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Salaries of First Nation leaders online

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First Nation salaries for chiefs and council are now online for everyone to see.

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation touted the public disclosure as its own victory in an announcement today that included the website link.

News reports of chiefs taking in salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year garnered national headlines when the campaign first started and even more public reaction when some leaders complained and insisted the information was confidential.

The salaries are now a matter of public record because of a new disclosure law called the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

"When we first called for the disclosure of chief and council pay information back in 2009, a lot of people told us Ottawa wouldn’t touch the matter," said CTF Prairie Director Colin Craig. "But we mobilized people on and off reserve to tell Ottawa to make legislative changes so that the government could start posting the details publicly. Kudos to the Harper government for listening."

The federation singled out Buffalo Point First Nation for an example from Manitoba. The hereditary chief there, John Thunder, drew a salary of $129,398 in the fiscal year that ended March 31. The First Nation is a tiny community of fewer than 100 people on the border with Minnesota. It’s notorious for its court battles with local cottagers and band members. A rival chief, elected there in April, draws no salary.

Aboriginal Affairs is still filling in the numbers, but the main page that leads to them is here.

For Buffalo Point’s numbers, click here.

Gamblers First Nation has also posted its numbers. Their chief made $20,163, with $6,217 in expenses.

Financial statements for other Manitoba First Nations are yet to be posted.

History

Updated on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM CDT: corrects word usage

4:06 PM: Adds details on Gamblers First Nation, and that other FNs yet to post.

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