In 2007 following broad dialogue among First Nations in BC, the First Nations Leadership Council published the BC First Nations Fisheries Action Plan, a plan for future action on increasing First Nations shares in the fishery and greater involvement in management and decision making. A key priority identified in the Action Plan was the establishment of a First Nations Fisheries Council, a province-wide organization that reflects the interests and diversity of BC First Nations. A six-member interim Council was formed, and was tasked with developing longer-term organizational and strategic work plans.
The current Council structure of fourteen regional delegates and the current FNFC mandate were ratified at the 2009 Annual Fisheries Assembly, and endorsed by resolution by the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and the First Nations Summit (FNS). The FNFC continues to make progress on the objectives identified in the Action Plan by facilitating dialogue among BC First Nations and with the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO) on a number of shared interests and issues. The FNFC is also working to further develop relationships with other federal agencies and the Province of BC.
The roles and responsibilities of the FNFC have grown dramatically since its inception, and the current focus and direction of the organization is outlined in our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. The FNFC continues to move forward in this period of transition for Pacific fisheries as we advance First Nations interests and respond to changing policy. While responding to emerging issues is essential, a key focus of the FNFC is to develop governance mechanisms, form collaborative relationships among First Nations organizations, and work together to build a cohesive voice on fisheries matters. Working together allows First Nations to harness the capacity needed for meaningful engagement and participation in integrated fisheries planning and management, and to inform political processes to generate change on matters related to Pacific fisheries.