Dispelling Myths about First Nations Chief’s Salaries

First nations chiefs are essentially CEOs these days. And with the First Nations Financial Transparancy Act we can see how much they’re making – see here for the data.

Now that list includes counselors so I pulled only chiefs and based this on the results.

Remember, these are CEOs. In addition to managing Treaty & Indian Act money coming in from the government they also manage various band run businesses, land and many other organizations.

Average salary: $80,00
Median salary: $75,000 (median Canadian salary is $70,000)

# paid less than poverty line: 76 (11%)
# paid less than canadian average salary: 179 (26%)
# paid less than middle class salary: 230 (34%)
# paid less than canadian median salary: 286 (42%)
# paid middle class salary 185 (27%)
# paid more than canadian middle class salary: 264 (39%)
# making it into the top 100 highest paid CEOs: 0

The highest paid chief made $930,793 but remember most of that (86% to be exact) was a bonus for negotiating a $8 million land deal for the band.

Only 15% of chiefs are even classed as “rich” (earning over $125,000 per year). To put that into perspective, more chiefs are earning less than $30,000.
So it looks like in general the “rich chief” myth isn’t just misleading, it’s completely wrong.

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