Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement

The agreement commits all parties to establish a formal relationship in order to conduct a collaborative, constructive and regular dialogue on emergency management issues. All parties will work in partnership to better support First Nations capabilities and ensure that their role is recognized in both management and emergency management operations. That Indigenous Services Canada, which recognizes First Nations as equal partners, work with them and the provinces and territories through trilateral agreements to clarify the different roles and responsibilities for emergency management in First Nation communities. “The forest fires of the summer of 2017 have taught us that First Nations often live on the front lines of forest fires and must be partners in the preparation and response. As a remote nation, we have faced extreme challenges and external agencies have not been educated on our expertise, capabilities, governance structures and jurisdiction. As governments, Canada, the BC and the Tsilhqot`in Nation have many lessons to learn. Our nation, in particular the municipality of Tl`etinqox, was the first in Canadian history to exercise jurisdiction and governance by not being evacuated in a recommended evacuation order. We have had years of preparation, know-how, machinery, firefighters and resources to stand up and fight. We protected our community from forest fires when the resources of the provincial and federal authorities were too scarce. Emergencies will only get worse in times of climate change. This tripartite emergency agreement is just the beginning of cooperation as a government and preparedness for future emergencies. By the time this report was completed, the 2018 wildfire season had already begun and prompted numerous evacuations. As of May 23, 2018, there have been 1,630 fires since the beginning of the year, 41 of which were still out of control.

[6] First Nation communities are still affected by these emergency events and a number of topics that the Committee heard about during this study are still very much on the ground, making this report more current than ever. The Committee is confident that its recommendations will make a positive difference in the lives of the many First Nations who too often go through these situations. Indigéous Services Canada clarify the claims process and criteria for emergency measures and collection costs in reserve; And to strengthen the Division`s support for regional offices to expedite timely debt collection; In addition, the Department specifies the claims procedure and cost criteria for First Nations who provide emergency services to non-national communities, and that applications will be reimbursed in due course. As mentioned above, a number of humanitarian workers are involved in First Nations reserves in the event of an emergency, which means that every action must be coordinated and consistent. However, First Nations officials said they were “out of the loop” during the summer 2017 wildfires. [46] Witnesses observed that they were completely forgotten by the federal and provincial governments. [47] Chief Randall Phillips of the Oneida Nation of the Thames stated that this had occurred in other emergencies, as others that First Nation communities were excluded from planning efforts during the onset of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in the early 2000s. [48] That Indigenous Services Canada, in collaboration with First Nations, re-examine its emergency assistance program to ensure that resources allocated meet the real needs of First Nations; In this regard, the department also ensures that adequate resources are allocated to emergency preparedness measures, such as the development, updating and implementation of contingency plans.