Welcome to the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Department!
We have lived in our lands since time immemorial and we have always had a strong presence in our lands, which our Lands Department is dedicated to maintaining. We honour our ancestors and are engaging our elders' knowledge along with western science to help us balance sustainable economic development with healthy ecosystems to ensure the ongoing practice of our treaty rights and responsibilities in our lands. FNFN strives to take a central role in all development that affects our land and lives. This will enable us to re-build, maintain and strengthen our governing institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote economic development that is in accordance with our own values, aspirations and laws.
"Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use."
- UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -
Our people wish to be on the land learning, teaching, hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering food and medicines, and sharing our harvest with our families and relatives. These activities are at the core of our identity and the FNFN is committed to supporting our members to continue these practices and to ensure a healthy land base for our families to thrive in. We have learned from the lives and experience of our ancestors and we believe:
“If we care for the land the land will care for us.”
The Lands Department is responsible for ensuring that the interests of the Fort Nelson First Nation are represented with regard to all matters of land and natural resources. Department staff support Chief and Council and all members of the community to ensure that our Treaty Rights are respected, protected and exercised. Chief Jimmie Badine and Headman Tommy Whitehead signed the Fort Nelson adhesion to Treaty No. 8 on August 15, 1910 at the Old Fort village. The 1910 treaty talks affirmed our rights and responsibilities to our lands and ways of life “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.” In the spirit of this treaty of peace, sharing and co-existence, we welcome others to our territory with the promise that they will respect our land, our treaty, and our people.
"For as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow."
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Lands Department Programs & Services
Our programs and services support the exercise and protection of our treaty rights and land-based cultures:
Land & Resource Management: Our team provides expertise in natural resource management, consultation and negotiation, and Indigenous and Aboriginal law to ensure our lands and resources are used and protected according to our laws & values.
FNFN Land Guardians: Our "eyes and ears" on the ground, increasing FNFN's presence on the land, participating in land management and restoration work, and supporting land-based cultural activities.
Land-Based Culture Program: We provide on-the-land language and cultural learning opportunities for FNFN members, including a Harvester Support Program to support intergenerational well-being.