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Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations reserve is across the lakefrom the hamlet of Fort Chipewyan in the southwestern tip of Lake Athabasca. It is approximately 200 air kms north of Fort McMurray andAthabasca Chipewyan First Nation 600 kms northeast of Edmonton. Fort Chipewyan is Alberta’s oldest continuous European settlement dating back to 1788 when the North West Company established
an outpost there. As the demand for fur increased, the lifestyle of the Chipewyan people in this area was significantly altered.

The Chipewyan people traded at the Fort in the spring and fall, and in time, some began to use it as a base. The signing of Treaty No. 8 drew more people to the area. December 1996 figures estimates approximately 618 Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation members, most of which live off the reserve.

Local Government
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is governed by a Chief and four councilors.
Chief Archie Cyprien
Councilor Lily Marcel
Councilor Gregory Marcel
Councilor Allan Adam
Councilor Lorraine Hoffman

Economic Base
The three major resource base activities in the Fort Chipewyan area was trapping, fishing and lumbering. Today, commercial fishing generates some revenue. Seasonal fire fighting opportunities supplement some member’s income. Many members work in government and business service positions in Fort Chipewyan. Other sources of employment have been with Syncrude, Suncor and other oil sands related companies.

The only vehicle access to Fort Chipewyan is via a winter road from Fort Smith, 140 kilometers to the north or from Fort McMurray, 303 kilometers.

Air Services
Fort Chipewyan has a paved all weather, lighted airstrip. Scheduled air service from Fort McMurray and Edmonton provides residents with food, clothing and all supplies. Mikisew’s Contact Airlines provides the air service six days per week. In addition a number of air charter services are available from Fort McMurray.

River Barge Service
Although there is no passenger service via the river barge they are used during the summer to transport goods to the community.

No rail service to this community.

Bus Service
There is a weekly bus service from Fort McMurray to Fort Chipewyan when the winter road is open.

Child Welfare Services
Alberta Family and Social Services located in Fort McMurray provide a full range of child welfare services to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation members including adoption services, foster homes, and handicapped children’s services.

Income Security Services
The Athabasca Chipewyan have a full time social worker to deliver this program.

Health & Welfare Canada and the local Nunee Health Board deliver health services to Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation members. Registered nurses and Community Health Representatives staff a nursing station. Other services include a visiting doctor two days per week, a dentist bimonthly, an optometrist four times per year and, a psychologist on a monthly basis.