11/10/2011 07:51 EST | Updated 01/10/2012 05:12 EST

Shelter billing may breach privacy of First Nations women:exec director

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. - First Nations women who stay in shelters may have a privacy problem due to the way their stay is billed.

Ann McArthur of Battlefords Interval House says the woman's home reserve is responsible for covering her costs until she finds a permanent home off-reserve.

But she says some reserves say they can't afford to pay those costs.

Aboriginal Affairs spokesman Trevor Sutter says, in most cases, the reserve pays the costs and then the department reimburses it.

McArthur says that creates a privacy issue, because the temporary shelter has to bill the home reserve, which could identify the woman.

She says that's why transition houses would like to see Aboriginal Affairs pay for it all, so reserve governments don't know where these women are staying.