Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta is comprised of 24 member First Nations, each having its own internal communications protocol. The Treaty 8 territory covers approximately 800,000 square kilometers in Northern Alberta, and is comprised of the Dene Tha, Cree, Beaver, and Chipewyan speaking peoples. Language and cultural disparity, isolation, limited internet connectivity, vast distances, varying expectations, and relationships with all levels of government are illustrative of the communications environment in the Treaty 8 (Alberta) territory. It is within this context that Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta is tasked with establishing a strong communications relationship both internally and with external organizations.
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta has engaged in several activities to implement a comprehensive, education specific, system of communications. Through a process of strategic planning, the development of the mechanisms required to support clear and efficient internal and external communications has shown considerable progress. This is inclusive of policy and procedural development, identification of the communications environment (i.e. manuals), defining internal team building and maintenance activities, identification of individual and organizational communications barriers and corresponding mitigation, identification of culturally appropriate communications protocols, guidelines for information technology use, and guidelines for quality assurance and control practices in communications. Identifying priority groups within the communities for outreach is also a part of this.
Activities to develop a strategic outline in regards to external issues and relations with federal and provincial departments, non-governmental organizations, and professional associations are on-going. A key external relationship for Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta is its involvement with the Treaty 7 Management Corp, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations, and the Federal and Provincial (Alberta) governments within the context of the Memorandum of Understanding on First Nations Education signed in 2010.