Chief – Whitecap Dakota First Nation
Darcy Bear is Chief of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. He was re-elected as Chief for a seventh consecutive term in November 2012 and has served his Community, located 26 kilometers south of Saskatoon, since 1991.
Chief Bear’s leadership has been focused on financial accountability for Whitecap, self-government, and job creation through partnerships.
Early in his leadership tenure, Chief Bear and Council initiated a program to improve financial accountability. That led to correcting a 40% annual budget deficit on Reserve, a precursor to the financial and economic success the Whitecap First Nation has since earned. Many steps have been taken to achieve and maintain fiscal integrity for Whitecap including:
- 20 consecutive unqualified audits
- The Financial Transfer Agreement with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (1997)
- Consistent surplus operating budgets
Through a leadership role in self-governance, Whitecap Dakota First Nation positioned itself to sign the Framework Agreement for Self Governance with Canada’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan in January 2012. This represented a significant step forward for Whitecap as one of the earliest of all First Nations in Canada to sign such an agreement. It is, however, just one of many steps that have been taken by Whitecap under Chief Bear’s leadership. Other key initiatives include:
- First Nations Land Management Act (2004)
- Liquor Consumption Tax on-reserve agreement with Province of Saskatchewan (2007)
- Full GST on reserve Agreement with Canada Revenue Agency (2007)
- Real Property Tax Bylaw (ongoing)