Indigenous activist demands transparency from Thunderchild First Nation
'Truth. That's all I'm looking for, is truth,' says activist Harrison Thunderchild
An Indigenous activist has launched a court application demanding transparency from his own First Nation.
Harrison Thunderchild went to Regina's Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday demanding that Thunderchild First Nation disclose chief and council compensation, as well as basic financial documents as required by the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.
"Truth. That's all I'm looking for, is truth. The process has gone on too long without the concepts of truth and transparency, and that's all I'm after," said Thunderchild to reporters outside the courthouse Tuesday.
Thunderchild said he wonders what the leaders are hiding, and he said it's unfair to the community.
"They're left to wonder, what's going on? What if? … Because there's nothing worse than not knowing, and all levels of government I believe have the expectancy from their people, to be transparent."
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is a co-applicant, and CTF donors have partially contributed to cover legal expenses.
"Everybody has a right to know what their leaders are doing with the communities' money. Thunderchild First Nation, the band leadership, won't disclose what's happening with the communities' money," said Todd MacKay, prairie director with the CTF.
"There's a lot of people living in poverty there. They deserve answers to know what's going on with their money."
According to a release, Thunderchild First Nation leaders have only partially complied with the First Nations Financial Transparency Act since its adoption in 2013, and have gone to court to block the legally required disclosures.
The Thunderchild First Nation has not yet responded to requests for comment.