The First Nations Video Collective (FNVC) was established in 1991, originally under the name of the First Nations Video Apprenticeship Program (FNVAP). FNVAP focused on acquiring funding and creating paid opportunities for Indigenous artists to apprentice and receive mentoring in the emerging art and field of video production. FNVAP began as program of the Satellite Video Exchange Society, but became increasingly autonomous and independent over its existence.
In the early years, FNVAP was primarily focused on connecting emerging artists to opportunities to work with Margo Kane on her video project, The River: Claiming a Video Territory, as well as with Dana Claxton. During 1992, FNVAP also offered a workshop in Kamloops for First Nations individuals as the program began to grow beyond the original singular video project.
In 1993, the program expanded into the First Nations Video Access Program. FNAP 's mandate broadened to include making equipment accessible, creating training opportunities, giving mini-grants, and connecting Indigenous and First Nations producers and artists. FNAP was run collectively, with at least one member serving as the paid FNAP coordinator within the Satellite Video Exchange Society. FNAP members staffed a FNAP desk within the SVES offices at 1965 Main Street in Vancouver.
As the program grew, FNAP began to regularly offer workshops and bring in speakers, as part of its expanding vision and mandate. Notable members during this time included Zachery Longboy, Cleo Reece, and Cease Wyss. Building on the success of the networking, community and relationships nourished in FNAP as well as through emerging national networks, the collective set new goals - notably a database of First Nations video and producers, an intentional training program for individuals, a showcase, and a BC version of the Aboriginal Film and Video Alliance. During this time FNAP was involved with producing a number of videos on behalf of conferences and various collaborative projects.
In 1996, many of the original individuals began to move on, and FNAP once again shifted focus. SanDee Doxtdator became the FNAP coordinator and launched a re-visioning and renaming for the group. At this time FNAP became the First Nations Video Collective and became fully autonomous from the Satellite Video Exchange Society. FNVC produced a newsletter as well as a variety of screenings and open houses. The coordinator, guided by the New FNVC objectives and identified community needs, sought funding and support from various funding bodies, Indigenous organizations, and video community members to prepare a training course.
During 1997, the collective then ran the twelve week Intensive Video Production Course. Attendees included individuals such as Allan Hopkins, Stephanie Llewllyn, Charlotte Wuttke, Michelle Sylliboy, Tony Melting Tallow, Thirza Cuthand, Michelle McGeough, Warren Arcan and Adele Kruger. The mentees each produced a short video PSA which were combined into the collaborative video work, Si"Elu"taxw . Si"Elu"taxw was screened at a number of festivals both in the pacific northwest and across the continent.
Following the production course and re-visioning, in 1998, FNVC as it was came to an end. Some past members such as Cease Wyss and Dana Claxton went on to launch the Indigenous Media Arts Group (IMAG), which also operated out of the Satellite Video Exchange Society for much of its existence. IMAG produced festivals from 1998 to 2006 showcasing the Indigenous media artworks being created and the artists who had been involved with or inspired by early initiatives like the FNVC.