Understanding Indian Trust Funds

Tibor Osvath presents at Creation of Wealth Forum

On March 31, 2014, Rae and Company’s Tibor Osvath shared his knowledge and discussed how Federal Indian Trust Funds are controlled and administered at the Creation of Wealth Forum.

Attendees left the presentation with a better understanding of the Crown’s (Canada’s) control over the large sums of money held by Canada on behalf of First Nations, including the many restrictions on a First Nation’s use and access to funds that have been credited to a First Nation’s capital and revenue account within Canada’s Consolidated Revenue Funds.

The presentation discussed how the source of funds payable to a First Nation will determine whether such funds can be paid directly to a First Nation or whether they must be paid to Canada thus becoming Indian Monies for the purposes of the Indian Act and the Financial Administration Act.  Canada’s duty to collect Indian Monies was addressed, including the issues faced by, and the limited options available to, First Nations when Canada fails to collect Indian Monies or a third party refuses to pay Indian Monies to Canada.

The presentation also examined when and how a First Nation may consider removing the Crown as its trustee of Indian Monies and to allow that First Nation to administer and control these funds through its own trust that is designed and tailored to meet that First Nation’s current and future needs and goals. 

Additional topics of discussion:

Balancing of DutiesCrown’s Policy on Duty to CollectSuspense Accounts and Payments from Crown to Third Parties.

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