08/27/2015 23:13 EDT | Updated 08/27/2016 01:12 EDT

30 of 70 Saskatchewan First Nations have yet to file financial reports to Ottawa

REGINA — Time is running out for dozens of Saskatchewan First Nations who will face funding cuts next week unless they get their paperwork done for the federal government.

The deadline to file was the end of July, but Ottawa won’t start withholding non-essential funding until Sept. 1.

Thirty of Saskatchewan’s 70 First Nations had still not filed as of noon Thursday, a non-compliance rate of 43 per cent.

They include the Thunderchild, Ochapowace and Onion Lake First Nations.

Onion Lake is challenging the First Nations Federal Financial Transparency Act in court.

The act requires reserves to file their financial statements, including salaries and expenses, on the Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada website where they can be viewed by anyone who has an interest.

The case was heard in Saskatoon Federal Court last week and the judge reserved decision.

In the 40 reports filed so far in Saskatchewan, the highest-paid chief is Norman Whitehawk of the Cote First Nation with salary and expenses totalling $194,142.

Second on the list was Chief Darcy Bear of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation with salary and expenses of $158,772.

The lowest paid was Wood Mountain chief Travis Ogle with salary and expenses topping out at $33,631.

Salaries for chiefs and councillors are tax-free.



The Canadian Press

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