The Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) community is located 7 kilometers south of the town of Fort Nelson in the northeastern corner of British Columbia; the community is located at Mile 293-295 on the Alaska Highway.
The Nation is a Slavey/Cree linguistic group with roughly 811 band members living on and off-reserve. It is one of six nations that belong to Treaty 8.
The Nation houses many departments such as Administration & Finance, Capital Works & Housing, Health, Community, and Family Services, Chalo School (K-12, ABE), Dehzona Family Centre (Head Start and Daycare), Justice Department, Economic Development and Lands and Resources. Over 100 staff help facilitate and implement the programs set forth to meet the needs of the Fort Nelson First Nation community.
Currently, the Fort Nelson First Nation follows the Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) Election Code; therefore, every 2 years an Election is held for 7 Councillors. The Nation is working towards overseeing the Election Code themselves; this will allow the Nation to have more flexibility when developing and revising the Election Code.
Our people held title by aboriginal right to specific territories with this region. The Crown recognized the territorial and jurisdictional rights of our people within the boundaries of Treaty No. 8, as demonstrated by the Crown entering into treaty with the Fort Nelson Slavey on August 15, 1910, in the form of an adhesion to Treaty No. 8, signed on the banks of the Fort Nelson River at the Old Fort Nelson.
We, the people of the Fort Nelson First Nation assert our aboriginal rights to ownership and jurisdiction in our territory and our rights are confirmed by The Royal Proclamation of 1763, The Constitution Act (1867), Treaty No. 8 of 1899, Sections 15, 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act (1982) and Articles 33 and 35 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples. We have rights and privileges under the provisions of said Treaty including, amongst others, access to and benefit of the resources within our traditional territory of said Treaty “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow”.
- Excerpt from the Fort Nelson First Nation Membership Code