Annual Salary for First Nations Chiefs

How much do aboriginal chiefs earn annually?

Under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which the Canadian government passed in year 2013, aboriginal bands (about 580 bands covered under this law) are required to post their chiefs’ earnings on the federal Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development website by the end of November 2014. Only 56% of them have submitted their records so far.

Key Findings of Chiefs Incomes Survey

  1. Incomes earned on reserves are NOT subject to income tax (ie, tax free)
  2. In year 2013, at least 35 chiefs made more than $100,000 base salary, excluding expenses and other special pay.
    — Chief’s untaxed income of $100,000 is equivalent to regular Canadian taxable income of about $150,000
  3. The median salary was around $60,000 between $50,000 and $75,000.
    — Chief’s untaxed income of $60,000 is equivalent to regular Canadian taxable income of about $80,000
  4. At least 105 chiefs collected more than $100,000 salary if other expenses and benefits are included.

Hot Discussion – Number Crunching?!?!

Chief Ron Giesbrecht, of the the tiny Kwikwetlem First Nation in British Columbia’s lower mainland, took home an eye-popping $914,219 in year 2013. The band has a population of only 82!!! OMG! (See the income table below.)

Chief Jim Boucher of the Fort McKay First Nation, up in oil sands country north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, for more than two decades collected a salary of $644,441 in year 2013. The band only has a population of 826, of which 396 members live on its reserve and 430 live elsewhere. In comparison, the nearby Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, has a population of more than 100,000 and pays its mayor $127,671. How many years has Boucher collected $600,000 tax-free salary?!?! OMG! (See the salary table below.)

Chief Darren Whitford, of O’Chiese First Nation in Alberta with an on-reserve population of 842, earned $164,453 and charged $100,778 in travel and other expenses. By contrast, Mayor Fred Nash of nearby Rocky Mountain House, with a population of about 7,500 made about $42,000 on which, of course, he paid income tax.

Chief Paul Sam, of Shuswap Indian Band in BC with 87 residents, earned $202,413 in year 2013. Many Shuswap reserve residents have asked questions for more than a decade about the band’s spending, even going so far as to occupy the band office demanding answers that until now went unanswered. The houses are in disrepair. There are band members living with no water and sewer!!!

To read more on First Nations financial statements in details
click and comment.

Questions Unanswered

If chiefs are making so much money, why don’t they help their own people? Why do they keep asking the federal government for more contributions from taxpayers’ hard earned money? Corruptions are likely involved and worth investigation.

Year 2013: Six-Figure Chiefs’ Salaries

You can re-arrange the following table by Band, Province, Chief, Population, or Salary in either ascending or descending order. This table lists the base salary, excluding expenses and other special pays. Population numbers include both on-reserve and off-reserve band members.

Band Province Chief Population Salary
Kwikwetlem First Nation BC Ron Giesbrecht 82 $914,219
Fort McKay First Nation AB Jim Boucher 826 $644,441
Shuswap Indian Band BC Paul Sam 87 $202,413
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation NL Chief 1,497 $173,704
Samson AB Chief 8,013 $166,984
O’Chiese AB Darren Whitford 1,272 $164,453
Fort McMurray #468 First Nation AB Chief 712 $156,000
Moose Cree First Nation ON Chief 4,423 $154,340
Osoyoos BC Chief 531 $146,369
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation ON Chief 2,761 $143,524
Acadia NS Chief 1,491 $130,000
Opaskwayak Cree Nation MB Chief 5,714 $130,325
Doig River First Nation BC Chief 302 $127,210
Cheslatta Carrier Nation BC Chief 345 $123,033
Lax Kw’alaams BC Chief 3,688 $122,500
Enoch Cree Nation #440 AB Chief 2,452 $120,000
Kanaka Bar BC Chief 230 $117,000
Buffalo Point First Nation MB John Thunder 125 $116,918
Yellowknives Dene First Nation NWT Chief 1,489 $116,000
Glooscap First Nation NS Chief 357 $115,500
Mikisew Cree First Nation AB Chief 2,964 $110,601
Membertou NS Terry Paul 1,419 $110,000
Kwadacha BC Chief 535 $107,922
Leq’a:mel First Nation BC Chief 395 $107,082
Missisauga’s of Scugog Island First Nation ON Chief 227 $106,976
Kwantlen First Nation BC Chief 252 $106,011
Madawaska Maliseet First Nation NB Chief 359 $105,260
Saint Mary’s NB Chief 1,780 $104,765
Loon River Cree AB Arthur Noskey 569 $103,000
Wahgoshig ON Chief 318 $102,550
Smith’s Landing First Nation NWT Chief 339 $102,461
McLeod Lake BC Chief 531 $102,000
Blood AB Chief 11,912 $101,495
Woodland Cree First Nation AB Chief 1,108 $100,961
Piapot SK Chief 2,291 $100,503
Alexander AB Chief 2,114 $100,000

Data source: macleans

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to Annual Salary for First Nations Chiefs

  1. Dean Fenton on 2017/01/31 at 10:22 pm

    I think the time has come for the First Nations People to divide up their Reserves among their populations, and dissolve the Reserve. The people then should get jobs like the rest of all Canadians, pay income tax, land tax, school tax, etc., and live in the real world.
    Lawyers and politicians have allowed First Nations People to depend on the government for too long. From the looks of it, free hand outs have not been working. Maybe it is time to start earning a little self respect by providing for themselves.

  2. Darlene on 2016/12/11 at 9:13 pm

    I AM I TOTAL SHOCK AT THIS REPORT. WHERE ARE ALL THE REST OF THE 600 PLUS RESERVES? WHY AREN’T THEY ON HERE? WHY ARE THERE NO CHIEF NAMES ON MOST OF THIS LIST? ?? AND THEY WANT US TO SUPPORT CASINOS SO THEY CAN TAKE SOME MORE OF OUR HARD EARNED MONEY ONCE THEY MAKE SURE OUR CHILDREN ARE ADDICTED FIRST!! I JUST RECENTLY FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TIES BETWEEN CHINA AND THE NATIVES AND NOW THIS! MY SALARY FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS $5000 PER YEAR. AND I WORKED AND PAID TAXES MY WHOLE LIFE TO MAKE SURE MY KIDS GOT AN EDUCATION THEN THE GOVT WANTS BACK EVEN MORE TAXES OFF MY $5000 PENSION. I’M CRYING SO HARD YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HOW UPSET I AM.

  3. David Bethune on 2016/09/30 at 5:40 pm

    $914,209 for a band of 82 ,Something wrong with this ..He is receiving $11,149 for every person in the band as a salary.i wonder how much the band receives per year and with a salary like this what is left for the people

  4. David on 2016/03/09 at 3:15 am

    First Nation communities are totally different from the rest of Canada. Regular Canadian pay provincial and federal income taxes to help fund government-assisted programs. However, the native living on reserve don’t have pay any income taxes, and yet they’re allowed to receive funding for the same government-assisted programs. How is that fair to regular Canadian??? Sure, there are other taxes, such sales taxes, fuel taxes, etc. Everyone pays them, but those taxes account for small portions of total household income. Income taxes are the biggest expense for every household (individual or family), and yet the native living on reserve are exempt from paying income taxes and they want to enjoy the same government support as the regular Canadian. “One nation, two systems” just doesn’t work well, like French Quebec vs English the rest of Canada, or Syrian refugees vs Canadian citizens…etc.

    • Terry Katerenchuk on 2016/08/23 at 3:55 pm

      well done, how true, don’t about the land claims, Calgary had a big one on the Stoney Creek bypass, plus extra lang given west of Brad Creek into Kanaskas country, now we are dealing with the east/west pipeline and the LNG plants, they are not concerned about environment, its about how much money they can get, especially the chief;s and council.
      It’s all about the money..

  5. Antoinette on 2016/03/08 at 6:44 pm

    Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

    In response to the Chiefs who make over six figures, I agree is sad but in response to this segregation thought and the us and them mentality…

    Majority of the programs are from the government and are paid like a non-profit organization. Majority of the first nation communities are fortunate enough to have businesses to keep their community afloat to take care of their communities through economic development. Municipalities and cities get their own financial assistance from the government, what makes a First Nation community any different???

    Also, I have references here to back up my mouth (… assuming you have time to read them, since you have time to respond to this article):

    Funding:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/how-does-native-funding-work-1.1301120

    Taxes:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxes/first-nations-pay-more-tax-than-you-think-1.2971040

  6. Dennis Johnson on 2015/10/07 at 11:50 pm

    MANY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WE LIVE ON THIS EARTH TOGETHER. AT BEST WE GET A 7 BY 6 BY 3 HOLE TO STORE OUR BODILY REMAINS WHEN WE LEAVE NO PERSON REALLY OWNS ANYTHING
    EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD has had battles.
    We do not take the land -only use it
    We all descend from travellers – natives originally from Asia-the rest from other corners of the world

    Everyone shares the parks -the crown lands and the highways and streets-the rivers and lakes
    Corrupt leaders tend to want a little or a lot more according to their level of greed and they tend to take more if their people do not question them
    Keep your head up and think about sharing
    Life is short

  7. Marilyn on 2015/08/21 at 2:41 am

    Why, why aren’t chiefs held accountable to all taxpaying canadians?

  8. Emmanuel on 2015/07/28 at 7:55 pm

    It’s obvious (like in any business or government) that some people will always abuse the system. Im tired of First Nations crying poor while paying no taxes and most of all “NOT TAKING CARE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE WITH ALL THAT MONEY”. This land is not their land, the world is for everyone.

    Emman

    • Jan on 2015/08/14 at 8:13 pm

      From reading your response to this subject,I cannot believe how truly sour you are!! You should be ashamed of yourself for being so arrogant and disgusting!! YES!! This Land is our Land!!! An you should consider yourself lucky that we are allowing you to walk and breathe on it!!

      • Brooke on 2015/10/01 at 11:41 pm

        Actually it’s not your land and it sure as hell is not up to aboriginals to decide if we walk on it. And it doesn’t seem like you understand what this page is for. All this page illustrates is the amount of money that the chiefs of the bands are making. The problem is that the chiefs are rewarding themselves with huge paychecks every year while the rest of the band members are making nothing.

      • Tired Whitey on 2015/12/15 at 5:26 pm

        Sorry, Jan, you’re wrong. Emman is right, it’s outrageous that the Chiefs make so much money TAX FREE and then let their community members live in derelict buildings without clean water. Canada belongs to it’s citizens – ALL OF US! not just the Natives…no native will ever “allow” anyone to walk or breath in their own home, get over yourself. Natives have it VERY easy, more easy than they realize it…they just abuse the system and then blame us White people for all their problems.

    • Dusty on 2015/08/20 at 2:18 pm

      Politicians make way more and when the Chiefs are done. They don’t collect anymore money!
      Politicians for canada should be paid in term only. Once they are done they should not get any benefits or pension. When you are done you are done and not a single penny should go to them unless they get elected in.

      • Gary solay on 2016/02/18 at 11:05 pm

        Stealing from the Canadian taxpayer is a criminal offence, if the Canadian government does not halt this theft and recover all the misused funds from the aboriginal Indians and the politicians should all be thrown in jail.

Leave a Reply

Feature Story

How Much Do First Nations Chiefs Make Annually across Canada?

Chief Ron Giesbrecht in BC took home almost $1,000,000 INCOME TAX FREE! His band has a population of only 82!!! Chief Jim Boucher in Alberta claimed an annual salary of...

Read more »

Top Financial Stories

How Much Do Tim Hortons Owners Earn Annually?

Tim Hortons store owner pockets each year: $265,558 and more (after tax & interest)!!! In year 2002 for an average Tim Horton's outlet: Gross earning: $1.5Million...

Read more »