Snuneymuxw First Nation publishes financial statements under new legislation

NANAIMO – Coun. Eric Wesley topped the Snuneymuxw First Nation's council.

Coun. Eric Wesley topped the Snuneymuxw First Nation band council with compensation totalling $314,801 for the year ended March 31, according to recently released financial statements.

Douglas White III, lawyer and former chief, received $108,022, while incumbent Chief John Wesley, who was elected in December, received about $14,400 in his time as chief and $11,825 in his previous role as councillor.

According to a schedule of council remuneration and expenses, $307,201 of the money Eric Wesley received was for construction-related services, while $19,524 paid to White was for legal services. Coun. Paul Wyse-Seward was also paid for construction-related services to the tune of $2,800.

White’s expenses totalled $24,767 while Chief Wesley’s combined expenses totalled $4,479. The band recently broke ground on construction for a community building and gymnasium.

Eric Wesley could not be reached for comment and White and the First Nation’s administration did not return calls by press time.

As part of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which became law in March 2013, First Nations must provide financial information on an annual basis.

Based on the financial statements, there is a wide range in band council compensation across the country.

The Stz’uminus First Nation, with a comparable population base, remunerated its chief John Elliott $87,650, while Coun. Timothy Harris received the most compensation with $97,627. Elliott and Harris’s expenses totalled $16,518 and $19,205 respectively.

Full financial reports can be found on the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development’s website.