At the founding conference of the Native Council of Canada in March, 1972, sixteen Metis from the Northwest Territories established a steering committee with the aim of forming a Metis interest group in the Northwest Territories. The Metis Association of the Northwest Territories headquarters was established in Hay River in April, 1972. The Association's membership at that time numbered 7700. After a period of financial instability, the Metis Association moved to Yellowknife in late-1973 better able to meet its administrative and program requirements established at the first annual General Assembly held earlier that year. The original focus of the Association was on self-help programs at the community level, as well as the development of leadership among northern Metis. After the move to Yellowknife, the focus shifted to establishing Metis title to land and resources, gradually aligning themselves with the Indian Brotherhood of the NWT. Programs run by the Association helped to repair homes in the Western Arctic, raise awareness of drug and alcohol issues in the communities, and as part of its cultural program, produce a history of the Metis entitled "Our Metis Heritage" in 1976. At this time, the Metis Association also managed the health claims of its members. Although not negotiating land claims directly, the Metis Association provided administrative support to the Indian Brotherhood of the NWT and some of its members sat on the Joint Dene Land Claims Negotiating Committee alongside the Indian Brotherhood (later called the Dene Nation). In 1988, the Metis Heritage Association was formed from the existing Metis Association, handling cultural affairs of the Metis of the NWT. The Metis Association of the NWT changed its name to the Metis Nation in the early 1990s. The Metis Nation closed its Yellowknife head office in the summer of 2001.