Delegates from last year’s Aboriginal Trust and Investment Workshop.

Delegates from last year’s Aboriginal Trust and Investment Workshop.

By Marci Becking

TORONTO – Kelly Rodgers, president of Rodgers Investment Consulting, says that First Nations need to make sure their auditors are involved when starting up trusts or direct investment opportunities or suffer the consequences of Bill C-27, otherwise known as the First Nations Transparency Act.

“It’s important to involve auditors in the front-end stages,” says Rodgers who founded her business in 1993 to provide consulting services which primary focuses on those First Nations, non-profit organizations, individuals and families with significant investment assets who require professional investment management.

Bill C-27, the First Nation Financial Transparency Act was passed last March. It requires First Nations to publically disclose audited consolidated financial statements and schedules for remuneration paid to chiefs and councillors. It requires that this information not only be provided to band members, but also posted on the First Nation’s website and federal Indian Affairs website.

“There is a real disconnect between the legislation and accounting,” she says of Bill C-27 which, in a nutshell, forces consolidation of Band-controlled entities. “There are no links made between legislation rules and accounting rules. With Band-controlled entities, First Nations would be required to publish private business and investment information to the public. The right way to set up a trust would be a situation where trustees are elected and would be the decision makers for provisions of the trust.”

Geewadin Elliot, Principal Consultant of NorthWind Alliance says that more communities are becoming involved in learning about Trusts and Investing.

“Many of my colleagues believe that there is a ‘paradigm shift’ occurring with respect to First Nations becoming real owners and active participants in Resource Development projects and business opportunities occurring in their traditional territories. Traditionally community Trusts use financial instruments and services of investment managers and consultants to help grow their portfolios.”

The 10th annual Aboriginal Trust and Investment Workshop will be held May 6-8 in Niagara Falls.

“This year’s workshop will introduce Impact Investing, which has limitless opportunities for community Trusts to invest their capital into resource development or community projects in addition stock markets on Wall Street and Bay Street. These are truly exciting times for our people.

“We are a small, tightly focused organization by design. Our small size enables us to form close relationships with each client and to fully customize our services to each client’s individual need.  The primary service provided to clients is directed toward ensuring the appropriate management of investment capital. This includes portfolio evaluation, investment policy design and manager search services for organizations and individuals. It also includes education and ongoing support to Investment Committees, Boards, Trustees and Councils to ensure appropriate and consistent governance of the capital management process.”

This accounts for over ninety percent of the firm’s revenue. The second area of business for the firm is focused on broader investment issues. It includes analytical work within the mutual fund industry and portfolio manager and investment process analysis for corporate investor relations programs.

This area of the business accounts for less than ten per cent of the firm’s revenue. Since its founding in 1993 the firm’s commitment to the Aboriginal, Non-Profit and Private Wealth sector of the industry has strengthened. Since 1996, Rodgers Investment Consulting has worked with a number of First Nations and Settlements in northern, western and central Canada and this continues to be a growing and significant part of our business.

The firm aims to develop creative solutions to the needs and concerns of communities, individuals, families and organizations. For more information on the 10th annual workshop, contact