The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is a Treaty 8 Denesuline community largely based in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, 200 km downstream from current tar sands development. The ACFN's traditional territory includes lands within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the Lower Athabasca and North West Saskatchewan planning regions. Much of their traditional territory is home to tar sands rich deposits currently awaiting project approval from various multi-national oil and gas companies.
Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation hold uique rights under Treaty 8 that are protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The ACFN has taken the position that the current industrialization occurring in North-eastern Alberta is putting ecosystems, the watersheds that sustain them, and the First Nations who depend upon them, at risk for potentially irreversable impacts that will permanently change the biophysical and socio-cultural landscape of the region. They have drawn a line and will protect these lands and rights for future generations.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is led by Chief Allan Adam (pictured left). Since he was elected in 2008 Chief Adam has been actively utitlizing Treaty and Aboriginal rights to challenge the status quo of industrial development on the ACFN's traditional lands and territory. Much of Treaty 8 territory and the biodiversity of North Eastern Alberta is under threat from out of control Tar Sands development.