Emergency Management Assistance Program: Funded projects 2015-2016

Keeping First Nation communities safe is a priority of the Government of Canada. Every year, First Nations across the country train their community members and emergency management specialists to deal with threats from wildfires, flooding and other emergency situations.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) supports local efforts in emergency protection and prevention through projects that reflect the strengths of First Nations and the talents and knowledge found in their communities. These projects are coordinated by the First Nation recipient communities that applied for funding from INAC.


National projects

Justice Institute of British Columbia
Aboriginal Disaster Resilience Planning: Train the Trainer follows up on the launch of the Aboriginal Disaster Resilience Planning (ADRP) Guide in May 2015, with workshops in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Fredericton from January to March 2016 to train regional emergency management practitioners in First Nation communities.

Amount provided by INAC: $287,053

The Aboriginal Disaster Resilience Traditional Knowledge Toolkit helps First Nations decide how to best incorporate knowledge of past disasters, existing risks, and traditional and wise practices in their plans to mitigate and prepare for emergencies. Elements include storytelling and talking circles as well as community-based teams to promote knowledge sharing between First Nation community emergency management practitioners.

Amount provided by INAC: $122,080

Save the Children Canada
Coordinators from Save the Children Canada worked directly with Sikiska First Nation in Alberta and Wabaseemong First Nation in Ontario to develop emergency preparedness programs for First Nations families and children, hazard resilience, hazard risk analysis, community resources, and disaster management.

Amount provided by INAC: $150,000

Quebec projects

Twenty-nine (29) First Nation communities took part in one or more of the following emergency preparedness training projects:

  • introduction to emergency management in Canada
  • how to do hazards, risk and vulnerability assessments
  • how to set up an Incident Command System (ICS)* and Emergency Operations Centre
  • how to handle emergency evacuations and deliver services to disaster victims
  • forest fire first responder
  • disaster risks mitigation

Training was provided by the Canadian Red Cross, la Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU), Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Campus Notre-Dame de Foy (Web site not available in English) (Québec)

As well, SOPFEU provided forest fire risk assessment and mitigation measures to four Quebec First Nations. Campus Notre-Dame de Foy provided a functional exercise on how to deal with a train derailment.

Amount provided by INAC: $575,093

Ontario projects

Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation provided Emergency preparedness and response courses available to all First Nations in the Ontario region.

Amount provided by INAC: $1,560,685

James Bay Emergency Management Coordinator
The Mushkegowuk Council have a dedicated coordinator working directly with the James Bay Coast First Nations of Kashechewan, Moose Cree, Attawapiskat and Albany to ensure the communities are safe and well-prepared in case of spring flooding.

Amount provided by INAC: $75,000

Kashechewan Far Field Study
The Far Field Flood Study examines flood mitigation options on the Albany River in order to find the best way to deal with ice-jam flooding during the spring thaw. The study will also help decide if the flood dikes surrounding the community need to be raised.

The study, which uses LIDAR technology, reviews all options for flood mitigation. Data collected will be used in a preliminary environmental assessment and community consultation.

Amount provided by INAC: $1,542,768

Manitoba projects

The Manitoba Pine Creek Flood Protection Study provided detailed topographic, hydrologic and hydraulic data, as well as recommendations from experts to help create a complete flood mitigation and protection plan for the Pine Creek First Nation.

Amount provided by INAC: $94,095

Saskatchewan projects

FireSmart Canada
Through a partnership with the Prince Albert Grand Council, a complete FireSmart Canada wildfire risk assessment was done for 11 First Nation communities at high risk for wildfires. This included delivery of two Local FireSmart Representative workshops, Ground Ignition Course and Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre S-S131 Crew Member Courses.

The 11 participating First Nation communities are:

  • Buffalo River Dene Nation
  • Sandy Bay (sub-community of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation)
  • Fond du Lac
  • Montreal Lake Cree Nation
  • Black Lake
  • Hall Lake (sub-community of Lac La Ronge Indian Band)
  • Lac La Ronge (sub-community of Lac La Ronge Indian Band)
  • Birch Narrows First Nation
  • Canoe Lake Cree First Nation
  • Southend (sub-community of Peter Ballatyne Cree Nation)
  • Stanley Mission (sub-community of Lac La Ronge Indian Band)

Amount provided by INAC: $1,913,500

7th Annual Emergency Management Forum
Every March, First Nation and tribal council emergency planning officials come together in the Annual Emergency Management Forum to improve their emergency management in order to protect their communities. Topics covered include:

  • all-hazard community planning
  • responding to emergency events
  • recovering from emergency events
  • preventing emergencies
  • reducing the effects of emergencies on a community

Amount provided by INAC: $118,000

Alberta projects

The Alberta Bow River Basin Flood Hazard Assessment Project assesses flood hazards for the parts of the Bow River Basin flowing through Siksika, Tsuut'ina, and Stoney Tribe Nations to help the First Nations develop mitigation options.

Amount provided by INAC: $326,385

British Columbia projects

First Nations Emergency Services Society
The First Nations Emergency Services Society of British Columbia held six regional wildfire emergency awareness workshops in various regions, including Kamloops, Cranbrook, Williams Lake, Vancouver, Smithers and Fort St. John. As well, 20 First Nations in the higher risk wildfire regions of Kamloops, South East, Cariboo and Prince George were provided funding to perform forest fuel treatments (thinning out or removing those trees and underbrush that serve as the fuel for a forest fire to burn and spread) within their communities.

The workshops targeted:

Amount provided by INAC: $1,255,000

Emergency Management Preparedness Proposals
A total of 42 First Nations communities were given funding for activities including but not limited to:

  • updating and/or developing emergency management plans
  • developing hazard, risk vulnerability assessments
  • hosting public awareness sessions with community members and/or other EM partners
  • participating in training activities such as: Introduction to Emergency Management in Canada, Incident Command System (ICS)*, Emergency Operations Centres (EOC), Emergency Evacuations
  • tsunami preparedness activities including: the purchase and installation of tsunami sirens, signage and weather radios.

Amount provided by INAC: $816,918.

Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response
Organized by Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response, this railway spill emergency response training for First Nation communities with railway crossings on their territories focuses on how to deal with spills from railcars. It includes training sessions in:

  • CN Rail Operation Lifesaver
  • CN Trans Community Awareness Emergency Response
  • basic rail car identification
  • spill response procedures Incident Command System Training (ICS)*

Amount provided by INAC: $35,887

Canadian Red Cross and St’at’imc Government Services
Working with St’at’imc Government Services which serves 11 BC First Nations, the Canadian Red Cross is conducting disaster planning and preparedness with a thorough hazard and risk assessment, inventory of personnel and resources, and preparedness and response capacity evaluation within the vast St’at’imc Government Services territory.

Amount provided by INAC: $82,522

Yukon projects

Annual training and emergency management planning project, led by INAC’s Yukon Region, supports three Yukon and three northern BC First Nation communities with "hands on" emergency response management capacity development training. This includes:

  • household level community preparedness Incident Command System (ICS)*
  • region-based tabletop exercises to build awareness and stronger response capacity
  • reviewing and updating the communities’ Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis
  • community household preparedness training sessions
  • introductory training on emergency social services

The six participating First Nation communities are:

  • White River First Nation in Yukon
  • Liard First Nation in Yukon
  • Ross River Dena Council in Yukon
  • Dease River First Nation in northern British Columbia
  • Taku River Tlingit in northern British Columbia
  • Daylu Dena Council in northern British Columbia

Amount provided by INAC: $110,000

Additional Disaster and Flood Prevention Projects
In Budget 2014, $40 million was announced for disaster mitigation support over five years in First Nation communities, specifically for structural mitigation projects**. Funding began in 2015-16 with $3 million, to be followed by $5 million in 2016-2017, $8 million in 2017-2018, $12 million in 2018-2019, and $12 million in 2019-2020.

Three structural mitigation projects were supported in 2015-2016 with $3 million from Budget 2014:

  • community drainage in Cumberland House Cree Nation, Saskatchewan
    Amount provided by INAC: $1 million
  • permanent dike in Lake Manitoba First Nation, Manitoba
    Amount provided by INAC: $1,536,450
  • construction of a spillway structure in Skidegate First Nation, British Columbia
    Amount provided by INAC: $463,550

*A standardized on-site management system that integrates facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications within a common organizational structure.

**Structural mitigation is physical infrastructure built to reduce the possible impact of hazards. This includes the application of engineering techniques toward hazard resistance and resilience in structures or systems.

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