The Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is one of nine First Nations in Saskatchewan who have not yet complied with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.
Chief Peter Beatty says the band does plan to comply, but is still waiting for its audited financial statements.
“We are not going to put up unaudited numbers to meet a deadline,” said Chief Beatty. “We are signing off next week on December 5th and our financial statements will be posted thereafter, as we have always done.”
The federal government has said it will withhold funding for First Nations who have not complied with the legislation.
“We have lost funding before,” said Chief Beatty. “If they want to post a deadline that is unrealistic for Peter Ballantyne, we will live with the consequences of that.”
However, Chief Beatty does have his own questions about the necessity of the transparency act.
He says federal law should already require First Nations to publish their financial statements and he wonders why this new law was even created.
“If all federal law applies to reserves, should there not have been a law to deal with accountability and transparency to federal departments? And that law should apply to reserves and Indian bands,” said the PBCN Chief.
The Onion Lake Cree Nation is taking the government to court over the FNFTA.