We are an Athabascan-speaking people who call ourselves K’ai Taile Dene, meaning “people of the land of the willow”, a reference to the delta of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers. We have used and occupied our Traditional Lands in the Athabasca region for thousands of years, hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering to sustain ourselves from the lands, to carry out our livelihood and to practice and to pass down our culture.
Ancestors of the present-day ACFN, then known as the Athabasca Chipewyan Band, signed Treaty 8 at Fort Chipewyan in 1899. Members of ACFN continue to hold the rights guaranteed by Treaty 8, including hunting, trapping, gathering and fishing rights. ACFN members actively exercise our Treaty rights on our Traditional Lands and carry out our traditional activities, as our ancestors have for generations. Maintaining our identity as K’ai Taile by living from our Traditional Lands, and supporting our people and our culture through the exercise of the traditional activities, remains central to our way of life. Our hunters, trappers, gatherers and fishers are keeping alive our community’s connection to our Traditional Lands, and they are passing it along to the next generation.