Thursday, January 10, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, January 10, 2013

A newly released audit of the federal funding spent by the Attawapiskat First Nation has found significant documentation lacking for the $104 million transferred to the band between 2005 and 2011.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence responded Monday in a news release, which dismissed the timing of the leaked audit as a distraction from the “true issues” and claimed it was designed to discredit her.

“I remain steadfast on my journey and will not allow any distractions at this time to [waver from] the goal set forth,” Spence said.

The chief is on the 28th day of a hunger strike amid national Idle No More protests.

The audit was requested by the federal government to ensure that the approximately $104 million it provided to Attawapiskat between April 2005 and November 2011 was spent as it should have been. The accounting firm Deloitte was engaged to perform the audit in December 2011.

The funding was intended for housing, infrastructure, education and other services. CBC News obtained a copy of the audit before it was made public.

In a letter dated Aug. 28, 2012, that was written by Deloitte to Chief Spence and copied to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the auditing firm says that of 505 transactions reviewed, more than 400 lacked proper documentation. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)