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Local bands miss deadline, given extra leeway

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August 20, 2014 - 5:08 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Four bands neighbouring Kamloops have missed the federal government’s deadline for financial statement submissions and could face a block on funding if the numbers aren't submitted this winter.

Three weeks have passed since the cut-off date for bands to submit audited financial documents as part of the First Nation Financial Transparency Act.

In and around the Kamloops area, financial reports have not been posted for the Nicomen (near Lytton), Skuppah (near Lytton), Bonaparte (near Cache Creek) and Oregon Jack Creek (near Ashcroft) bands.

The T'kemlups te Secwepemc band was one of the first to submit financial statements released on July 29. 

Release of financials came after chief and coucil members of about 600 bands were notified of the request through an Aboriginal Affairs letter In March of 2013.

“This enhanced transparency will also help to develop a better understanding among all Canadians of how funds invested in First Nation communities are being used,” said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Bernard Valcourt, in his letter to First Nations.

According to the aboriginal affairs website, bands without submissions will have until the end of November to submit or face the federal government’s threat to cease funding.

The website states: “After 120 calendar days, if there is no resolution, for bands that are refusing to comply with the law, the government will take action according to the provisions of the law, which could include withholding of funding,”

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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