July 31, 2014 - 6:39 PM
VANCOUVER - Newly posted documents show a dramatic disparity in the salaries and travel expenses paid to Canada's First Nations chiefs, ranging from a few thousand dollars to almost $1 million.
Following the passage of a financial-transparency law by the federal government in 2013, First Nations are required to publish audited financial statements of salaries and expenses online.
A document published by Metro Vancouver's Kwikwetlem First Nation shows economic development officer and Chief Ron Giesbrecht was paid $914,219 in compensation and $16,574 in expenses for the financial year ending March 31, 2014.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada reports the Kwikwetlem band has a registered population of 37 and 33 people living on the reserve.
A person answering the phone at band's office promised a statement, then later said there would be no comment at this time.
The Taku River Tlingit First Nation in the northwestern, B.C., community of Atlin also published a document showing a salary of $72,800 to band spokesman John Ward and travel expenses $6,400.
Under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, the documents must be published online within 120 days of the end of the financial year in March, but some links on a federal government website say the documents have not yet been posted.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014