In Alberta, the four main Aboriginal organizations that operate on the provincial level are the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, Treaty 6 First Nations and the Indian Association of Alberta. The three treaty groups operate as umbrella groups and represent the reserves identified within their treaty number and region. The Indian Association of Alberta is the provincial umbrella organization that represents the concerns of the various Aboriginal communities.

The Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations groups are located in Edmonton, and the Treaty 7 Tribal Council is in Calgary. They represent the 68,000 status Indians in Alberta. The Indian Association of Alberta operates from its office on the Enoch Reserve in Winterburn, Alberta. Overall, there are 46 First Nations in Alberta and they comprise a population of 71,297 people that include the Cree, the Dene, the Blackfoot and the Stoney. There are 46,737 people living on reserve communities, and 24,560 (or 34%) band members living off reserve.


It was apparent early on that it would not be possible to create one group discussion because of the logistics involved. It was decided, therefore, that the leaders of various Bands and umbrella organizations should be informed of the AHC's initiative through a letter writing campaign.

A personal visit to the Treaty 8 office in Edmonton was made during the 1994 CAA/AAC annual meeting. At that time, a research document on the subject was made available for study. The Treaty 7 Tribal Council office in Calgary was also visited, and the Executive Director, Greg Smith, was given an update on the AHC's progress. He has also been kept informed of subsequent activities. A letter was also sent to the Indian Association of Alberta with a request to be included on their conference agenda in 1994, however, no reply was received.

Aboriginal leaders and organizations are now being notified of the Statement of Principles drafted in February of 1995. A presentation was recently made at the "Focusing our Resources" Conference in Calgary, which was attended by representatives of First Nations, resource companies and the provincial government. Sponsored by various companies and hosted by the Tsuu Tina First Nation, this conference brought together Chiefs and company directors to discuss co-managing resources in traditional lands. Also present were representatives of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Commission from Australia, who received copies of our guidelines. They were pleased to hear of the AHC initiative since they are collecting data regarding similar processes.

At the conference, the author and Dr. Jack Ives of the Archaeological Survey of Alberta presented a well-received paper that discussed the efforts of the AHC to articulate a policy statement of ethical conduct for the CAA/AAC. Afterwards, copies of the Statement of Principles were personally distributed to Chiefs and resource company representatives. Several resource transmission and recovery companies related their efforts to accommodate Aboriginal concerns during their own assessments.


My efforts to execute the AHC mandate will continue and I am willing to continue working with the committee as the need arises. It's a start!