Policy
December 12, 2013

Financial skills for effective First Nations governance

In 1999, AFOA Canada (formerly the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada) was founded as a joint initiative of the Assembly of First Nations and the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada. AFOA Canada sees finance, business and management capacity as a bridge between the vision of independent, self-governing communities and its fulfillment.

Aboriginal finance and management professionals have an important role in helping to translate today’s community aspirations into tomorrow’s reality. First Nations want self-government, freedom from the Indian Act, and thriving communities in which health and education needs are met and Aboriginal cultures and languages are secure, and indeed flourishing.

Because effective management is essential to building social and economic prosperity, our programs and services are designed to raise the financial and management skills in First Nations. As a result, AFOA Canada has become the centre for excellence and innovation in Aboriginal finance, management and leadership. We focus on the capacity development and day-to-day needs of Aboriginal professionals working in all areas of finance, management, band administration, leadership and program management – the leaders of today and tomorrow.

AFOA Canada’s membership spans the country, from coast to coast to coast. Our members are leaders in Aboriginal communities, organizations and companies. We share a strong commitment to financial and management excellence.

Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager Program
AFOA Canada has developed the CAFM program for administrators working in Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada. The CAFM designation is increasingly the preferred credential for Aboriginal financial management, identifying financial managers who are highly qualified to meet today’s unique challenges. The designation is based on rigorous competency and ethical standards, and a combination of education and experience requirements.

Completion of the CAFM certification program is composed of 14 courses, five of which are delivered online by AFOA Canada. The additional nine courses required to receive the CAFM designation are delivered by colleges and universities across Canada. AFOA Canada now has agreements with nine educational institutions. We also offer a range of online course, instructed by respected and dedicated professionals.

Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator Program
The Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator program is designed to establish high competency standards and to provide learning opportunities, which will enhance the workplace performance of administrators in Aboriginal communities and organizations whether situated on-reserve, off-reserve, or in remote, rural or urban settings.

There are three ways to obtain CAPA certification: completion of online CAPA courses (the standard application process), in-person completion of 20 courses at intensive weekend sessions, or special arrangements through “Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.” PLAR identifies past learning that has been acquired through study, work and other life experiences and allows the evaluation of this past learning against CAPA competencies, so that appropriate recognition can be awarded.

Capacity development workshops
AFOA delivers a wide range of community workshops focused on the following themes:

• Performance measurement and reporting in First Nations;
• Developing an effective management action plan in First Nations;
• An introduction to comprehensive community planning in First Nations;
• Values and ethics in the Aboriginal workplace;
• Strategic planning in First Nations;
• An introduction to economic development;
• The politics of ethical decision-making for elected leaders; and
• Demystifying finance for elected leaders.

AFOA Canada has worked collaboratively with TD Waterhouse and T.E. Wealth to develop a two-day workshop entitled, “Effective Planning, Creation and Implementation of Your Trust,” and was funded by the First Nation Inuit Health, Ontario Region of Health Canada to design, develop and deliver two one-day workshops tailored to the capacity development requirements in financial management for Ontario First Nation health managers. We have also continued to provide capacity development workshops to Métis and urban Aboriginals at the request of the Office of the Federal Interlocutor.

National conferences
There is an increasing movement away from governance under the Indian Act as Aboriginal communities across the country take steps to strengthen their own governance practices, systems and institutions. AFOA Canada’s highly regarded and well-attended national conferences have focused on the role of effective management and financial practices in creating successful Aboriginal communities and organizations.

Our 2013 National Conference – held from February 12 – 14 in Toronto and attended by over 1,000 Aboriginal leaders, senior managers and professionals – focused on the theme “Relationship Building: Discovering Solutions to Complex Issues” and featured former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Youth initiatives
Many AFOA members struggle to fill key financial management positions in their administration. There are many opportunities and sources of assistance for those who want to pursue this career path, yet ironically few young Aboriginal people are pursuing an education in financial management.

This is why AFOA Canada has introduced youth-specific initiatives, such as the Aboriginal Youth Financial Management Conference Awards and the Norman Taylor Memorial Scholarship Program. Norman Taylor, a member of the Ucluelet First Nation and a founding member of AFOA British Columbia, was instrumental in the formation of AFOA Canada. The scholarships named in his memory are awarded to candidates who wish to take AFOA’s AFM or Professional Administrator courses, or who wish to attend the national conference, as well as to candidates who wish to pursue the full AFM program toward the CAFM designation.

AFOA Canada’s mandate also includes a focus on enhancing financial literacy in Aboriginal communities as a way to impart essential skills and to attract Aboriginal youth to the financial management profession. With the support of TD Bank, we have developed Dollars & Sense: Guidance for Aboriginal Youth, a half-day interactive and youth-friendly presentation aimed at middle and high school aged youth, to be delivered by AFOA corporate partners, AFOA chapters and AFOA members in schools across the country. Dollars & Sense is designed to be used as the basis for a high school curriculum taught by teachers in Aboriginal schools.

Journal of Aboriginal Management
The semi-annual Journal of Aboriginal Management is Canada’s only Aboriginal professional management journal. Each issue focuses on a theme and features interviews, profiles, information on professional development resources and industry articles from national and regional experts.

Current developments
In Canada today, over 37,000 Aboriginal people own a business – an increase of 38 percent over the past 12 years. Agreements like those negotiated by the Nisga’a, Dene, Inuit, and James Bay Cree have established the foundation of self-government, and upon this foundation Aboriginal people have established economic development corporations and finance and venture capital lending institutions to invest capital in businesses and economic expansion. The creation of Aboriginal-owned trusts furthermore enables long-term strategic planning.

Our collective efforts will help us to transition from business models in which we share in the wealth to economic arrangements by which we generate and own the wealth. This will put First Nations in the driver’s seat, deciding the direction, pace and character of economic development in a manner that enhances our cultural, political and economic health.

About this author

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Policy
 
The 1988 general election is remembered as a referendum on the...
 
We live in a time of economic turbulence that is quickly...
 
If you have checked any news media today, you’ll likely have...
 
Canada is a world leader in clean electricity, with two-thirds of...
 
Below is a piece of design fiction focused on what it...
 
In recent years, growing evidence about the importance of early childhood...
 
Last week, Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based financial services company, announced...
 
Urban officials dream of a future of “smart cities” that use...
 
We risk missing out on the potential “Artificial Intelligence” has to...
 
Everyone wants to change, become more efficient, and drive better value...
 
Canada’s international reputation for welcoming and integrating newcomers is unparalleled. At...
 
In the spring of 2018, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael...
 
In the three years to 2020, Canada will welcome almost a...
 
Most people go into public service because they want to improve...
 
Studies have shown that the global population will begin to decline,...
 
From research to policy implementation, Canadian public servants possess the knowledge...
 
The US and other Western governments are sinking more money into...
 
Almost one in two preschool children in Canada live in a...
 
In April 2017, the City of Edmonton approved a new Public...
 
We would like to introduce a new section on Canadian Government...
 
“Nearly every problem has been solved by someone, somewhere. The challenge...
 
Headlines about the world of work are often dominated by the...
 
In this episode, J. Richard Jones sits down with Martin Joyce,...
 
Over half a billion children live in countries that are falling...
 
According to a recent McKinsey study there is a potential for...
 
For policymakers around the world, Canada frequently leads the way on...
 
Over the past decade, major Canadian procurement projects have encountered increasing...
 
Since launching in 2014, Sweden’s radically ‘feminist’ foreign policy has gained international notoriety. While...
 
Three years before his death in 2011, Jack Layton released a...
 
Risk is always present in any undertaking, no matter the size...
 
While internal auditing has been considerably strengthened in most jurisdictions in...
 
Canada’s top soldier said the Armed Forces continue to be locked...
 
Ontario’s provincial government needs to act fast in building a coordinated...
 
The bootleg fentanyl overdose crisis that is sweeping across Western provinces...
 
Terrorism operates with deadly regularity. In June 2016, a gunman who...
 
BC Hydro said it is pushing through with it $9-billion, hydroelectric megaproject on...
 
Just as the federal government has begun consultations on cyber security,...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in...
 
Efforts by the government to counter the radicalization of young Canadians...
 
A new Viewpoint report titled “Is Ontario the New Quebec?” has...
 
The largest effort in 20 years to seek public input on...
 
Today, Calgary’s Frontier Centre for Public Policy released a study examining...
 
Fred Vettese, Morneau Shepell’s Chief Actuary, has released a report titled...
 
Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as...
 
Signaling a realignment of Canada’s involvement with NATO, Prime Minister Justin...
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the deployment of Canadian troops,...
 
The union representing Canadian postal workers has rejected a proposal from...
 
The latest report from The Conference Board of Canada comes bearing...
 
The Senate committee looking into Canada’s Syrian refugee program wants the...
 
United States President Barack Obama, speaking before Parliament last night, urged...
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said making it easier for goods and...
 
Yes, according to the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence...
 
In a little more than a year, Canadian banks and lending...
 
Early this morning, Philippine police confirmed that the severed head found...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in...
 
Protests by irate taxi drivers, roadside scuffles involving cabbies and Uber...
 
Upon receiving numerous complaints regarding add-on fees that turn making economy...
 
Canada, today, became a full supporter of the United Nations Declaration...
 
Officials and first responders battling the raging wildfires in Fort McMurray...
 
Veterans Affairs Canada is not adequately managing the drug component of...
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is poised to launch an...
 
The murder of a Canadian citizen abroad and the uncertainty of...
 
The adoption last year by the Canada Border Services Agency of...
 
A landmark Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for some...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) yesterday heard from several...
 
Conservation efforts in the Canadian Arctic will be obstructed and sensitive...
 
In dealing with the impact on the sharing economy on transportation,...
 
The melting Arctic ice caused by climate change is opening up...
 
At least one prime minister has resigned, another in under fire,...
 
Now more than ever, organizations in both the public and private...
 
Laid off workers in Canada will soon get some relief with...
 
As Toronto’s city staff prepares top release proposed regulations for taxis...
 
If the government intends to push economy-boosting measures, Canadian business leaders...
 
Corus Entertainment is poised to complete its move to acquire Shaw...
 
The Liberal government’s first federal budget laid out $11.9 billion over...
 
In the face of mounting public support for supervised injection sites,...
 
Growing public expectations on the speed at which they can received...
 
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is poised to hold a news...
 
The ambitious immigration plan of the Liberal government promises to zero...
 
A controversial investment protection clause in the Canada-European Union trade deal...
 
Faced with plummeting crude oil prices and the worldwide move to...
 
Do you think you are paying too much for your cellular...
 
Meet Bob Heart.  He is an outstanding employee who works hard...
 
It was a sad day for taxi operators in Edmonton Wednesday...
 
Uber Canada is prepared to work under city regulations, however, current...
 
Declining TV revenues caused by a growing shift in viewing habits...
 
The Province of British Columbia is doubling down on deepening its...
 
Yesterday, Ontario Supreme Court Justice John Sproat ruled that the Peel...
 
Changes to the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLTRA) have...
 
The much delayed and greatly anticipated April federal budget has now...
 
During its recent annual meeting, the World Economic Forum decided to...
 
In January 2015, Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Luo Zhaohui wrote in...
 
“Track Two Diplomacy” is a term that first appeared in the...
 
As the 21st century unfolds, agricultural exports continue to play a...
 
In April 2014, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development...
 
The world is an ever more complicated place and diplomacy, the...
 
Digital diplomacy has been heralded as 21st century statecraft. It involves...
 
In theory, successful digital government is pretty simple—deliver government services that...
 
Last weekend I had the honour of being a judge for...
 
It seems that everyone is down on the public sector nowadays:...
 
One of the most challenging debates today among Westminster experts is...
 
Canada 2020 has released a policy paper by Nic Rivers that...
 
Stephen Teles from Johns Hopkins University has coined the term “kludgeocracy”...
 
It is interesting to reflect back to 1995 when the internet...
 
Ontario’s future prosperity depends on engaging and encouraging meaningful participation of...
 
There have been many conversations within the policy community about the...
 
Accenture has come out with a report that looks at U.S....
 
A number of complex issues are emerging from the background that...
 
The need for local government innovation is now greater than ever....
 
Anyone familiar with NORAD and ballistic missile defence issues will remember...
 
Canada has been among the more active countries in conducting trials...
 
Government plays a central role in promoting business interests. Good government...
 
At 9:43 on the morning of May 17, 2013, a magnitude...
 
Social enterprises are the wave of the future. There are more...
 
The recent sparring between Justin Trudeau and Jason Kenney about the...
 
The federal government’s Blueprint 2020 initiative provides an opportunity to re-think...
 
Regardless of the outcome of the Sochi Olympics for Canada, the...
 
I was a judge last weekend at the National Public Administration...
 
The accounts of the reckless behaviour of our senators, the allegations...
 
The spectacle of the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, attacking his...
 
The spectacle of the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, attacking his...
 
One of the key responsibilities of government departments of labour is...
 
On October 15, 2013 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the...
 
The Comprehensive Community Plan…was a community-driven project, where we talked about...
 
FOA Canada sees finance, business and management capacity as a bridge...
 
According to the World Health Organization, up to 10 percent of...
 
In the spirit of nation building, Treaty 7 Management Corporation and...
 
The last 10 years has seen a new course charted for...
 
It is no secret that many worry about the alleged lack...
 
Frances Lankin’s and Munir Sheik’s review of social assistance programs in...
 
We do not like paying taxes. This is not big news:...
 
In November 2012, the government of Canada announced that the University...
 
Be happy, dear public servant reader, that you work for a...
 
Mining defines civilization. Without metals and mineral resources to fuel society’s...
 
The fruits of mining are all around us. Minerals and metals...
 
Employees at Natural Resources Canada are strengthening their science policy knowledge...
 
Over the past two years, Alberta’s government has put into place...
 
Internal policy capacity is an important topic at the present time...
 
Industrial policy is something that has often been criticized throughout the...
 
As a deputy minister for the past 13 years, most recently...
 
New Brunswick’s Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation has announced that it...
 
In January 2013, the government of New Brunswick announced the One-Job...
 
Half of a Yellow Sun is the 2006 award-winning novel by...
 
An analysis of the likelihood of an act of military aggression...
 
Governments are looking for ways to cut costs and provide more...
 
Policy, of course, is the engine by which government works. Policy...
 
At a time when technology is advancing more rapidly than ever...
 
Health Canada has developed six diversity collaboration tools that are readily...
 
In Budget 2013, the federal government responded to municipal concerns over...
 
The Yukon Territory labour market is changing considerably. To ensure Yukon...
 
A “made in New Brunswick” solution, a first in North America,...
 
To meet the current and future needs for skilled workers, the...
 
In May 2013 Canada will take on the Arctic Council chairmanship...
 
Regardless of stage and scale of development, governments need assurance that...
 
The year 2012 presented a milestone in Canadian history, marking three...
 
Canada is sleepwalking into a long-term care funding crisis and urgent...
 
Canada’s approach to industrial benefits is focused on providing business opportunities...
 
The North is, in political and administrative terms, a young land,...
 
Yukon is the only territory to have authority over its natural...
 
We are entering what Neil Bradford calls the third wave of...
 
Ontario and jurisdictions across Canada are entering a new golden era...
 
The U.K. deliberations decided real change will come when politicians see...
 
As foreign markets create an ever-increasing demand for minerals and metals,...
 
The not-for-profit sector is an important part of Canadian society. In...
 
As the global financial crisis continues to stagger forward, one thing...
 
As colonies of the former British Empire, a common history forms...
 
As colonies of the former British Empire, a common history forms...
 
Diplomacy is back. The short era of a single superpower is...
 
Mining and exploration companies are struggling to revise their business plans...
 
Kevin Costante is Deputy Minister, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines...
 
When I began to lead implementation of a new full-day kindergarten...
 
As spring blooms across the country, a group of public servants...
 
Talent, technology and tolerance represent what I call the 3Ts of...
 
Science and technology have been major contributors to the economic prosperity...
 
In a technologically enabled, globalized world where the bad lending practices...
 
Ontario’s Business Sector Strategy is a groundbreaking initiative that has challenged...
 
One of the unfortunate developments in the last few years has...
 
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the...
 
The federal Red Tape Reduction Commission, which tabled its report in...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.2 February 2007 High-profile financial mismanagement scandals have occurred...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.4 April 2007 For the past 17 years Jean-Pierre...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.3 March 2007 In December 2006, the Ontario government...
 
Two decades after the Thatcher government revolutionized the provision of government...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 IT projects Ms. Fraser, your recent...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.1 January 2007 Nicholas I, Czar of all the...
 
For much of the past decade, the government of British Columbia...
 
In recent years, the Ontario government and the Metis people have...
 
Natural resources have and will continue to play a significant role...
 
Confidence is an essential element of economic recovery. Many Canadians remain...
 
À l’image de ses diamants sans défaut, le Lesotho est un...
 
Like its flawless diamonds, the precious jewel that is Lesotho is...
 
Les administrations fédérale, provinciales et municipales versent des milliards de dollars...
 
Parallèlement à l’importance accrue accordée à la gestion du rendement, la...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.10 December 2007 A politician’s view of what a...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 Independent audit committees are an integral...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.7 September 2007 "Whenever the people are well-informed, they...
 
Policymakers agree that municipalities are critical to Canada’s future prosperity and...
 
Parliament is back in session and despite the “sound and fury”...
 
In the wake of the G8 and G20 meetings it was...
 
"Canada as a nation just doesn’t work well enough and we...
 
During the last few months, many public servants in Canada have...
 
Maintenant que l’excitation provoquée par les élections canadiennes et américaines est...
 
We’ve seen that real progress is achieved through First Nations building...
 
The Science & Policy Team Challenge was modeled after business school...
 
The historical legacy of the residential school era within the broader...
 
British Columbia’s Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation leads efforts towards...
 
In August, the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs held its annual...
 
When the global economic crisis hit, the federal government called on...
 
Navigating today’s complex social, economic and political issues is taxing our...
 
Charles Abrams, legendary urbanist and creator of the New York City...
 
The public sector faces many challenges this year. At a high...
 
Driven by a growing population and an export-based economy, transportation networks...
 
The West has spent so much money and treasure on military...
 
For Canada, unlike non-Arctic nations, the Arctic is a matter of...
 
The Canadian North is hot. Sovereignty, climate change, social conditions, spectacular...
 
The Arctic has gone from being totally ignored to being the...
 
L’Arctique, qui naguère laissait l’opinion publique de glace, est devenu récemment...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
The 1988 general election is remembered as a referendum on the...