CRA revokes charitable status of Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs' education fund

APTN National News
A trust fund under the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has had its charitable status revoked.

The First Nations Education Trust Fund was a registered charity set up to finance bursaries for First Nation students and promote education around issues like treaties. In June of this year, APTN National News reported that the fund had all but been drained of its resources by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

The charitable status was revoked Aug. 3 when “the organization has not taken any action in response to our earlier Notice of Intention to Revoke, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has now revoked the charity’s registration.”

In a financial report obtained by APTN, 10 transactions took place between 2008 and 2011 that saw hundreds of thousands of dollars go from the trust fund to the AMC bank account.

The report also showed that former AMC Grand Chief Ron Evans used the education fund for “bridge financing” when the AMC was facing a shortage of cash to meet its payroll and operational commitments.

Evans told APTN that it was the responsibility of the finance department to make those approvals.

The AMC was also warned by auditors BDO Canada that using the fund in this way could run afoul of the CRA and also put the directors in trouble.

A spokesperson for AMC said they weren’t prepared to comment when contacted.

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