Onion Lake Cree Nation member suing for right to know salaries, financial records

Charmaine Stick (right), an Onion Lake Cree Nation member, is suing the band for the right to know the salaries of the chief and council members, and to see basic financial statements. File / Global News

An Onion Lake Cree Nation, Sask., member has launched a court application against her band leadership under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

Charmaine Stick said she has a right to know her chief and council’s salaries and expenses, as well as the band’s basic financial statements.

Onion Lake Cree Nation, north of Lloydminster, is one of five First Nations who refused to publish their financial statements after the act came into effect.

READ MORE: Onion Lake chief not budging when it comes to Transparency Act

Stick said even if they don’t want to publish to government, its members have a right to know.

She says members are struggling and living in poverty while the chief and council live large.

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“Why would you want to see your own people starving? Why would you want to see your own people suffering,” Stick questioned.

“All for what? So you can drive the 2016 vehicle? Because you can wear $100 clothes? It’s not fair.”

READ MORE: One third of Sask. First Nations have yet to file finances

Her case is now backed by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“Hopefully the leaders at Onion Lake look at this and recognize that they need to do what 98 per cent of other First Nations have done and provide some transparency for their folks,” Todd Mackay, CTF’s Prairie director, said.

The Federal Court sided with the band and halted legal action against the reserve, but the Liberal government announced last December that it was halting the act’s compliance measures.

Onion Lake’s chief and council have not yet commented on Stick’s application.

With files from The Canadian Press

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