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Canada’s Aboriginals Hold Leaders Accountable

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Canada’s first nations are working within their own ranks to make leaders accountable for their salaries and their governing practices more transparent in general, the The Victoria Times Colonist of Vancouver Island reports.

A recent example is that of the Mi'kmaq reserve in Nova Scotia, where a grassroots inquiry led by activist Brian Smith was prompted by the revelation that the Glooscap First Nation’s “chief and councillors were each collecting more than $200,000 in salary and other payments -- for running a community of 87 people,” the newspaper said in a December 30 story.

“Federal records showed that while a majority of native band leaders earn fair and reasonable pay for the work they do, hundreds have been raking in six- to seven-figure incomes, as overseers of small and often poor communities,” the newspaper reported.

It’s clear, too, from responses that Smith received after spearheading the inquiry, that Canada’s aboriginal people want to address the problem themselves, rather than having the federal government’s department of Indian affairs get involved.

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