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Message to members on Tla’amin Audit 2021

On behalf of the Tla’amin Finance committee, I’m writing to share the 2020-2021 audited financial statements. The Tla’amin Legislature accepted the audit at a duly convened meeting on September 15, 2021. I encourage all members to review these statements closely and bring your questions to the finance committee or your elected leaders.

Three points that are important to know about the audit:

  1. Tla’amin received yet another independent clean audit opinion. Overall, the Nation continues to get stronger financially both in terms of management of financial controls and financial outcomes.
  2. While this is a consolidated audit, each Tla’amin entity/business independently conducts an audit and then reports its bottom line to the Nation. This means that accountability for performance of those entities remains with their board members.
  3. When comparing the 2020 audit to the 2021 audit it’s important to remember that our revenue was larger last year because it included a one-time 22-million-dollar Klahanie specific claim.

2020-2021 Financial Highlights

In 2021 the Nation’s total revenue was $34.4m and expenses were $22.6m. Much of the new revenue last year was proposal driven and attached to specific construction projects that will happen over multiple years. These funds are part of our “restricted surplus” which basically means money that is already spoken for, for housing, infrastructure, or program spending.

Cost of government and administration increased by 1.3m.

In 2020-2021, for the Nation’s non-unionized employees, Tla’amin implemented a living wage of $20 per hour minimum and made some overdue salary adjustments too. These measures were reviewed by the finance committee and are meant to attract and retain the best talent in our Nation. The biggest cost increase came from filling positions that had long been vacant on our Nation’s organizational chart, these include positions like public works, guardians, policy and HR.

Covid impacts to budgeting and spending

Tla’amin distributed extra funds to help families during Covid bringing our total member distributions to $1.5m in 2021. Safety requirements and social distancing meant that some departmental work including in-person services, workshops, and community engagement were underspent. Tla’amin holds some cash in investments which bounced back this year as the economy started to recover.

Infrastructure and Housing
In total the Nation brought in $7.5 million last year in proposal driven revenue for infrastructure projects that you now see happening throughout the community. Projects underway include firetruck storage, new cemetery, field house and Child Development Resource Centres feasibility, and Elders Centre proposal. In housing 18 renovations were completed last fiscal year and 11 were in progress at the end of fiscal year. To date 149 out of 230 Homes in the Nation have received a certified inspection.

Finance Team

Completing the audit this year provided some unique challenges. The Nation welcomed our new Chief Financial Officer Janel Silvey right as the process was starting and she undertook a crash course on Tla’amin accounts, balances, contracts, and vendors.  Having continuity with the auditor firm KPMG helped us in this regard because they were very familiar with the accounts.  We raise our hands in thanks to the Finance department for the great team effort to get our audit done on time and in good order. Thank you Jolene, Esther, Pam, Tori and Janel.

Thank you for reading this report!

You can reach me with any questions at davispmckenzie@gmail.com

Davis McKenzie

On behalf of the Tla’amin Finance Committee

About the Finance Committee

The Finance committee is comprised of a mix of elected officials and community members. Our current committee includes Finance and Administration Housepost Erik Blaney (changed to Lori Wilson effective October 1, 2021), Hegus John Hackett, Tla’amin member and Certified General Accountant Cyndi Egan and Tla’amin member Davis McKenzie as Chairperson.

The Finance Committee Audit responsibilities

The audit responsibilities of the Finance Committee are spelled out in the Finance and Administration Law- P.14. At a high level they include:

  • recommend selection, engagement and performance of an auditor;
  • review the audited statements and make recommendations to you including any special purpose reports;
  • monitoring risks and the effectiveness of risk management controls
  • review Law and, where appropriate, recommend amendments to the Legislative Assembly;