Huu-ay-aht First Nations

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The Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) is a First Nations band government based on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The HFN is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and is a member of the Maa-nulth Treaty Society. It has recently completed and ratified its community constitution and has successfully ratified the Maa-nulth Treaty on 28 July 2007. The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia passed the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement Act on Wednesday, 21 November 2007 and celebrated with the member-nations of the Maa-nulth Treaty Society that evening.

On 8 April 2009, the federal Government of Canada and the provincial Government of British Columbia joined with the Maa-nulth Treaty Society to sign the Maa-nulth Final Agreement in Port Alberni, British Columbia.

The HFN and other member-nations of the Maa-nulth Treaty Society now officially enter in the sixth and final stage of the British Columbia Treaty Process, treaty implementation.


The HFN government consists of one chief-councillor and four councillors. The chief-councillor is the head of government and the councillors are legislators. Together, this five person group also forms the executive branch of the Huu-ay-aht government. Currently, the HFN government is elected by the Huu-ay-aht membership for a period of four years.

After the effective date of the Maa-nulth Treaty, the HFN government will be transformed according to the constitution it developed and ratified on 28 April 2007. Under the new Huu-ay-aht First Nations Constitution, the HFN Government will be expanded to seven members total: one elected chief-councillor, one appointed representative of the hereditary chiefs (see below) and five elected councillors.

The new government will also have access to legislative authority over more than what is normally accorded to First Nations in Canada due to the articles of the Maa-nulth Final Agreement (Treaty): land, governance, taxation and natural resources.

The government has reserve lands in Numukamis, Nuchaquis, Dochsupple, Sachsa, Sachawil, Kirkby Point, Hamilton Point, Haines Island, Keeshan (Kiix?in), Kichha, Clutus, Anacla, and Masit.

Hereditary chiefs[edit]

The Huu-ay-aht First Nations were once governed by hereditary chieftains. In the Nuu-chah-nulth language, they are called Ha'wiih (plural) and Ha'wilth (singular). One of these leaders stands above the rest as the Tyee Ha'wilth, or Head Chief. Currently, the HFN has seven hereditary leaders including the head chief. One of these seats is vacant.

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