The funeral policy was implemented in 2008 and has an effective date of June 25th annually, upon approval by Chief and Council of the annual consolidated operating budget.
Preamble from the Funeral Policy
In 2001 Chief and Council passed a motion to provide minimal monetary assistance for funeral expenses, in lieu of a formal Funeral Policy and in 2005 the Michipicoten First Nation Community Trust provided an additional benefit of $2500 per deceased member as administered through the Michipicoten First Nation.
Over the years, and as requested, a burial plot was provided and a pine box constructed where members were buried on reserve at no cost to the family of the deceased.
Surviving spouses and/or heirs are also able to apply to the Province of Ontario may apply for a maximum one time benefit of $2500 from the province of Ontario.
The current guideline established under Ontario Works for discretionary funeral and burial benefits for Socially Assisted Recipient (SARs) is $2,250.00. Where a member resides on reserve and is buried on reserve, and Social Assistance is not provided, the First Nation may assume responsibility for the funeral costs and transportation following the guidelines of Indian Affairs for Non – SAR (Socially Assisted Recipient) Funerals. Assessments and specific expenditure ceilings apply and funds are added through a funding agreement adjustment with Indian Affairs and only upon approval of all of the required documentation and claims forms. Where the family thereafter receives provincial assistance, it may be a requirement for a refund directly to the First Nation for any cost differences not covered through the Non-SAR funding.
It was anticipated that, by the settlement of land claims, a single purpose Funeral Policy to replace the old policies would be established utilizing revenues from the Settlement Trust Agreement and from other sources of revenue.
In June 2008, Chief and Council approved the Annual Operating Budget which provided for the adoption of a custom Funeral Policy to provide benefits derived from funds received through the Casino Rama Agreement as well as revenues available for such purpose from the Community and Corporate Trusts to provide benefits to cover the costs of funeral expenses more in line with actual funeral expenses so that each and every deceased member could be taken care of with dignity and honour.