Outrage Over First Nations Chief’s ‘Salary’ Misplaced

By on August 3, 2014
Mike Archer co-owner of the Today Media Group

By Mike Archer. I’ve tried to be outraged about the fact that a First Nations Chief made nearly $1 million dollars last year. I really have.

But other than the fact that he is First Nations I can’t figure out what it is that I am supposed to be outraged about.

According to documents released by the band Chief Ron Giesbrecht, of the Kwikwetlem First Nations band was paid $4,800 last year for his position as Chief. When the former economic development officer of the band resigned last year, Giesbrecht took over the post and was paid, as he should have been, the $80,000, which went with the job.

The Chief and economic development officer had $16,574 in expenses.

The only things that jump out at me so far are the following:

1) A First Nations Chief only getting paid $4,800 a year. Now that is an outrage.
2) An economic development officer getting paid $80,000 a year. That’s less than half what the economic development officers I know get paid.
3) Only $16, 574 in expenses? I know salesmen and women with more expenses than that in a single quarter.

OK. So no outrage yet other than the opposite of the outrage that is clearly expected of me.

Then we get to the big money. As an incentive, not unlike any salesperson I’ve ever known and most CEOs and people responsible for economic growth, the business growth of a company or the increase in shareholder value, the economic development officer’s contract made allowances for a 10 percent commission on the value of any gross profits the officer is able to generate for the band.

Again … looking for the reasons for outrage.

Then it appears. Last year, on behalf of the band, and in the proper performance of his job as economic development officer, Giesbrecht achieved significant economic development and profits for the band by selling a piece of band owned property to the provincial government. The value of the land was $8.2 million.

So, as he should have been, Giesbrecht, the economic development officer, was paid his one-time, 10 percent commission ($800,000) for doing what he was being paid to do under the terms of his contract in the normal course of business.

What on earth this perfectly normal, correct, legal and above-board transaction has to do with the fact that Prime Minister Harper only makes $327,400 a year or that Christy Clark makes $193,532 a year is beyond my limited powers of reasoning.

Why weren’t Clark’ and Harper’s salaries compared to some of the most outlandish salaries of bank CEOs or those of the companies which were so miserably managed they required massive infusions of taxpayer cash when the world economy was destroyed by a small group of rich white men in 2008?

Erica Meeks of the Aboriginal Affairs Department, said “The reported salary of the chief is very troubling and his community members deserve an explanation.”

Was she referring to the $4,800? Because I share her outrage over that figure and I agree that, no matter how small the band is (Kwikwetlem First Nations band is made up of only 84 people), we should be paying native leaders much more than $4,800 a year. It is an absolute outrage that, in this day and age, someone should be expected to live on $4,800 a year.

As for the ten percent commission, other than CEOs, realtors, sales people or others who make a living off of creating economic growth, I can only understand the outrage as being generated by a sense of jealousy that they haven’t been able to negotiate as high a commission as Giesbrecht’s predecessor did (Giesbrecht was merely filling out the end of his predecessor’s contract).

The fact that the Canadian taxpayers Federation (CTF) and the Harper government were able to convince the Canadian media that they and their viewers/readers should be outraged that a native man should be paid a reasonable commission for increasing the financial well-being of his band (to the tune of approximately $97,000 per band member) is the real outrage.

The requisite outrage the presentation of the story is clearly meant to elicit makes no sense whatever if you take out the fact that Giesbrecht is native.

If a real estate agent, business growth expert, salesperson or private company were to charge and get paid a 10 percent commission for increasing shareholder value by that much in a single transaction, the story would have appeared in the business section of the paper as a success story about a particularly astute business man.

Add the words, ‘First Nations Chief’ and it becomes a national outrage.

For shame.

 

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Comments from Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UCBIC) Facebook page:

UBCIC

  • AbbyLila JessBryan Williams Finally! Someone that sees through the sensationalist headlines! Unfortunately, I think the damage has been done, and it will take much time and effort to undo. Next, government will be bringing Enbridge to the Chiefs and council and trying to meet the Requirements of the Tsilhqot’in Nation Supreme Court of Canada Decision. The money we are talking about here is chump change compared to those execs and a lot of their share holders!
    Like · Reply · 11 · 12 hours ago

     

  • Marianne Sundown Good article..what mainstream Canada does not understand either is, there are no pension plans or other safeguards in place, when a Chief is replaced or retired, as compared to what gov’t and corporate officials receive upon retirement. I really dislike this racial outrage, because that is what I think it is, because he’s a Chief. This is the only time we get any mention in the news and it is so skewed and biased. I often wonder what we did as a people to generate such animosity!
    Like · Reply · 8 · 11 hours ago
  • Edith Fortier Need to dig deeper into AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada) – the trust monies and interest earned that they control for the Bands and should have the salaries and expenses of the AANDC employees published (made transparent to the public) as they make over $100,000 per year and less than half the dollars are transferred to the Bands.
    Like · Reply · 7 · 11 hours ago
  • KM Kamai really not tax payers money at all , money from resources sold or shared
    Like · Reply · 7 · 12 hours ago
  • Floyd Davis Here, here! Well done.
    Like · Reply · 4 · 13 hours ago

     

  • Jack Brown Excellent article, well written…
    Like · Reply · 3 · 12 hours ago
  • Justin Kane The thing is people have always felt this way towards first people’s… this topic is only giving them an avenue to express part of how they truely feel about all of us. Stereotyping the first people’s has always been an underlying factor and this only created more animosity. Why are we not addressing the government wages and especially the pensions they will get after serving a short term – way more then most of us make each year now.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 8 hours ago
  • Frances Harrop Gov is building up animosity – FN
    Like · Reply · 2 · 8 hours ago
  • Patrick Eugene Thomas A “Must Read” for anyone outraged by the story I’m the media and especially for the pompous prick who wrote the Province article
    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 hours ago
  • Cecil Mercer Wait till A Treaty is Settled..Look at Nisga’aTreaty..Corporations are Public..check it out..Millions Lost in Corporations..paying themselvez really..
    Like · Reply · 2 · 11 hours ago
  • Naomi Qwi-na Lee Very well said
    Like · Reply · 2 · 11 hours ago
  • Mike Rilstone This should be the outrage.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152221963261892&set=a.466185171891.256861.625871891&type=1&theater

    Photo

    Harper’s Fascist Propaganda Machine
    ==============================
    When he can  See More

    Like · Reply · 3 · 11 hours ago
    • KM Kamai Ya really , harper is trying to rally Canadians against the first nations , basically a neocon con job ,harpercons are resorting to the neocon hand book which says “Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed,”“Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united – and they can only be united against other people.” Leaders must always provide an enemy , Harper wants to make the first nations an enemy of the state , look for a false flag scenario anytime soon , hopefully Canadians will see through Harpers tactics
      Like · 7 · 10 hours ago · Edited
    • Today Media
  • Michael Hwang “The B.C. Treaty Commission, from 1993 to the spring of 2011, allocated $533 million to help First Nations negotiate — with $422 million in the form of loans repayable from the ultimate cash settlement from a comprehensive treaty, and the remaining $111 million in non-repayable grants.”

    My guess is that most of this money made it’s way back into the non-aboriginal community and they are left owing $422M back to gov’t.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hours ago
  • Bryan Bodell Good article.
  • Shalon Sims What a BS article. Why should he make an 800,000 one time profit from something he’s supposed to do as part of his job. What kind of retarded job is that? If selling your band’s land is the way to make that kind of profit then every economic development officer would just go around selling off as much land as they can. It’s a clear conflict of interest and a very shady ‘business practice’. I would be absolutely outraged if that was land that I owned a stake in. Just because something is “legal” doesn’t make it right.
  • Terry Mack Read people,.,.
  • Greg David Rene Aboriginal politicians are just as corrupt as non aboriginal politicians
  • JoAnn Cleaver He didn’t create income; he brokered the deal wherein the band sold land they’d owned long before he came into the picture. Realtors make 7% on the first $100,000, and 3% on each $100,000 after that (which is shared 50/50 with the other realtor involved in the transaction, and before expenses). 10% of the entire amount, shared with no-one, is pretty damn good work if you can get it. I don’t get why anyone is worth that kind of dough, First Nations or no…
  • Margaret Teneese It should still be an outrage…!!!! The Chief was privy to the information and took full advantage of the information. Why wasn’t the job posted…??? He knew what was coming down the pipe and took the job as CEO. Was he qualified..!!! Most likely not. I wonder how many technical people he hired to have all this figured out. Still stinks in my books. I just have to deal with similar corrupt Chief and council from my band so I can smell the s*@t from here. NOW you’re gonna see this type of bookkeeping all across the country. I already see the corruption being built into our treaty. 

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48 Comments

  1. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Bas Stevens Says:
    Isn’t it interesting how the Harper government only tells half of the story? This, to me, is very dishonest reporting by the media, other than the Today Group, who have taken the time to delve into “the facts” and have reported them honestly and accurately.
    Thank you for your honesty and integrity.

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  2. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Linda Drummond Says:
    Thanks for noticing what most of did not Mike. It certainly would be nice for a report to come out with the full report rather than only part of what we need to know.

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  3. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Harley Wylie Says:
    To The editor: Thank you for taking the time to do some fact finding for this article. It has renewed my faith that there are still some real journalists in the media. When the Musqueam Indian Band had the university endowment lands returned to them and the lease for houses expired (approx 99′) they began to charge fair market value – not the reduced/unrealistic rates that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) had charged the non-Aboriginal leasing the land. The way it was portrayed by media you would think a crime had been committed by Musqueam. If that was any other real estate transaction it too would have never been sensationalized.
    And when the Idle No More movement began the federal government was all over Attiwapiskat’ Chief Theresa Spence; saying she had a god-awful salary as Chief. When in fact the figure provided to the public was her salary as Chief AND her travel expenses. The members of this particular First Nation don’t appear to be suffering from the 10 % paid to their ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICER – in another article on this issue it explained they were each given a cheque for $10,000. If it were any other Economic Development Officer, in any other business/community it would have barely made a ripple in the news. Thank you again for renewing faith that there are still some real journalists out there.

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  4. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Davood Hersh Says:
    As a Chief, he was getting in excess of $35,000.00, plus expenses, plus a signing bonus.

    He doesn’t deserve a %10 signing bonus, for the simple reason the 80 or so member Band appears to not be able to afford it. The Chief was being paid according to what other Band members were receiving plus a few perks. Let’s face it, if an 80 member band starts dishing out a million dollars a year as a signing bonus, you can bet someone is going to get a little restless. Everyone needs to stop getting emotional and get some rules and regs down in black and white for any future endeavors of the same. Greed knows no boundaries.

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    • The Editor

      August 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Davood, Thanks for your comment. The Vancouver Sun and the National Post say quite clearly he was paid $4,800 in salary as chief. I don’t know where you get the idea that the band can’t afford his 10 percent bonus. The band just got $8.2 million (or $97,000 a piece) as a result of the land sale he negotiated as economic development officer. The notion that he gets paid anything near $1 million is a complete fabrication. It only occurred last year because of the 10 percent bonus he received which was prearranged and part of his contract as economic development officer. I say again; were this a story about a West Van realtor making a ten percent commission on an economic development deal it would have been in the business pages as a success story.

      On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  5. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    AbbyLila JessBryan Williams Says:
    Finally! Someone that sees through the sensationalist headlines! Unfortunately, I think the damage has been done, and it will take much time and effort to undo. Next, government will be bringing Enbridge to the Chiefs and council and trying to meet the Requirements of the Tsilhqot’in Nation Supreme Court of Canada Decision. The money we are talking about here is chump change compared to those execs and a lot of their share holders!

  6. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Floyd Davis Says:
    Here, here! Well done.

    From Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UBCIC

  7. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    On Chilliwack Today mare Says:
    No wonder I am moving to Chilliwack…..some right thinking folks living there….this is the only post across the country that provides a logical thread that hits all the issues on the head!!!

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  8. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Edith Fortier Says:
    Submitted on 2014/08/04 at 2:36 am
    You need to dig deeper into monies of AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) – the trust accounts they control for the Bands, interest that is generated and why not publish salaries and expenses for AANDC employees – (they make at least $100,000 per year and very few employees are from the Bands) they only transfer half of the dollars to the Bands if that.

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  9. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    On Chilliwack Today twitter_vihiway Says:
    Congrats, Archer…..you are the only journalist so far that has made a lick of sense….about this issue…I look forward to more of your writing…..I am going to move to Sardis!

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  10. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Donna Shannon Says:
    If he sold band land it belongs to the band just because you are the broker doesn’t mean the finders fee goes to you because he is the embodiment of the people their representative their choice to represent them so he can not accept this fee because it belongs to who he represents

    • The Editor

      August 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks for your comment Donna but I think you would have a hard time having a Realtor or a business person agree with your assessment of finders fee and commission arrangement. The band got $8.2 million, which works out to $97,000 each. If they didn’t receive that, or if the land was worth more, then the band has issues with him over the deal he made. But the fact he got paid a commission for an economic development deal is a perfectly normal business arrangement.

  11. The Editor

    August 3, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Annette Fox Says:
    I agree with your outrage, but I question the fact that politicians can also be CEO’s. As a FN on reserve status ‘Indian’, I think that politicians should either be running the business of being leaders not realtors. Selling the land and making a bonus is highly suspicious. If the mayor of the local city made a bonus for selling city land most city residents would be in outrage, and rightly so. There must be transparency for all politicians not only FN, so I hope the rest of the citizens of this country demand the same transparency of their local politicians.

  12. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Bruce Anderson Says:
    this guy is an idiot why should they be paid any dam thing with tax payers money that is an outrage, they do is I want,i want,i want fron the tax payers, piss on them and mike archer too

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  13. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

    On Chilliwack Today Steph Tremblay Says:

    You seem to be way off course with your comment. I know of no one in the public sector that works this way on bonuses. Firstly, such a contract should never have been drafted. It is illegal. A band is not like the private sector.

    • The Editor

      August 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Mike Archer Says: Then why did the government do such an illegal thing?

  14. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 7:33 am

    On Chilliwack Today Conrad Bobiwàsh Says:

    We should put the politicians on performance based scale,then who would sign up.Performance pay is 100 % a risk!sourcing out knowledge and leads that might end as a dead end.
    Being and educator and artist is similar,you earn the knowledge base and gain the experience and School Boards want to pay you the shells of peanuts.
    Everybody should be on performance pay,you would have different attitude towards the public.

  15. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Mireille Groleau Says:
    please read Mike Archer before passing jugement on this First Nations community…

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  16. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

    On Chilliwack Today Scott Waddle Says:
    should probably be exempt or paid out on a different bonus level. He didn’t create economic development, he just traded off an asset for cash. Economic development should increase the bands net worth, not trade it away for cash.

  17. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    On Chilliwack Today Norm Hamilton Says:
    The media jumped on this because they can use it to create “outrage” where they want, plus it follows what appears to be the intent of government … that is to redirect people’s attention away from the PMO, Senate, etc. Is mass media truly giving us the full picture? Although I have seen one article discussing it, there is little being said about the vast majority of First Nation leaders that are receiving a pittance for their efforts. That doesn’t sell papers nor please the governing powers. If Chief Giesbrecht was the economic development officer for a big corporation and managed an influx of capital such as he did, there would be praise and glory, but because he is First Nation a different view is taken. I believe the Harper government, and the media, are preying on prejudice to attain their own goals. The partial information and some downright misinformation that filled the initial reports seemed to be intentionally directed toward triggering bigotry. For me, that is shameful on both parts. Unfortunately, we as a populace, prefer to be entertained rather than informed. The press is quick to provide the former. I look forward to any discussion on this.

  18. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    On Chilliwack Today sinsyder- Says\;
    The question involves the creation of the 10% commission. Who created the terms etc.
    The $800,000 bonus is tied to the expansion of the SkyTrain, a plan which would have been known long before the new commission rate was implemented.
    Could be coincidence or the Chief may have promoted himself into the position foe tye expressed purpose of a personal windfall of a long known SkyTrain expansion.

  19. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Alberta EDO Says:
    Mr. Archer, you seem to be playing up the “people are only outraged because Chief Giesbrecht is native” angle, and suggesting that apart from that, everything was perfectly normal and copacetic with what went on in terms of his compensation. Well, as an economic development officer (EDO) working in southern Alberta, I can say I don’t make $160,000/year (double the $80,000 that the supposedly-underpaid Chief Giesbrech made, accourding to your point #2), and likely most of my other Alberta colleagues don’t either. Perhaps the EDOs who manage/direct their departments in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver pull in that hypothetical “double” amount, but I am relatively well paid at under $80K/year by Alberta EDO standards. So, I would say that Chief Giesbrecht and his predecessor were being paid fairly and in line (maybe even a bit above) with what the average western Canadian EDO receives – he was not be scandalously underpaid for his work as an EDO, as you seem to imply. Not only that, but commissions for land sales or bringing in new business are EXTREMELY unusual in this profession (you seem to be mixing up the work of an EDO with that of a realtor). For example, we just announced a new (private sector) multi-million agricultural research facility in the jurisdiction in which I work, and aside from my salary I will receive no additional compensation for my work – it’s what I’m paid to do. That’s the norm in this field. I’m not saying it might not be in Chief Giesbrecht’s contract, but again, that is not normal practice for the profession in western Canada, as the potential for problems (such as conflict of interest) and abuse is just too great. Maybe instead of scolding people for being shocked by and questioning the 10% bonus, you should delve into why that was written into the contract in the first place (in a significant departure from economic development professional norms in Canada)? Did Chief Giesbrecht really “do” $800,000 worth of work in this land sale to the province? This wasn’t like courting a new company to come into your jurisdiction, and negotiating back and forth in trying not to lose the sale to another locale – the province wanted the land, and pretty much the only negotiation would have been about the price. By economic development standards, this was not an especially difficult or pitfall-ridden assignment. Again, I would ask why someone gets $800,000 for essentially showing up to discuss what the final sales figure will be and sign the document. What Harper and Clark make are irrelevant to this discussion – they are probably overpaid for what they do as well, and I think most people feel that way. Chief Giesbrecht’s compensation (especially when it deviates from accepted professional standards) shouldn’t be immune to scrutiny and criticism either.

  20. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Clarke Smith Says:
    You all miss the point. It about transparency!! Did the Members know or approve the Chiefs bonus and commission. Apparently not. Members were not advised of this deal. What did the members gain out ot the deal? and What did they lose? Why are they asking for his resignation? members are supposed to be part of the decision making process, democaracy right? Just saying

  21. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    On Chilliwack Today G Fraser Says:
    The Chief’s salary seems reasonable for a band of that size. I doubt it was intended to be a full time job. For from “outrageous”.
    The Economic Development Officer’s salary of $80,000 is almost double the salary of the average Canadian so that makes it seem a bit high. Plus, how much NEW economic development is that position going to be bringing in *each* year for such a small band? Using the 10% commission as an example, is that one officer going to generating $800,000 in economic development each year, year after year?
    Sales people might expense over $16,000 every three months but I’ve known people who don’t earn that in a full year. We all know that most expense accounts are often/mostly used for expenses that are beyond the bare necessities to get the job done.
    My big concern is selling off tribal land for a one time huge payment equates to economic development. At first glance, it seems closer to selling something down the river. Of course, if that money was going to be used for a new venture that would employ band members and make them all profits, that would be good–but where would that happen if they have just sold off some land? Future generation may not appreciate not having that land. I think a band Chief that sells off land and gets a commission for doing so is certainly in a conflict of interest position unless he refrains from voting on the sale itself after fully disclosing his dual role and expected commission.

  22. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    On Chilliwack Today: Michael Kannon Says:
    The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs approved that 2013 budget with bonus, ‘Leaks’ Meekes knew exactly where to point and misconstrue to make everyone look away from the Aboriginal Affairs failing report card released the same day.
    Minister Valcourt failed in the critical areas of making community better and Meekes points to the Chiefs. It’s a shameful act of a public administrator of billions of dollars and great unilateral powers.

  23. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    On Chilliwack Today: facebook_dirteafairyprincess Says:
    I love your outrage, thank you for the time you spent writing of your outrage.

  24. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Matthew Says:
    I agree that his renumeration isn’t a big deal compared to other leaders in industry, but I still think that kind of payment is a big deal. Was that sale solely due to his efforts? I doubt it. That’s what CEO’s in the west do – they claim economic benefits are solely do to them and then take a large chunk. In reality, it’s mostly a collaborative effort.

    In Japan the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay is much smaller and works very well.

    So yes, I agree that this shouldn’t have been singled out because it was a native leader. But it does highlight a long standing problem – because if that money was shared between everyone in the band, they’d all likely be better off. There’s plenty of evidence that inequality in general creates problems, hence concern about massive CEO payments.

  25. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    On Chilliwack Today facebook_carol.aiabens Says:
    I don’t get how a chief and an economic officer, which by the way is one person, can legally sell indian land… conflict of interest right there…. that looks like corruption to me, provincially and the chief…

  26. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Pat Says:
    Really astute analysis. Seems if you’re First Nations, you can’t win for losing. Stay poor, and you’re a lazy bum. Get rich and you’re A DISGRACE!

  27. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Zig Zag Says:
    Ya I guess a middle-aged white guy living in Chilliwack knows a lot more than the members of the band whose chief took home nearly a million dollars in one year. Why should they be outraged even if they only make around $15,000 each on average… As for $97,000 per member as a result of the $8 million land deal, are you so naive as to think the band council is gonna hand that money over to the band members?

  28. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    On Chilliwack Today facebook_bev.cheechoo Says:
    Why can’t FNChiefs make a decent salary is beyond me..
    What about the crown corporate executives ?? Their percentages for their good work? Are not the FN Chiefs working hard for their people? Regardless of size??? FNC get no pension? No , it’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it…

  29. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    On Chilliwack Today: Alan Hooper Says:
    I don’t know that selling a piece of land, is anything more than, exchanging one asset for another. In fact he may have sold it for less than fair market value, for all we know, and still received a $800,000 bonus. I wonder if any of the other band members have received a pay check as a result of this transaction and what economic development has taken place? An economic development officer should have developed the land, and created lasting jobs for his membership.

  30. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    On Chilliwack Today pam Says:
    In reply to Edith Fortier.
    I was wondering when someone was going to mention this. I for one would not mind knowing what AANDC ministers, employees salaries are. they have the head offices and sub offices in each province. how many employees are there in each province? how many total employees in canada? what are their salaries? when they retire, how much do they get? this should also be posted.

  31. The Editor

    August 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    On Chilliwack Today ResDawes Says:
    I SO agree with Mike Archer on this. First Nations are the only government who have to manage 3 levels of government programming and also have to work to create an economy in order to drag their communities out of poverty. I happened to notice that Port Metro Vancouver has about 6 faceless bureaucrats all of whom make over $500,000 as mere managers, probably all government appointees, and they get that big salary whether they accomplish anything at all. Agreed, if it were some white guy fat cat, no one would even blink about him making 800k in one good year. But because he’s a Chief of a FN, one of the most difficult jobs in the world, we’re all supposed to be horrified. When the Feds and the Province stop standing in the way of FNs trying to claw their way out of the 3rd world, and FNs become drivers of their local economies then we can all applaud the people who made it happen.

  32. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 9:14 am

    On Chilliwack Today Alex Currie Says:
    It was suggested by a local editor I look at your piece re Chief Ron Giesbrecht following a conversation this morning about this affair.
    An interesting perspective which I can, at least in part agree with.
    However, the commission argument not withstanding, it appears that as Chief he signed the contract with his predecessor to be Economic Development Officer which included the 10% commission.
    Technically that contract died when the predecessor left as no doubt it was a personal services contract.
    It would be a truly odd contract that said person A is who the contract is drawn in favour of but if he leaves or dies, the Chief can substitute anyone he pleases including himself. There is an obvious conflict of interest here. How do you substitute yourself under these circumstances and retain your credibility?
    In addition, who is to say that the ground work was not done by the predecessor and all the Chief had to do was mop up the details and close the deal. Maybe we haven’t heard from the first guy yet.
    I would have the same questions if he was white, black, polka dot or FN.
    The problem we all share is that we have no access to the contract nor the file on the whole deal from start to finish so we understand the whole picture.

  33. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

    On Chilliwack Today: Nick 0 Says:
    You sir may need to look beyond your inflated sense of injury. Living here in the north, I don’t see a culture that was wiped out. There are hundreds of cultures out there that were treated horrifically and when you talk about cultures being wiped out, you’d better take your head out if your posterior and reevaluate your comments. Yes, mistakes and travesties were made and carried out. I am definitely not minimizing the scale of the pain inflicted on the aboriginal people here. At what point do you think that the use of public funds should be accountable? We are fortunate enough not to be Jews in WW2 Europe, Palestinians, Indians of Asia , Cambodians, Bosnians, Apaches, the list goes on and in.

    PS I do agree that CEO’s, giant corporations and government officials should be held accountable, but you are confusing the issue here.

  34. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

    On Chilliwack Today: Marie Says:
    Submitted on 2014/08/05 at 1:12 pm
    The Chief is double-dipping, he’s paid to represent his tribe/band.
    How can he qualify to earn commission when that’s part of his duties as Chief representing his band? He’s a paid official!

  35. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

    On Chilliwack Today: Monica Rego Dobrowolski Says:
    This is why you read past the headlines.

  36. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 9:44 am

    On Chilliwack Today: facebook_tia.sieber.7 Says:
    Submitted on 2014/08/05 at 4:26 pm | In reply to Chris D Lee.
    Chris D Lee, You are so RIGHT! The world should definitely know the TRUTH about how the money is being spent in Canada! And Maybe YOU should tell it!!!

  37. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Chris Lee Says:

    Nick O,

    Perhaps, you could carefully read the post I wrote.

    In addition…

    I work all across Canada with First Nations people’s.

    So, I’m extremely well educated on the issues on First Nation’s and Canadian relations and histories. Especially, in northern communities.

    Our FN neighbours have a long way to go yet before they are living true cultural practices and traditions in my opinion.

    Plus true cultural experiences add to our cultural, heritage and tourism industry of Canada.

    Why can’t you and I have a true adult conversation withou you being rude, disrespectful and abusive by using terms like telling me to get my head out of my …. You know what.

    I welcome a healthy conversation. Do you and we as adults need to be poor role models to our youth and disrespectful to woman and seniors who are reading this by being a cyber bully, rude or disrespectful?

    I would never start pulling out a measuring stick to say who had it worse in life during times of war, conquering the world or oppressing other races.

    The point is I live in Canada and in my life time our First Nations people’s have been victims of residential school and other abuses.

    As a Canadian I have no problem helping our living survivors from our FN neighbouring communities.

    One way we can help our neighbours is to stop belittling the abuse and oppression that is and has happened. One way for all of us to help is to stop measuring their hurt, abuses and healing journey to other races and other people’s abuse and war journey’s or vise versa.

    I do like your boldness Nick O…I hope you can apply it to being a good leader to stand up for those who don’t have a voice like you do.

  38. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    On Chilliwack Today Dan Thompson Says:
    The cause for outrage is this you moron -That money came straight out of my fucking pocket along with the pockets of all the people who pay tax and are not a drain on society. The insanity has to stop!

  39. The Editor

    August 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    On Chilliwack Today John Frank Says: In reply to twitter_winklerluap.
    This is the only comment here that makes sense. Chiefs work for the benefit of the whole band, not for themselves — uh, except of course, in Westbank (Westside) BC where individual band members work only for themselves as well.

  40. The Editor

    August 6, 2014 at 7:08 am

    On Chilliwack Today Brown_Elvis Says:
    I remember being Chief of the Red Rock Band and “NOT” getting paid at all, only for our mileage and meals, and we posted our financial records every month in two locations on the Lake Helen Reserve in Nipigon, Ontario, but, it’s a different story today.
    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Today-Media/447088788677534?ref=hl

  41. The Editor

    August 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

    On Chilliwack Today CDL Says:
    Dan,
    What makes you think you can break verbal abuse laws by calling the editor or people commenting names and sweating at them?

    Have you no respect for children, woman and seniors who read this paper?

    It is unfortunate our governments and media continue to make us Canadians believe we pay for First Nations people. In fact, that is far from the truth.

    What it is does is create hate in our hearts like you have. It’s a shame what our governments do to us.

    Did you know according to statistics Canada there are double the amount of non-aboriginals on social assistance then Aboriginal people?

    Did you know only a small amount of Aboriginals have used social assistance in their life time according to statistics Canada?

    Most of these people were either people with disabilities who should have been on disability pension instead of social assistance programs, elders who can’t work or people who leave in remote areas where our governments make it impossible for remote or rural communities to survive.

    Did you know First Nation’s subsidize us more then we subsidize our FN communities?

    Did you know any corporation on a reserve pays the highest taxes in Canada?

    Did you know the out of 600 FN about 130 collect taxes and others are on their way to it. And most FN who work opt in to paying income taxes that subsidize all Canada and they do so without complaint?

    Don’t believe everything our government wants us to believe. They are quiet corrupt in my opinion.

  42. The Editor

    August 7, 2014 at 7:22 am

    On Chilliwack Today Dave Says:
    The difference being, as economic development officer for the first nation (essentially, and for all intents and purposes, a political body like a city government or municipality) he is being paid a salary (80,000) to manage and secure industry to support economic development..namely the creation of jobs. Persuading a few select Band Members on Council to agree to afford him 10% of the value of a land sale in no way reflects any kind of economic development..it is merely an individual benefiting from a public land sale. I can not imagine the fury in my city if an economic development officer was paid a 10% equivalent of any land sale occurring. It’s ludicrous and I can not possibly imagine why you would not see it as such.

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