The federal government put Attawapiskat First Nations under third-party management Wednesday. Here are five things to know about the government's intervention policy and Attawapiskat:

1. Three levels of intervention

There are three levels of intervention policy the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development uses, starting with recipient managed intervention. At this first level, the reserve puts together a plan to get its financials back on track. Attawapiskat had been at the next level, co-management, for almost 10 years, and the government elevated it to third-party management on Nov. 30.  

2. The difference between co- and third-party management

The band council and the department agree on a co-manager, who gets signing authority for all accounts containing AAND funding. The band pays for the manager. Under third-party management, all funding goes through a manager appointed by the department to administer it. The manager, whose salary is paid by the band, decides which band staff are required to run its programs and services.  

3. How many communities are under intervention

The Assembly of First Nations counts 630 First Nations communities in Canada: as of Oct. 5, 2011, AAND listed 67 co-managed reserves and 11 third-party managed reserves.

4. What it costs

The direct cost of the intervention policy for First Nations can be significant: in 2009-10, the average cost for third-party intervention was $142,969. The band pays this cost. 

5. It's had mixed success

2010 government audit found the policy resulted in slightly fewer bands under intervention, but of those that were, 42 per cent had been under some form of intervention for 10 or more years. The audit also found it isn’t a cost-effective way to manage money, given the limited success.