FNESS evolved from the Society of Native Indian Fire Fighters of BC (SNIFF), which was established in 1986. SNIFF's initial objectives were to help reduce the number of fire-related deaths on First Nation reserves, but changed its emphasis to incorporate a greater spectrum of emergency services. In 1994, SNIFF changed its name to First Nations' Emergency Services Society of BC to reflect its growing diversity of services provided.
Today our organization continues to gain recognition and trust within First Nations communities and within the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and other organizations. This is reflected in both the growing demand of service requests from First Nations communities and in the devolvement of more government-sponsored programs to FNESS.
First Nations' Emergency Services Society believes in treating our membership, staff, clients, consultants and external organizations with integrity, respect, fairness and honesty. Through leadership and wisdom, FNESS believes in recognizing the cultural diversity of all those involved. Working as a team to deliver programs, we are committed to being an open, credible, sincere and trustworthy organization.
The FNESS logo was designed in 1986 by artist Tom Stewart of Kitimat, BC at the age of 15. The logo represents the vision of a firefighter. The iris of the eye portrays the legendary fire moon spewing water onto the eye of the fire. The circle represents First Nations.
Constitution & By-laws
The FNESS Constitution and Bylaws are available by clicking on the links below.
• FNESS Constitution & By-laws 2012.pdf
*Acrobat Reader is required to view these pdf files, click here for free download if needed.
Prior year reports are available on request.
Click here for FNESS Staff information.
Board of Directors
Our Society is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of First Nations individuals who live in communities throughout the province of British Columbia and who are elected by our Society's members. The core function of our Board is to ensure that our Society upholds its adopted Mission Statement in accordance with its adopted Constitution and By-Laws, and to ensure the financial viability of the Society.
Edwin Mountain Sr. is from Alert Bay, and lived in Xaxli’p for the past 29 years. For the past 29 years he has been with the Xaxli’p Volunteer Fire Chief Department and a FNESS Board member for the past 12 years, with the last 2 years off. With all of the accomplishments that we have made over the years, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who have made it possible for me to be where I am today. I would like to say to the staff and manager Congratulation to Norman Brooks for being elected on the FNESS board. I am very interested in working with the board for the next term.
Debbie is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band. She brings many years of experience in both Board Governance and Finance. She currently works for Okanagan Training & Development Council as a Program Administrator. Prior to that, she was the Finance Manager for the Okanagan Indian Band. With 10+ years of experience in Board governance, she believes that good financial management and sound governance practices for any organization is a cornerstone of success. She currently lives in the Okanagan Valley with her family and grandson.
As a founding member of SNIFF (Society of Native Indian Fire Fighters), the pre-cursor to FNESS, Norman has witnessed many changes over the years. Norman is a member of the Lax Kw’alaams Band and has been a FNESS Board member for many years, off and on. In the past, he has served as the full time Fire Chief in Port Simpson, as well, he’s been involved with the First Responder and Sea Rescue units and Fire Fighter Training.
Stephen Hunt, known to most as Sonny, is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation. He is an integral member of his community and has held many different position in emergency services there. Sonny was previously a FNESS Board Member; he's glad to be back and looks forward to serving the First Nations of BC through FNESS.