APTN Investigates

Inside the Band Office

Indigenous self-governance is an essential goal for First Nations across Turtle Island looking to have a say in their future development and economic prosperity.

But, behind closed doors, the path to self-determination is not always as straight-forward as it seems.

In a special three-part-series APTN Investigates examines the challenges facing grassroots communities fighting for accountability and transparency from their leadership –

both past and future.

Peters' Indian Problem

Kenneth Jackson | April 12, 2024 | Part 1

Kenneth Jackson
Airing: April 12, 2024 | Part 1

A band council in the Fraser Valley has been found guilty of unlawfully denying band membership and writing themselves blank cheques.


Yet, council remains in power as elders die waiting for justice. Kenneth Jackson returns to a story he first broke in 2017.


Brittany Guyot & Tom Fennario | April 19, 2024 | Part 2

Brittany Guyot & Tom Fennario
Airing: April 19, 2024 | Part 2

Members of a First Nation in Alberta say urgent action is needed to increase financial transparency in their community.

Court documents raise suspicions of how band money is spent, while Elders are forced off-reserve after their house is condemned.

Part 3

Christopher Read | Airing: May 31, 2024

Christopher Read
Airing: May 31, 2024


Step 1: Document your requests to the First Nation you are a member of.

It’s important to show that you’ve asked your band first, prior to going to other sources.

Make sure you keep copies of all your correspondence.

If you haven’t already asked your band for their financial information, make sure to do so.

Example letter:

“Dear Chief and Council,
 I would like to request the records for _________ [your band], for the year of ____.

 Please respond by ______ [date].
 Thank you,
 [Your name] [Your contact information]”

Step 2: Check to see if your First Nation has a financial administration law.

You can go to this link and search for your band.


If your band has their own financial administration laws, follow the steps provided there.


More than 300 First Nations do not have their own financial administration laws.


If your band does not have it’s own financial administration laws, proceed to Steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Make an Access to Information request to Indigenous Services Canada.

Gather together copies of all your correspondence to your band. Then go to Step 4.

Step 4: Follow the steps at the link below.

Once you’re ready, you can go to this link to make your Access to Information request to Indigenous Services Canada.

You can always reach out to us.

If you have any questions or if you find something you’d like to share with Investigates, you can reach out to us directly at [email protected].