The Onion Lake Cree Nation is taking the Harper government to court over the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

Chief Wallace Fox filed a statement of claim Wednesday in the offices of the Federal Court in Edmonton.

The controversial act requires First Nations to publish chief and council salaries and financial statements on the government’s website.

Wednesday was also the deadline for bands to comply with the act.

In a recent letter, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt’s office threatens bands who fail to comply with the legislation could be faced with having third-party managers withhold chief and council pay, other departments with which bands have funding agreements notified of their non-compliance and delinquent First Nations may face court action forcing them to publish their financial information.

Aboriginal Affairs also says it will make a statement about the Onion Lake lawsuit and publish the list of delinquent bands on its website on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, 509 of 582 First Nations across the country had complied with the legislation.

Bands in the Treaties 4, 6 and 7 regions say they are upset with the government’s high-handed stance and have no plans to comply with the act.

They accuse the government of being paternalistic and say the legislation is in violation of their treaty rights.

(with files from Canadian Press)