Langley City Election 2018 - October 20th

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Nations Funding in the South of Fraser

When talking about the South of Fraser sub-region, we don’t seem to talk too much about First Nations with perhaps the exception of the Tsawwassen First Nation. For example, did you know that there are at least 5 First Nations in the South of Fraser according to the federal government? A friend of mine was chatting about Attawapiskat and told me that he hoped that something as tragic and regrettable does not happen here. Before I go any further, I should be clear that I’m not suggesting something like that is happening in the South of Fraser, but I thought I’d take a look at federal government funding to First Nation groups.

Looking at the most recent information available this is what I found for annual spending. I should also note that this pays for education, health-care, and local government service.

Katzie First Nation
Total Registered Population: 505
Total On Own Reserve: 301
Total Funding: $3,278,523.00
Total Funding Per Capita: $6,492.12

Kwantlen First Nation
Total Registered Population: 215
Total On Own Reserve: 67
Total Funding: $1,347,561.00
Total Funding Per Capita: $6,267.73

Musqueam First Nation
Total Registered Population: 1276
Total On Own Reserve: 643
Total Funding: $5,391,727.00
Total Funding Per Capita: $4,225.49

Semiahmoo First Nation
Total Registered Population: 85
Total On Own Reserve: 50
Total Funding: $225,792.00
Total Funding Per Capita: $2,656.38

Tsawwassen First Nation
Total Registered Population: 300
Total On Own Reserve: 169
Total Funding: $5,760,078.00
Total Funding Per Capita: $19,200.26

The first thing that stuck out to me was the amount of funding for the Tsawwassen First Nation, but if you look a little deeper you can see that this has to do with the fact that this is funding to help setup their self-government. I will also note that the Tsawwassen First Nation has more financial information on their website than others. Also, interesting to note is that funding levels are different for every First Nations group. The main challenge about looking any deeper is that information is not readily available. It seems to me that there isn’t the same amount of transparency as other governments in Canada. The federal government has introduced the First Nations Financial Transparency Act and it appear to be a step in the right direction, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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