NACC was first introduced in 1968 under the name Community Councils and Committees, under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Northern Affairs. In 1969, the Northern Association of Community Councils came into being, and applied for incorporation as a legal entity in 1970. Also, in 1970, the Community Councils and Committees were given legal status under the Northern Affairs Act.
The legalization of Community Councils and Committees meant that for the first time, communities would have the legal right to receive funding and make decisions regarding the disbursement of tax dollars.
NACC – an advocacy group which acts upon the behalf of up to 56 northern and remote community councils – was officially incorporated on November 15, 1971. The formation of the NACC would mark the first time that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people would work together for the purpose of organizing, planning, and developing their communities.
The first meeting for the NACC was held in Winnipeg on June 2, 1970 and was open to community council members only. There were a total of 48 delegates in attendance at this conference, representing the 11 elected community councils as well as 29 other remote communities.
The initial community councils to join the NACC at the time of its formation included: Barrows, Cormorant, Moose Lake, Pikwitonei, Ilford, Pelican Rapids, Duck Bay, Camperville, Crane River, Matheson Island, and Wabowden.
The first members of the Executive Committee were elected at this meeting and included:
President: Kip Thompson of Ilford
Northern region Chairman: Don McIvor of Wabowden
Eastern Region Chairman: Bill Bennet of Matheson Island
Western Region Chairman: Delphis Flamond of Camperville
The Executive Committee consists of a President, and three regional chairman, while the NACC Board of Directors includes the President and three representatives from each region (chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary-treasurer).
From 1971-1996, the President was elected every two years at the annual general conference. In 1996, the term for President was extended to 3 years.
In the early stages of the organization, the NACC Board of Directors consisted of 12 board members, as well as the President of the NACC. The 12 board members consisted of four executive members from each of the three regions represented by NACC (Northern, Western, and Eastern).