CAFM 14 - Aboriginal Human & Fiscal Issues

Finance Managers are often asked to wear more than one “hat” and often tackle Human Resource and financial Issues in their organizations. The skills and knowledge gained will enable the financial officer to ensure that their organization hires, trains, and retains desired personnel. Through this course, participants will also gain the skills and knowledge that will enable them to better identify, review and address some of the fiscal challenges of an Aboriginal Financial Officer.  This course covers the following:
  • Human Resources issues focusing on increasing accountability
  • HR practices relating to recruitment, selection and retaining employees
  • HR practices relating to Job descriptions and salary scales
  • Employment Law and legislation
  • Identifying and Developing Financial and strategic alliances

Course Fees:

  • Members: $535 (plus applicable taxes)
  • Non-members: $645 (plus applicable taxes)

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Course Description

This course examines some of the human resource and financial issues a financial officer may face when working in an Aboriginal context. It offers participants the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge needed to fulfill one of the roles of a financial officer: that of a human resource manager.

The skills and knowledge gained will enable the financial officer to ensure that their organization hires, trains, and retains desired personnel. Through this course, participants will also gain the skills and knowledge that will enable them to better identify, review, and address some of the fiscal challenges of an Aboriginal Financial Officer. The framework for course discussions is current initiatives – both at the national and professional level – addressing issues related to the present fiscal relationship between Aboriginal governments and the Canadian state, with particular attention given to issues related to accountability.

The practice of Aboriginal-designed financial management is still new, and initiatives vary from community to community as a result of the diverse experiences, cultures, and environments of individual communities.

Thus, the development of one model or approach to addressing the many Aboriginal fiscal issues, has not been (and may never be) developed. However, we can learn from the experiences of others, in other communities, and either adapt or adopt approaches that are relevant and appropriate to our own community's experience and reality. Much of what is discussed in the lessons arises from the experiences of different communities.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

Introduction to Aboriginal Human Resource and Fiscal Issues
  • become aware of current initiatives in the realm of Aboriginal fiscal issues, both at the national and professional level;
  • understand the goals and potential impact of these initiatives on both the profession of Aboriginal Financial Management, and Aboriginal communities;
  • understand the importance of, and how to, maintain competency in our profession;
  • gain an understanding of the demands on, and responsibilities of, financial officers to both internal and external stakeholders;
  • know the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Certified Aboriginal Financial Managers;”
  • gain an understanding of some of the barriers to addressing community accountability that may be faced by Aboriginal Financial Mangers.
Relationships, Roles and Skills in Aboriginal Financial Management
  • gain an understanding of the many roles a financial officer may be required to fill;
  • gain an understanding of some of the personal and communication skills needed to function as an effective and responsible financial officer;
  • recognize those skills which you bring to your work, and help you develop any additional skills you may need in order to become more effective and accountable in your work;
  • gain an understanding of some of the issues which may impede the development of positive, effective, professional relationships within the community, i.e. with Council, agencies and other community groups;
  • consider some of the obstacles to creating effective professional relationships with external stakeholders.
Human Resource Management – Part I
  • gain an understanding of some of the current issues concerning human resources, and human resource management, in Aboriginal organizations;
  • know legislation and responsibilities concerning employment relationships;
  • understand, and be able to develop, the following human resource management responsibilities: job analysis; job descriptions; job specifications; salary scales.
  • apply basic human resource management skills to the analyses required to determine GAPs and work flow; as a means of determining personnel requirements, and in developing work plans.
  • gain a basic understanding of legally required employee benefits; and current voluntary employee benefits.
Human Resource Management – Part II
  • develop skills in some basic human resource management responsibilities including recruiting, orienting, and selecting staff;
  • gain skill in evaluating and/or reviewing individual workers;
  • gain an understanding of issues related to and the different means of addressing staff training in Aboriginal organizations and communities;
  • gain an understanding of issues concerning the use of consultants and skills needed to select and manage relationships with consultants.
Identifying and Developing Financial Opportunities and Strategic Alliances – Part I
  • gain an understanding of some of the current issues concerning human resources, and human resource management, in Aboriginal organizations;
  • know legislation and responsibilities concerning employment relationships;
  • understand, and be able to develop, the following human resource management responsibilities: job analysis; job descriptions; job specifications; salary scales.
  • apply basic human resource management skills to the analyses required to determine GAPs and work flow; as a means of determining personnel requirements, and in developing work plans.
  • gain a basic understanding of legally required employee benefits; and current voluntary employee benefits.
Identifying and Developing Financial Opportunities and Strategic Alliances – Part II
  • become aware of some of the strategies and tactics which Aboriginal communities employ, as a means of decreasing the obstacles to identifying and developing financial opportunities, within the current fiscal relationships with outside governments;
  • gain an understanding of some of the positive and negative consequences of devolution initiatives;
  • become aware of some of the issues, and debates, regarding Aboriginal taxation;
  • gain an understanding of some of the taxation strategies employed by Aboriginal communities, as a means of generating revenue and enhancing economic self-reliance;
  • gain an understanding of some of the key taxation regulations with regard to Aboriginal peoples;
  • become aware of some of the development initiatives that Aboriginal communities have relied on for alternative source revenues
Accounting and Reporting Standards for Aboriginal Communities
  • understand the reasons for developing Aboriginal accounting and reporting standards;
  • understand the objectives of Aboriginal accounting and reporting standards;
  • become aware of what constitutes Aboriginal accounting and reporting standards;
  • ensure knowledge of, and skill level in, the following financial procedures: receipt and deposit of funds; commitment of funds; disbursements; petty cash; credit card; contacts and tendering; bank reconciliation; budgets; financial statements; payroll; travel; travel allowances; inventory of capital assets; security of assets; annual year end audits; amendments.
Special Issues of Aboriginal Financial Management – Best Practices and Special Reporting Requirements
  • gain the understanding of what current initiatives consider to be Aboriginal Financial Management Best Practices;
  • gain an understanding of Financial Management Best Practices under existing reporting requirements of the federal government;
  • gain an understanding of current initiatives attempting to address the special reporting requirements and shared accountability needs of First Nations and the federal government;
  • gain an understanding of existing demands of special reporting requirements

Information on how the Course is completed and graded

The course material is broken down into nine lessons. Within each lesson, specific learning objectives as noted in the previous section are listed. Directions are provided to guide you through the readings, lesson notes, other references, and work to be completed.

This course has nine lessons that run over a 14-week period. A suggested schedule follows, you are urged to make your own schedule, paying close attention to exact assignment due dates.  These will be confirmed at the start of the course and posted in the Instructor/Coach section. It's recommended that you try to complete a lesson a week.  Be sure to allow yourselves ample time to complete your assignments.
  

Week

Lesson

Topic

Assignment

1

 

Introductions

 

2

1

Introduction to Aboriginal Human Resource and Fiscal Issues

 

3

2

Relationships, Roles and Skills in Aboriginal Financial Management

 

4

3

Human Resource Management – Part I

 

5

4

Human Resource Management – Part II

Test #1 - 10%

6

 

 

Due: Assignment #1
25%

7

5

Identifying and Developing Financial Opportunities and Strategic Alliances – Part I

 

8

6

Identifying and Developing Financial Opportunities and Strategic Alliances – Part II

 

9

7

Accounting and Reporting Standards for Aboriginal Communities

 

10

8

Special Issues of Aboriginal Financial Management – Best Practices and Special Reporting Requirements

Test #2 - 10%

11

9

Overview of Aboriginal Financial Management – Three Case Studies

 

12

 

 

 

13

 

 

Final Exam - 35%

14

 

 

 


Course Assignments and Grading

You will be evaluated in this course as follows:
  • Participation                         20%
  • Test #1 (Lesson 4)     10%
  • Assignment #1 (Lesson 4)   25%       
  • Test #2 (Lesson 8)               10%
  • Final Exam     35%

Participation

Participation accounts for 20% of the course grade, and has various elements: Group Discussion Participation, Web Searches, and sharing of practices and tools. If you want full marks for participation and the enriched learning experience which this brings you should do the following:
  • provide a quality response to each discussion question;
  • inquire, share information, comment, or challenge the responses of at least one other student per question; and
  • complete the web searches and information sharing as required.
The mark for participation is determined on the day the final assignment is due.