Remuneration of Elected Officials in First Nations Communities

Setting Salaries and Disclosure of Salary Information

The determination of an elected official's remuneration in a First Nation community is ultimately established by that First Nation's government. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) encourages First Nations to practice sound fiscal management by setting remuneration at reasonable levels commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position, and mindful of the overall needs of the community.

There are a number of factors that are typically considered by a First Nation in determining the remuneration for their elected officials, including: their responsibilities and duties; the size of the community; the complexity of the business operations in the community; the own-source revenue of the community, etc.

In addition to federal funding, First Nations may derive revenue from other sources, such as band-owned businesses and arrangements with other levels of government. This revenue may be used in a variety of ways, including salaries for elected officials. As with other levels of government, duly elected officials of First Nations are responsible for determining their compensation.

In accordance with provisions in their funding agreements, First Nation Councils must provide the Department with annual Audited Consolidated Financial Statements. The Government of Canada passed into law the First Nations Financial Transparency Act in 2013, which supports more effective, transparent and accountable governments, and contributes to stronger, more self-sufficient and prosperous communities. The Act states that First Nations are required to submit Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses for Chiefs and Councillors for each financial year. Financial statements must be posted online 120 days following the end of the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2013 and ending March 31, 2014 (and for fiscal years thereafter). Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is also required to publish on the departmental website, the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and the Schedule of Remuneration and Expenses for each First Nation, when they are received.

The Audited Consolidated Financial Statements, Schedules of Remuneration and Expenses, and the Schedules of Federal Government Funding are available in the First Nation Profiles section of the AANDC website. The Schedules of Federal Government Funding report the funding received by a First Nation and expenditures made against those funds for government funded programs.