Indigenous Studies (INST) 450

Financial Management for First Nations Institutions and Organizations (Revision 1)

INST 450 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Nukskahtowin

INST 450 is not available for challenge.

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First Nations leaders, board members, directors and managers are required to make decisions within their realm of responsibility on a daily basis. These decisions can have significant impacts on the organization or community served by the decision-making body. Decisions have financial implications, so it is extremely important that decision makers understand good financial management practices. Good financial management is a complex issue in any publicly funded organization, and these complexities are magnified in First Nations organizations.

INST 450: Financial Management for First Nations Institutions and Organizations provides an introduction to financial management issues in First Nations organizations. In the context of this course, financial management encompasses how governments link public policies (decisions and actions of the government) to the allocation of resources, and how the public and their elected representatives hold governments accountable for the allocation and management of public money.

How can decision makers develop a sound understanding of the issues First Nations governments and organizations must contend with and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for effective management of financial assets? This course is designed as a first step: it offers a perspective on good government and develops a foundation for understanding legitimate, accountable and transparent financial management structures that are culturally appropriate to First Nations.


INST 450: Financial Management for First Nations Institutions and Organizations is divided into nine units listed below.

  • Unit 1: Overview: Financial Management for First Nations Governments and Organizations
  • Unit 2: Financial Information and Processes
  • Unit 3: First Nation Funding Arrangements
  • Unit 4: Introducing Own Source Revenues
  • Unit 5: Accountability Principles and Frameworks for First Nations Governments
  • Unit 6: Planning and Budgeting
  • Unit 7: Risk Management
  • Unit 8: Financial Management of Capital Projects
  • Unit 9: Auditing


Your final grade in INST 450 is based on the grades you achieve on two tutor-marked assignments and a final examination. To receive credit for the course, you must achieve a grade of D (50 percent) on the examination, and a minimum overall course grade of D (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Case Study Assignment 20%
Research Essay 30%
Final Examination 50%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a reading file.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, May 11, 2009.