The Certificate in First Nation Tax Administration provides the knowledge and skills needed to design and operate a taxation system using the powers outlined in the First Nation Fiscal Management Act. It examines how First Nation government tax policies can be used to promote economic development and finance and build infrastructure. The program pays particular attention to communicating tax policies and laws to Chief and Council and taxpayers. Other skills developed in the program are establishing legal framework, managing the assessment and appeal processes, setting tax rates, administration – collection, enforcement and resolving disputes and more.
The program is led by industry experts and is intended for First Nation property tax administrators, persons working for First Nations in economic development and/or property taxation, persons with interest in the field, persons working for firms desiring to do business on First Nation lands and persons working for other governments with an interest or requirement to work with First Nation property tax systems.
During this accredited certificate program, 8 courses are completed in one-week increments on campus at the Thompson Rivers University. The courses are:
- Introduction to First Nation Taxation
- Assessment and Assessment Appeals
- Establishing First Nation Tax Rates and Expenditures
- Administration – Collection, Enforcement and Dispute Resolution
- Communications, Taxpayer Relations and Dispute Resolution
- Service Agreements
- Introduction to Infrastructure Financing
- Infrastructure Finance II.
The FNTC has developed a student bursary program to provide limited financial support to individuals working in administration for First Nation governments in Canada to attend the accredited certificate program.
Who are you?
Alanea Holmstrom, Osoyoos Indian Band member.
Why did you sign up to take this certificate program?
I signed up for Tulo because I want to grow and learn in my career, I started with the Osoyoos Indian Band as a Data Entry Clerk. About a year into my position there was a position that came up in the Lands and Taxation Department which led me to taking the First Nations Tax Administration program at Tulo.
Thoughts on the program and your biggest takeaway?
I truly appreciated the program and the way it was set up. There is so much support in assisting people who would like to grow in their career and learn something new in a positive environment. In addition, the level of support from the hotel rooms, to the bus rides and the meal cards made the course that much easier to navigate as a mature student. The classroom setting is very supportive, and the lessons are delivered in a way that assists in learning how to facilitate discussions.
How will having this certificate change your job/career?
This certificate has assisted me in developing a career and making this more than a job. From the discussion in class to hearing what other First Nations have been able to accomplish once you know your rights and jurisdiction. Tulo is very inspirational, and I came back highly motivated to make a difference in my own community. I feel as though Tulo gave me the strong foundation I needed to begin making a difference. I was entirely new to taxation and had no previous experience. There is no question in my mind that I would not have been able to complete my work and stay on schedule according to our laws if I did not have the Tulo support. The timing of each of the courses really set me up for success because they coincided with the tax cycle.
I am currently working as a Tax Administrator with the Osoyoos Indian Band. I am working on developing a strategic community plan which will lead into a long term capital planning for the future of OIB. I see many areas to improve my community and the means to make it happen.
How will your First Nation benefit from you having this certificate?
This certificate program has given me a ton of amazing ideas to inspire the members. I see taxation as a way to build communities, I see the value I believe this is how we will get back to our roots as First Nations. Taxation is all about facilitating community with everyone contributing equally to sustain our institutions and our future.
Any final thoughts
I really enjoyed the program and I am looking forward to taking any new courses Tulo has to offer. I really enjoyed the learning experience and to hear presentations from so many different perspectives, and presenters.