Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics

First Nation Taxation Administration Certificate

The First Nation Tax Administration Certificate provides the knowledge and skills needed to design and operate a taxation system similar to other governments using the powers outlined in the First Nation Fiscal Management Act. It examines how First Nation government tax policies can be used to promote economic development and finance and build infrastructure. The program pays particular attention to communicating tax policies and laws to Chief and Council and taxpayers.

The program will be of interest to people in First Nation taxation and development roles; those doing business with First Nations; and local, provincial or federal government employees involved with First Nation taxation systems.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students are able to:

  1. Establish the legal framework required to support a First Nation taxation system.
  2. Formulate the tax rates, user fees, development charges and business taxes used.
  3. Implement First Nation taxation administrative systems including specialized software applications.
  4. Manage assessment and appeal processes that are fair and transparent.
  5. Prevent and resolve disputes with taxpayers and other governments.
  6. Collaborate with local governments and private partners in the delivery of services and construction of infrastructure.
  7. Plan and finance long-term economic infrastructure projects.


The First Nation Tax Administration Certificate is a joint initiative of the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics, the First Nations Tax Commission and Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

The certificate is a blended program with six of eight courses taken at TRU’s campus in Kamloops, BC. These courses are offered as one-week intensive seminars and are led by an experienced Tulo facilitator. Class sizes are small and students benefit greatly from extensive interaction with their instructor and other students who share the common goal of achieving greater financial independence for First Nations.

The remaining two courses do not require the same high level of interaction and are completed through distance education in an independent study, continuous intake format. Students can enroll in these courses at any time if they have the necessary prerequisites and can complete them over a flexible time frame that suits their family and work commitments. Each course has a tutor who answers students’ questions and marks all assignments and exams. Access to the course materials and contact with the tutor normally occurs through the Web and e-mail, so a high speed Internet connection is recommended. If this is not possible, print materials can be provided and communications can take place by phone.

Admission requirements

  • Pre-calculus Mathematics 11 or Foundations of Mathematics 11 with a minimum C+ or equivalent
  • English 12/English 12 First Peoples with a minimum of 73% or equivalent
  • Basic computer literacy with exposure to word processing and spreadsheet software

Students may commence their studies while they upgrade their English mathematics, and and computing skills.

Program content

APEC 1610 Introduction to First Nation Taxation
APEC 1620 Establishing First Nation Tax Rates and Expenditures
APEC 1631 Assessment and Assessment Appeal Procedures
APEC 1640 Tax Administration, Billing and Enforcement
APEC 1650 Communications, Tax Payer Relations, and Dispute Resolution
APEC 1660 Service Contracts and Joint Agreements
APEC  1670/1671 Development Cost Charges
APEC 1680 Capital Infrastructure and Debenture Financing

Note: APEC 1631 and APEC 1671 are taken through distance education while the remaining courses are completed on campus.