First Nations might have to hand over more financial information to Indian Affairs, including salary levels of chiefs.

The new requirements are being studied in the wake of revelations that some Atlantic chiefs make more than the prime minister.

For example, Allison Bernard, chief of Nova Scotia’s Eskasoni reserve, earned at least $416,500 in just over a year.

The Acadia band in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, spent $640,248 in 1999 to pay salaries of the chief, six band councillors and its staff. Those same salaries cost the band only $173,760 in 1997.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien makes about $166,000 a year, including expenses.

“It’s not the provinces’ nor the taxpayers’ business,” retorted one Nova Scotia chief when asked about the payments.

Indian Affairs is considering appointing an auditor general to monitor band finances, and requiring bands to submit wage levels as part of their annual audit.