018/03/thunderchild-releases-financial-statements-avoiding-court-challenge

See also:
Where Has All The Money Gone?‘ (Onion Lake/Charmaine Stick) {November 16, 2016}:
“A resident of the Onion Lake Cree ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 5,032 people and “The country’s top oil-producing ‘First Nation’”} is launching a court application to try to get answers about how her Band is spending its money.”
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/where-has-all-the-money-gone/

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One thought on “‘Opening the Books’”

  1. I just love Charmaine and support her 100%!! Who is with me? And how many honest, truthful Indigenous would support her and voice up instead of acting like they are afraid to do so and of Bellegarde & his sheeple thugs!!!!

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