Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac is a remote northern community found on the east side of Lake Athabasca. The community is isolated, with no permanent road connections to southern Saskatchewan. It’s accessible by air year round, by boat in the summer and, in winter, by an ice road that connects it with Stony Rapids to the east.
The population on reserve is about 1,090, with another 840 members living off reserve. Dene is the first language spoken by many and several people continue to live off the land, fishing, hunting and trapping.
Founded as a community over 150 years ago, Fond du Lac is one of the three Denesuline First Nations of Prince Albert Grand Council and one of the nine in the province of Saskatchewan under the umbrella of Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Many in the community can trace their ancestral roots to the early 19th century.
Since 2002, students have been able to complete Grade 12 in Fond du Lac. Prior to this, students had to move south to complete their high school education. Residents believe more education and training opportunities held right in the basin would help increase post-secondary education levels.
In June, 2016 the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation, along with the First Nations of Black Lake and Hatchet Lake, and the four communities of Stony Rapids, Wollaston Lake, Uranium City and Camsell Portage signed a historic collaboration agreement with Cameco and AREVA Resources. The Ya’thi Néné Collaboration Agreement is designed to enhance workforce and business development, environmental stewardship and community investment in the Athabasca Basin. The Ya’thi Néné Joint Implementation Committee has released a 2016 Progress Report to Community Members outlining progress made from the date of signing to the end of the year.
For more information about this community, visit the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation website.