Summary engagement report on a new approach for mutual transparency and accountability

Table of contents

Executive summary

On December 18, 2015, Minister Bennett issued a statement in which she committed to work with First Nations and Indigenous organizations on the way forward for mutual transparency and accountability.

To this end, the Government of Canada sought to engage with First Nations leaders and membership to identify a way forward based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. Engagement sessions were held across the country with First Nations leadership and organizations. In addition, an online survey was launched in order to gauge the general sentiment of all Canadians on the topic of mutual transparency and accountability. This report describes the results of the engagement that was undertaken over the course of the past year. The engagement was intended to seek feedback on new approaches to mutual transparency and accountability and inform options for consideration and decision.

In addition to this engagement, AFOA Canada undertook an engagement of its First Nation financial community to seek feedback on a number of policy areas including the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. Feedback and recommendations were consistent with the Department's engagement results. In particular, the AFOA Canada Engagement Report (PDF) recommended that:

General themes that emerged from the mutual transparency and accountability engagement supported the recommendations put forward by AFOA Canada, and expanded on them. Some major themes from the engagement included the following:

Concurrent with these engagements, the Assembly of First Nations and Indigenous Services Canada worked collaboratively on the co-development of a new fiscal relationship. The principle of mutual accountability was a key element of their work. Following a nation-wide engagement in the fall 2017, a report entitled A New Approach: Co-Development of a New Fiscal Relationship Between Canada and First Nations (PDF) was released on December 6, 2017 with numerous recommendations, including the recommendation to "co-develop an approach to repeal the First Nations Financial Transparency Act in 2018 and replacing it with a co-developed mutual accountability framework supported by First Nations Institutions-led audit and statistical functions". The report was submitted to and welcomed by the Minister of Indigenous Services and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and was accepted by Chiefs-in-Assembly.

Throughout all of these engagements and collaborations it was clearly articulated that while transparency and accountability are important responsibilities for all governments and oversight is an important aspect of this, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act does not respect the nation-to-nation relationship and perpetuates a sense of mistrust between First Nations and the Government of Canada.

Background

The Government of Canada is working to renew the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

A number of engagement initiatives with First Nations, Inuit, Métis communities and other Canadians have been undertaken, and more are planned or underway to achieve this goal. Engaging on the way forward with First Nations on mutual financial transparency and accountability is just one of several engagements that took place in 2017.

Accountability and transparency are key tenets of any government, whether federal, provincial, municipal or First Nations. Mutual transparency and accountability between First Nations and the Government of Canada will only truly be achieved by working in full partnership with First Nations leadership, communities and organizations to create and establish a new approach.

The First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA) came into force March 27, 2013 and requires First Nations to provide audited consolidated financial statements and a schedule of remuneration and expenses for chief and councillors to their membership, and to publish these documents on a website. The act also provides additional authorities with respect to the application of administrative measures and court remedies for failure to comply with these requirements.

The FNFTA is still in place and First Nations governments continue their practice of reporting on their financial and program performance both to their members and to the Department.

First Nations have had a long-standing requirement to provide financial and non-financial information including plans, reports and financial documents to the Department and to their memberships. Provisions within funding agreements allow the Department to share financial information (specifically the audited consolidated financial statements and other required financial statements and schedules) with First Nations members when required.

On December 18, 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs:

Engagement process

The engagement was designed to involve as many First Nations leaders, members and organizations, as was achievable through face-to-face sessions, emails, letters, phone calls and an online survey.

Pre-engagement

First Nations organizations such as AFOA Canada were engaged and feedback was sought on the engagement approach. As a result, AFOA Canada initiated its own engagement of its membership through five national focus groups targeting First Nations financial experts, an e-survey of its membership, and a validation exercise through its national annual conference. The results of this feedback were used to support the national approach and discussion questions for the engagement. The recommendations have been incorporated into the overall engagement feedback on mutual transparency and accountability.

Engagement

The engagement took place from January 31, 2017 to June 30, 2017 and consisted of 27 face-to-face engagements across the country, as well as an on-line survey that was open to the public, a dedicated phone line and an e-mail address.

A record of the discussion for each in-person session was made available to the participants, and a summary of priorities and key issues discussed from each of the engagements was published on Transparency and accountability engagement: What we heard.

The survey was made available to First Nations in hard copy with a mail-in address to allow those without connectivity or access to a computer to participate. Copies of the survey were available at all engagements, with information provided on how to receive additional copies.

Face-to-face engagements

Engagement sessions were held from coast-to-coast, excluding Nunavut. The majority of engagements took place in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, while engagements held in the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Quebec had the largest number of participants at each engagement session.

Figure 1: Engagement 2017: Face-to-Face Participants
Description of Figure 1: Engagement 2017: Face-to-Face Participants

The image is titled "Engagement 2017: Face-to-face Participants", and is a map of Canada which details the number of participants present at engagement sessions held across Canada between January 31, 2017 and June 30, 2017. The total number of First Nations communities present in each region is represented as graduated colors.

In the Yukon, there was:

  • One engagement in Whitehorse, with two to five participants present, and two to five First Nations represented.

In the Northwest Territories, there was:

  • One engagement in Yellowknife, with forty to eighty participants present, and five to twenty-five First Nations represented.

In British Columbia, there were:

  • Seven engagements.
  • Three of these, in Terrace, Fort St. John, and Chilliwack, had five to ten participants.
  • Four of these, in Prince George, Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Kamloops, had ten to twenty.
  • Overall, over 100 First Nations were represented.

In Alberta, there was:

  • One engagement in Edmonton, with ten to twenty participants present, and two to five First Nations represented.

In Saskatchewan, there were:

  • Five engagements.
  • Two of these, in North Battleford and Meadow Lake, had five to ten participants.
  • Three of these, in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and and Fort Qu'Appelle, had ten to twenty.
  • Overall, fifty to one hundred First Nations were represented.

In Manitoba, there were:

  • Five engagements.
  • Three of these engagements, in The Pas, Brokenhead, and Winnepeg, had twenty to forty participants.
  • One of these engagements, in Winnipeg, had ten to twenty participants.
  • One of these engagements, in Portage-la-Prairie, had five to ten participants.
  • Overall, fifty to one hundred participants were represented.

In Ontario, there were:

  • Three engagements.
  • One of these, in Paris, had twenty to forty participants.
  • Two of these, in Sudbury and Thunder Bay, had forty to eighty participants.
  • Overall, over 100 First Nations were represented.

In Quebec, there was:

  • One engagement in Quebec City, with forty to eighty participants, and fifty to one hundred First Nations were represented.

In New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, there was:

  • One engagement, in Miramachi, New Brunswick, with ten to twenty participants, and five to twenty-five First Nations represented.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, there was:

  • One engagement, in Corner Brook, with five to ten participants, and two to five First Nations represented.

First Nations data for this map was taken from the Band Governance Management System in December 2017. Engagement participant data was tabulated in December 2017. The basemap for this image is taken from the Statistics Canada 2011 Census of Provinces and Territories, and the ratio of the map is 1:30 000 000.

From the analysis of face-to-face engagement feedback, several themes emerged including:

Direct accountability

First Nations and First Nations organizations were clear that any new accountability framework would need to respect First Nations governments' primary accountability to their citizens.

Mutual accountability

First Nations indicated that a nation-to-nation relationship requires mutual accountability, whereby the Government of Canada and First Nations governments hold one another mutually accountable for the commitments they make to one another and work together to achieve results for First Nations citizens.

Collaboration

First Nations agreed that a way forward for mutual transparency and accountability must be developed collaboratively with First Nations.

Public education

The need for public education on First Nations funding and spending was a common theme in the face-to-face engagements. It was often mentioned that the lack of context behind funding received by First Nations has resulted in a public misunderstanding of financial management in First Nations communities. Further, a focus by media on negative aspects of First Nations communities perpetuates these public misconceptions. It was generally expressed that the Government of Canada has a responsibility to provide clarity and resolve these misconceptions. Public education was seen as an essential pre-requisite for true accountability. A raised awareness and fact-based understanding of First Nations programming and funding issues better equips First Nations and non-First Nations citizens to hold both First Nations and the Government of Canada to account.

Capacity development

The need for funding to support First Nations capacity to meet accountability and transparency standards was mentioned in most face-to-face engagement sessions. First Nations are increasingly finding it difficult to develop and maintain administrative supports, training, policies and procedures necessary to be accountable to their membership. Participants felt that the Government of Canada should play a greater role in supporting capacity development, particularly for smaller or more remote communities. Further, First Nations stressed that additional funding should be available if the cost and administrative burden associated with both financial and non-financial reporting increases, as First Nations already lack the resources needed to meet current reporting requirements. Keeping in mind the primary accountability of First Nations governments, as with any government, is to their membership, many First Nations felt that greater flexibility in how First Nations reported on federal funding and how they communicate financial results to their membership would lead to more meaningful, results based reporting.

Oversight

First Nations generally agreed that oversight is an important element of transparency and accountability. Several models for how this could be achieved were discussed, including utilizing existing regional or national organizations and institutions, supporting oversight at the community level, or creating new national or regional institutions such as an ombudsman or First Nations Auditor General. First Nations agreed that further analysis and engagement is necessary on this subject.

Nation-to-nation

First Nations often spoke of the nation-to-nation relationship as an overarching principle, but many felt that there needed to be more clarity in terms of what is meant by "nation-to-nation". They indicated that the Government of Canada needs to be more transparent with First Nations about the collection of First Nations data, and that the Government of Canada should report clearly on the funding that is earmarked for First Nations programming but spent on federal overhead and administrative costs, salary and travel costs.

First Nations generally support a collaborative approach to transparency and accountability and to all aspects of the relationship (for example when determining funding levels, and appropriate outcomes/results relative to the funding that is provided). It was emphasized in many engagements that accountability and transparency are responsibilities of both the Government of Canada and First Nations governments.

First Nations Financial Transparency Act

While not specifically asked about it, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act was directly referenced by First Nations participants in the majority of engagement sessions. First Nation participants indicated that the act treats First Nations inequitably, by placing a higher standard of accountability and transparency than is required of other recipients of federal grants and contributions. They also noted that this perpetuates a sense of mistrust between First Nations and the Government of Canada and that the publishing of financial information online increases public misunderstanding of First Nations funding, spending and the accountability relationship between First Nations and their membership, and First Nations and the Government of Canada.

Many First Nations expressed that they already have policies in place to enforce transparency and accountability, and the act is not required. They also indicated that a framework for accountability and transparency should be more flexible in reporting standards and how financial information is communicated to their membership.

While there was strong support for accountability and transparency, the law itself was seen to have fallen short of its mark, and would require either significant amendment to reflect the themes outlined above, or a complete repeal of the act with the view to work collaboratively on a mutual accountability framework.

Online survey

The online survey for the engagement on mutual transparency and accountability was intended to gauge the general sentiment of the Canadian public. In order to ensure privacy of respondents and to maximize participation, no controls were placed on the survey that would prevent multiple entries from a single respondent, for instance.

The survey did not aim to capture a complete and accurate picture of the overall population, but rather a sample of opinions that broadly demonstrate current perspectives on First Nations transparency and accountability.

Over 6,500 members of the public participated in the online survey. The majority of respondents from the online survey self-identified as "Other" or "Prefer not to say" when asked to describe themselves, totaling 95.8% of all respondents, while First Nations living on or off-reserve accounted for only 4.2% (Figure 2). Of the First Nations respondents, 65.9% identified as First Nations living off-reserve, while 34.6% identified as First Nations living on-reserve (Figure 3).

Figure 2: Engagement 2017: All Survey Respondents
Description of Figure 2: Engagement 2017: All Survey Respondents

The image is titled "Engagement 2017: All Survey Respondents", and is a map of Canada which details the percentage of participants who identified as First Nations or "Other/Prefer not to say" in the online survey undertaken for the engagement on mutual transparency and accountability.

In Yukon:

  • 11 participants
  • 100% of survey participants identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In the Northwest Territories:

  • 11 participants
  • 64% of participants identified as First Nations.
  • 36% of participants identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In British Columbia:

  • 1,396 participants
  • 4% identified as First Nations.
  • 96% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Alberta:

  • 1,436 participants
  • 3% identified as First Nations.
  • 97% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Saskatchewan:

  • 441 participants
  • 5% identified as First Nations.
  • 95% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Manitoba:

  • 502 participants
  • 4% identified as First Nations.
  • 96% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Ontario:

  • 1,829 participants
  • 4% identified as First Nations.
  • 96% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Quebec:

  • 64 participants
  • 16% identified as First Nations.
  • 96% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • 35 participants
  • 23% identified as First Nations.
  • 67% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In New Brunswick:

  • 82 participants
  • 1% identified as First Nations.
  • 99% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Nova Scotia:

  • 105 participants
  • 1% identified as First Nations.
  • 99% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

In Prince Edward Island:

  • 15 participants
  • 7% identified as First Nations.
  • 93% identified as "Other/Prefer not to say".

First Nations data for this map was taken from the Band Governance Management System in December 2017. Engagement survey respondent data was tabulated in December 2017. The basemap for this image is taken from the Statistics Canada 2011 Census of Provinces and Territories, and the ratio of the map is 1:30 000 000.

Figure 3: Engagement 2017: First Nations Survey Respondents
Description of Figure 3: Engagement 2017: First Nations Survey Respondents

The image is titled "Engagement 2017: First Nations Survey Respondents", and is a map of Canada which details the percentage of participants who identified as First Nations on-reserve and First Nations off-reserve in the online survey undertaken for the engagement on mutual transparency and accountability.

161 respondents were First Nation members living off-reserve, and 85 respondents were First Nation members living on-reserve.

In the Northwest Territories:

  • 7 participants
  • 14% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 86% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In British Columbia:

  • 56 participants
  • 43% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 57% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Alberta:

  • 43 participants
  • 20% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 80% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Saskatchewan:

  • 22 participants
  • 35% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 65% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Manitoba:

  • 20 participants
  • 32% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 68% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Ontario:

  • 73 participants
  • 38% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 62% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Quebec:

  • 10 participants
  • 70% of participants identified as First Nations on-reserve.
  • 30% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • 8 participants
  • 100% of participants identified as First Nations off-reserve.

In New Brunswick:

  • 1 participant, who identified as First Nations on-reserve.

In Nova Scotia:

  • 1 participant, who identified as First Nations on-reserve.

In Prince Edward Island:

  • 1 participant, who identified as First Nations on-reserve.

First Nations data for this map was taken from the Band Governance Management System in December 2017. Engagement survey respondent data was tabulated in December 2017. The basemap for this image is taken from the Statistics Canada 2011 Census of Provinces and Territories, and the ratio of the map is 1:30 000 000.

Strong gender and age biases are evident as well: 69.64% of respondents identified as male, and 73.3% of respondents identified as over the age of 55.

The responses received from the survey often conflicted with what was heard through the First Nation engagements. For instance, 70.12% of survey respondents strongly disagreed that First Nations should be able to follow their own standards on how they share financial information with their membership. In face-to-face engagements with First Nations and Indigenous organizations, most participants felt that it was important for First Nations to be able to determine the best way to share information with their citizens to support accountability and to meet their community needs. For example, many cited accessibility issues, in terms of language, mobility, financial literacy and access to internet as considerations in determining the best way to communicate financial information.

In other cases though, there was widespread agreement. 82.77 % of survey respondents agreed that the Government of Canada could make financial reporting for First Nations more streamlined and efficient, which is consistent with what was heard throughout the face-to-face engagements with First Nations and Indigenous organizations (Summary of Survey Results).

Key themes were identified in the narrative responses of participants identifying as First Nations living on-reserve or First Nations living off-reserve. These themes are indicated throughout the report where narrative responses were solicited. Some highlights include:

Direct accountability

There was agreement among respondents that First Nation governments are accountable to their membership for the effective delivery of programs and services; and the Government of Canada is accountable to First Nations to ensure they provide sufficient funding in a timely manner.

Public education

Public education and awareness is required so that the public better understands the accountability relationship and the ways First Nations account to their membership and to the Government of Canada.

Capacity

Respondents highlighted the current reporting burden and the need for capacity development and governance supports.

Oversight

There was general agreement with the requirement for an oversight function and receptiveness to a First Nations Auditor General or First Nations ombudsman.

Collaboration

Ongoing collaboration was identified as critical to achieving mutual transparency and accountability.

Conclusion

Overall, from the results of the engagement, several ideas were identified to support a new approach for mutual transparency and accountability between First Nations and the Government of Canada. First Nations have clearly indicated that the First Nations Financial Transparency Act does not respect a nation-to-nation relationship, and does not reflect the mutual accountabilities of First Nations and the Government of Canada.

The feedback received through this engagement process has been analysed and shared with the AFN-Government of Canada working group tasked with the development of a new fiscal relationship. From October 11 to November 20, 2017, the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations further engaged with First Nation chiefs and administrators on options to support a new fiscal relationship. Feedback received was incorporated into the report A new approach: Co-development of a new fiscal relationship between Canada and First Nations, which was presented to the Minister of Indigenous Services and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Among the report's recommendations is the call for the Government of Canada to commit to "co-develop an approach to repeal the First Nations Financial Transparency Act in 2018 and replace it with a co-developed mutual accountability framework supported by First Nations Institutions-led audit and statistical functions". A resolution accepting the report and its recommendations was accepted by Chiefs-in Assembly (Resolution #66 (PDF)) and the Minister released a statement welcoming the report on December 6, 2017.

Next steps

The Government of Canada is committed to continue to work towards implementing the recommendations of the Report of the New Fiscal Relationship joint working group. In particular, in line with engagement feedback received to date, and supported by continued engagement, an approach to repeal the First Nations Financial Transparency Act and to replace it with a co-developed mutual accountability framework.

Track our progress

To learn more about the New Fiscal Relationship and track our progress on this important initiative, please consult Establishing a new fiscal relationship.

Annex E: Summary of survey results

The online survey for the engagement on mutual transparency and accountability was intended to gauge the general sentiment of the Canadian public. In order to ensure privacy of respondents and to maximize participation, no controls were place on the survey that would prevent multiple entries from a single respondent, for instance.

The survey did not aim to capture a complete and accurate picture of the overall population, but rather a sample of opinions that broadly demonstrate current perspectives on First Nations transparency and accountability.

Over 6,500 responses were submitted in the online survey. The majority of respondents from the online survey self-identified as "Other" or "Prefer not to say" when asked to describe themselves, totaling 95.8% of all respondents, while those self-identifying as First Nations living on or off-reserve accounted for 4.2%.

Strong gender and age biases are evident as well: 69.64% of respondents identified as male; and 73.3% of respondents identified as over the age of 55.

Key themes were identified in the responses of participants identifying as First Nations living on-reserve or First Nations living off-reserve. These themes are indicated throughout the report where narrative responses were solicited. Some highlights include:

Direct accountability

There was agreement among respondents that First Nation governments are accountable to their membership for the effective delivery of programs and services; and the Government of Canada is accountable to First Nations to ensure they provide sufficient funding in a timely manner.

Public education

Public education and awareness is required so that the public better understands the accountability relationship and the ways First Nations account to their membership and to the Government of Canada.

Capacity

Respondents highlighted the current reporting burden and the need for capacity development and governance supports.

Oversight

There was general agreement with the requirement for an oversight function.

Collaboration

Ongoing collaboration was identified as critical to achieving mutual transparency and accountability.

Transparency

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree that financial transparency should include the following principles

  Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Don't Know/Prefer not to answer Total
First Nations members should have access to information on federal funding decisions affecting them, such as funding levels and level of service expectations. 85.12%
(5,911)
12.86%
(893)
0.65%
(45)
0.81%
(56)
0.56%
(39)
100%
(6,944)
First Nations members should have access to their First Nation's financial information, including First Nation-owned businesses. 90.07%
(6,251)
8.36%
(580)
0.50%
(35)
0.50%
(35)
0.56%
(39)
100%
(6,940)
The Canadian public should have access to First Nations' financial information, including First Nation-owned businesses. 74.45%
(5,137)
12.46%
(860)
6.81%
(470)
2.65%
(183)
3.62%
(250)
100%
(6,900)
The Canadian public should have access to information on federal funding in First Nations communities, excluding First Nation-owned businesses. 72.19%
(4,924)
10.07%
(687)
6.14%
(419)
9.10%
(621)
2.49%
(170)
100%
(6,821)

2. Please share any thoughts on the principles of financial transparency.

Key themesFootnote 1: direct accountability, First Nations accountable to general public, transparency of First Nations government to membership, Government of Canada accountable to First Nations, reporting requirements

3. Please share your thoughts on how the Government of Canada can be more transparent in its relationship with First Nations, specifically as it relates to financial matters (funding agreements, determination of funding levels, etc.).

Key themesFootnote 1: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) accountability/transparency, full transparency, Government of Canada accountable to First Nations, funding agreements/timing and release of funding, treat First Nations as business/government/municipality

Accountability

4. Which of the following are First Nations governments more accountable to?

  • The federal government: 8.73%
  • Their own First Nations community members: 9.03
  • Equally to the federal government and their own First Nations community members: 82.24

5. Please share your thoughts and ideas on the accountability of First Nations governments.

Key themesFootnote 1: direct accountability, First Nations accountable to federal government, transparency of First Nations government to membership, First Nations governments are accountable and transparent, full transparency

6. Please share your thoughts on how the federal government can meet its accountability requirements on spending in a way that respects the nation-to-nation relationship: (a) to First Nations, (b) to all Canadians.

Key themesFootnote 1: (a) collaboration, treat First Nations as business/government/municipality, communication, know how/where funding is used, respect treaty agreements (b) public education and awareness, First Nations accountable to all Canadians, audits, reporting requirements, tax-payer monies.

Accountability and Transparency in Action

7. First Nations should be able to follow their own standards on how they share financial information with their membership.

  • Strongly agree: 5.49%
  • Agree: 4.87%
  • Disagree: 17.24%
  • Strongly disagree: 70.12%
  • Don't know/ Prefer not to answer: 1.97%

Please share any other thoughts and ideas on this issue:

Key themesFootnote 1: uniform reporting requirements, direct accountability, transparency of First Nations government to membership, First Nations self-governance, minimum reporting standard.

8. When reporting to the Government of Canada, the same financial reporting standards should apply to all First Nations regardless of size and complexity of operations (for example, a large First Nation with multiple revenue streams and a complex governance).

  • Strongly agree: 73.54%
  • Agree: 19.42%
  • Disagree: 3.88%
  • Strongly disagree: 1.24%
  • Don't know/prefer not to answer: 1.71%

Please share any other thoughts and ideas on this issue:

Key themesFootnote 1: reporting requirements, minimum reporting standard, federal funding, full transparency, uniform reporting requirements

9. Do you think the Government of Canada could make financial reporting for First Nations more streamlined and efficient?

  • Yes: 82.77%
  • No: 13.94%

If yes, what steps do you think the federal government could take?

Key themesFootnote 1: reporting requirements, audits, collaboration, capacity development and support, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) accountability/transparency

Accountability and transparency in action

10. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the creation of an independent body (for example, a First Nations ombudsperson or Auditor General) is an option that should be explored to do the following:

  Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Don't Know/Prefer not to answer Total
Audit all First Nations governments 77.18%
(4,675)
15.54%
(941)
2.66%
(161)
2.48%
(150)
2.15%
(130)
100%
(6,057)
Report publicly on questions of value-for-money 73.04%
(4,370)
19.07%
(1,141)
2.46%
(147)
2.31%
(138)
3.13%
(187)
100%
(5,983)
Make recommendations to support transparency and accountability 78.82%
(4,703)
16.31%
(973)
1.17%
(70)
2.01%
(120)
1.69%
(101)
100%
(5,967)
Make sure the federal government is accountable to First Nations communities on financial matters 60.14%
(3,572)
21.05%
(1,250)
6.38%
(379)
6.43%
(382)
5.99%
(356)
100%
(5,939)

Please share any other thoughts and ideas on this issue:

Key themesFootnote 1: oversight, Auditor General, audits, direct accountability, federal government accountable to First Nations

11. To what extent do you agree or disagree that an independent body (for example, a First Nations ombudsperson or Auditor General) is needed to have:

  Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Don't Know/Prefer not to answer Total
Consistency in financial reporting to First Nations membership 75.33%
(4,505)
17.36%
(1,038)
2.56%
(153)
2.93%
(175)
1.82%
(109)
100%
(5,980)
An appeal mechanism for First Nations members if they are having difficulty accessing financial information from their First Nation 80.34%
(4,798)
13.48%
(805)
2.08%
(124)
2.63%
(157)
1.47%
(88)
100%
(5,972)
The federal government be accountable to First Nations communities on financial matters 54.66%
(3,223)
22.32%
(1,316)
8.63%
(509)
7.67%
(452)
6.72%
(396)
100%
(5,896)

Please share additional feedback on the usefulness of this information:
Key themesFootnote 1: accountability mechanisms, direct accountability. Penalties for non-compliance, transparency of First Nations government to membership, Auditor General

Anything else?

12. Please share any other thoughts and advice you may have on the best way to achieve mutual transparency and accountability:

Key themesFootnote 1: direct accountability, oversight, public education and awareness, collaboration, federal government accountable to First Nations

About you

13. Have you accessed First Nation financial information in the last two years?

  • Yes: 14.97%
  • No: 85%

If yes, please indicate how you accessed First Nation Financial Information.

  • Through the First Nation (in person, by mail, email or First Nation website): 32.61%
  • Through the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website: 67.39%

Please share additional feedback on the usefulness of this information:
Key themesFootnote 1: usefulness needs improvement, financial information useful, transparency of First Nations government to membership, direct accountability, First Nations governments are accountable and transparent

14. Which of the following best describes you?

  • First Nation member living on-reserve: 1.44%
  • First Nation member living off-reserve: 2.72%
  • Other: 83.19%
  • I prefer not to say: 12.65%

15. How old are you?

  • Under 18: 0.02%
  • 18 to 34: 3.36%
  • 35 to 44: 5.65%
  • 45 to 54: 12.11%
  • 55 to 64: 27.41%
  • 65 or older: 45.89%
  • I prefer not to say: 5.57%

16. Are you?

  • Female: 24%
  • Male: 69.63%
  • I prefer not to say: 5.51%
  • Other: 0.86%

17. In what province or territory do you live?

  • Alberta: 24.23%
  • British Columbia: 23.55%
  • Manitoba: 8.47%
  • New Brunswick: 1.38%
  • Newfoundland: 0.59%
  • Northwest Territories: 0.19%
  • Nova Scotia: 1.77%
  • Nunavut: 0.00%
  • Ontario: 30.86%
  • Prince Edward Island: 0.25%
  • Quebec: 1.08%
  • Saskatchewan: 7.44%
  • Yukon: 0.19%
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