For the first time in years, the financial statements from the Haudenosaunee Development Institute are publicly available online – and the numbers presented leave more questions than answers.
The auditors report on HDIs financial statements became available last Friday when a massive document dump went live online after court filings were made available to the public relating to Six Nations of the Grand River’s land claim lawsuit against the Crown.
HDIs financial statements were a part of their response to the claims by the Men’s Fire, and the elected council, that HDI is not financially transparent with the things they are doing on behalf of Six Nations, and now, as they claim — the entire Haudenosaunee world.
Financial statements, audited by KPMG, were included in an affidavit submitted by HDI finance officer Rick Saul. Those statements show the HDI/HCCC financial picture is broken into four entities — 2438543 Ontario Inc, a federal corporation named Ogwawihsta Dedwasnye, HDI and the HCCC.
Only the accounts for the HDI are included in Saul’s affadavit.
A total of $6.4 million in revenue was shown by HDI for 2021/2022.
However, Saul explained that both the numbered company and Ogwawista collect funds from various HCCC engagement agreements. HDI then bills those two corporations to fund its accounting, which is the only financial documentation that is disclosed in the financial statements provided to the courts.
The accounting for Ogwawista and 243, the cash and assets they hold and revenue generated for the year are not included in the court filings.
Some of the more serious revelations in the financial statements include a note that the Ogwawista corporation paid $130,000 in “success fees” to unnamed “delegates of the Council” — identified as either the HCCC Secretary Leroy “Jock” Hill or Ogwawista’s Directors Aaron Detlor, Brian Doolittle and Kelly MacNaughton.
The Haudenosaunee Resource Centre, run by HCCC Secretary Leroy “Jock” Hill, didn’t bring in any revenue but $261,162 was spent on salaries and benefits. Another $69,000 was also paid out in consulting and professional fees for the HRC.
The HDI says it received about $1 million in land lease revenue last year $527,000 of that went to “community language and cultural development”. Those dollars in part went to a language daycare run by HCCC Secretary Leroy “Jock” Hill — marking another spot in the financials where money flowed to Hill.
The report shows that HDI spent $338,176 setting up a “Toronto East” HDI office – with $161,412 going toward legal expenses and business development for that office. Another $113,318 went toward professional fees.
There are no details on which lawyer, legal team or firm received those funds.
HDI itself spent over $1 million in legal fees last year and $266,000 in consulting and professional fees. It’s not specified who received those fees.
The HDI received $150,000 from the Joint Stewardship Board (a partnership with the City of Hamilton regarding the environmental protection of the Red Hill Valley) and spent $90,000 of that on salaries, benefits and contract fees. It’s not known for who.
The HDI also brought in an additional $247,250 for “pipeline monitoring” and spent $137,567 of that on salaries and benefits. The HDI received $72,000 from farming the former Burtch lands.
The HDI brought in $6.4 million in revenue and spent $5.6 million by March 31, 2022, leaving them with a surplus of just over $811,000, according to their financial statements.
The money allocated to the HCCC, a body of 100 chiefs and clan mothers that collectively represent the Haudenosaunee hereditary government — totalled just $25,992 — about $260 bucks a person.
Saul’s affidavit reveals the HDI held a workshop in Brantford in November 2022 to discuss the financial statements with Chiefs and Clanmothers. Saul says it is HDIs policy to leave the communications to the public about the HDI financials up to individual chiefs and clan mothers.
No capacity funding was allocated in the statements for chiefs and clan mothers to facilitate those communications. No funding was identified in the statements for distributing audit information or holding meetings to discuss the financials.
No funding was allocated for training for chiefs and clan mothers during the year.
Saul says it is not the practice of the HDI to post the audited financial statements online and that there is not a requirement under Haudenosaunee law, Ontario law or Canadian law requiring the HDI disclose financials publicly.
This is the root of the lack of transparency and accountability echoed in both the Six Nations of the Grand River elected council and the Men’s Fire’s resistance to the HDIs participation in the Six Nations land claim.
Elected councils in Canada representing the interests of band members for any reserve community are held to disclosure standards set out in the First Nations Financial Transparency Act — ordering public disclosure of all funds paid to elected chiefs and councillors. The elected council have to comply with posting those financials within in a 120 day period. Non-compliance to those standards results in a financial hold on funding to that community.
HDI has never been required to disclose any financials to the public, despite acting as a representative for the Six Nations band list in it’s financial transactions with developers, municipalities and organizations.
The reports did not show any insurance costs for HDI, the HCCC or any of its corporate officers — leaving the personal liability risks to chiefs, clan mothers, HDI and any of its corporate officers unknown.