Welcome to the website of the Fort Nelson First Nation!
A Nation, A People - Strong, Healthy, Proud and Self-Reliant.
We are "the People of the Land" and we have occupied the lands of our traditional territory in the Northeast of British Columbia for tens of thousands of years. Our connection with the land and the resources of our territory goes back many generations. We were, and still are, hunters and gatherers and we moved around the territory with the seasons, and with the animals that sustained our way of life and our livelihood. We were historically known as the Fort Nelson Slavey Band.
Our people came from different areas of the territory. Fort Nelson, where we are now, is not our original home. The Old Fort, on the banks of the Fort Nelson River, was just where we came to trade our furs, and to purchase goods, at the Hudson Bay Post. We came from different areas of the territory: Nelson Forks, Francois, Deer River, Snake River, Kotcho, Fontas, Kahntah and Moose Lake. Some of our relatives even came from as far away as Alberta and the NWT and they were adopted into our Nation by our elders. We did not get our “reservation” until the early 60’s, (50 years after signing our Treaty) at which time most of us were moved to “Mile 295”. At that time, some of our families remained, and continue to live, where their families lived for generations; and these places are Moose Lake, Fontas and Kahntah.
We have just over 700 members and have 10 reserves. Our total reserve land base is 9556.5 hectares. IR #2 is the largest and is located at Mile 295 off the Alaska Highway and is the main reserve and home to about half of our population. We have reserves at Fontas, Kahntah, Snake River, Moose Lake, Francois and Maxhamish Lake. Our people speak the Dene and Cree languages. There are about 160 houses on IR#2. Facilities include an administration office, justice department, Chalo school, daycare/Headstart, lands office, adult learning centre, health centre, cultural arbor and capital works.
Many generations of our men, women and children have lived and thrived in this area. We have a commitment, and an obligation, to care for and protect our rights, our lands, our waters, our animals and the whole ecosystem for future generations; but at the same time, we must create economic certainty for our people and balancing those interests are a daily challenge.
Chief Jimmie Badine and Headman Tommy Whitehead signed our adhesion to Treaty No. 8 on August 15, 1910 at the Old Fort. In the Spirit of our Treaty of peace, sharing and co-existence, we welcome others to our Territory with the expectation that they will respect our lands, our ways and the intent of our Treaty.
Remembering our past, will honour and support our elders, our youth and our community as a whole. Let belief, truth and respect for our culture, and for each other, be the strength of our future.
In this website, you will become familiar with our many departments that serve our community, as well as our resourceful staff. Please explore it, and learn about who we are.
Chief Liz Logan
"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."
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"We are "the People of the Land" and we have occupied the lands of our traditional territory in the Northeast of British Columbia for tens of thousands of years."
Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday,
8:30-12pm and 1-4:30pm.
We are closed during lunch and all statutory holidays.
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