Recently, a third-party manager was accused of diverting millions from the Kashechewan First Nation, one of Canada’s most impoverished First Nations. In light of this abuse, the Board wishes to reiterate that the existing Default Management and Prevention Policy hurts the communities it is supposed to help because it increases financial hardship on reserve and does nothing to build financial capacity or financial literacy.
Our Board firmly believes that moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation, rewriting laws and policies, means making sure that we are always working together to make sure that policies are not punitive or regressive, but that they are modern, innovative, progressive, and above all, fair. That is why, in a letter to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Board made the following recommendations:
- First of all, we recommend that First Nations Institutions run the Default Management process.
- Second, we recommend placing more emphasis on financial literacy and financial management capacity.
- Third, we recommend increasing the financial management component of the Comprehensive Community Planning process that is part of INAC’s partnership approach to community development, thus ensuring that communities have the funding they need to build their own capacity.
- Finally, we would like to draw once again your attention to the fact that there are a variety of innovative approaches to financial management undertaken by our people for our people.
Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.