January 13, 2009

It's Revealing

Above a list of the Squamish Nation Band Council and Band Manger with their salaries including Honoraria, Travel Allowances, Out-of-Town Travel Expenses, and Other Remuneration. It totals over$1,266,634. Take note that the top five in that list make over $100'000.

The Squamish Nation has not had a report on finances in over 3 years, along with no General Meeting in that time also. It has borrowed over $25 million from the banks. $6 million was borrowed 5 years ago for the deficit the Squamish Nation created.

Some (like Band Councilors) will say they don't like this information being out circulating in the community. I, and most of the community, will disagree with that. This is public knowledge for all band members to know. We have a right to know where our money is being spent.

I'm not one to complain about money. At least, I try to stop "money" from being a nuance in my life. I don't see money as a negative or positive force, but just that: an energy force. It can do good and can do bad. I also know in this modern age, it's a resource. Money makes the world go 'round. It can accomplish many things in many area's. Which is why I can't help but feel that $1.2 million is wasted on these bozo's.

I think there are many wonderful things that $1.2 million dollars could do for many things. Language revival for example. Or perhaps working on the abysmal self-doubt our youth have. Investing in artistic practice in our community. I mean, more then plaques and carvings. Musicians, painters, writers, performers, and the like. Or perhaps seed grants for community involvement. Or even a grant fund for community events (like pow wows, salmon celebrations, Skwxwu7mesh Day Festival, etc.). There's a brilliant idea for every one of our brilliant people.

In November, the SN Band Council voted in favor of a 6% wage increase to it's 500+ staff members. In mid December it votes to another 12%-14% raise on top of that 6% for it's 12 Department Heads and it's 17 Senior Managers. Some of the Department Heads (Like Band Councilors/Department Heads Gibby Jacob and Krissy Jacobs) make over $100'000.

The Squamish Nation has a budget of over $51 million too.

Did I come from out of a rock or is $100'000 dollars a lot of money?

Here's a better question: What is it that they do for our nation that deserves them to make $100'000. At what point do we as a community define leadership to make that much money? What is an acceptable salary for an elected official?

With that, I'll remind all Squamish Nation members that at the end of this year, it's election year. These politicians have allowed this corruption and debauchery to exist because it gives them power and money. Why change a system that benefits them?

....Because it's the right thing to do.

That's why.


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