first nations

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Are First Nations reserves in trouble? The recent coverage of northern Ontario’s Attawapiskat reserve and its squalid conditions suggest the answer is “yes.” So too Ottawa’s decision to put Attawapiskat band finances under third-party control.

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The federal government spends almost $12-billion annually on aboriginal matters, with much of it transferred to First Nations for governance, education, infrastructure and income assistance. That figure doesn’t include spending by other levels of government, but given the amount of just federal tax dollars at stake, Ottawa’s new legislation to require transparency and accountability on reserves makes eminent sense.