Emergency Management Assistance Program: Funded projects 2016-2017

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.

To learn more about any of the communities mentioned, visit First Nation profiles.


National projects

Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNET)

The CRHNET was contracted to produce two reports. The first was on the Indigenous presentations during the Indigenous stream of the 2016 CRHNet symposium, which highlighted the lessons learned from various emergency events. The second covered INAC's Building Resilience Through Reconciliation workshop at Canada's Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Roundtable. Both the symposium and the Roundtable were held in November 2016.

Amount provided by INAC: $19,550

Wilfrid Laurier University

  • Guide for Evacuated Indigenous Communities
    The University organized talking circles with First Nation members who are currently displaced or have experienced a long-term evacuation due to flooding. Their stories will be used to draft a guide for use by other First Nations who may experience a similar situation. Participating First Nation members were from Namgis and Lytton, British Columbia; Long Plain, Manitoba; and Eskasoni, Nova Scotia.

    Amount provided by INAC: $129,028
  • Indigenous Disaster Evacuee Audio-visual Stories
    The University produced audio-visual presentations and written text on the experiences of disaster evacuees from First Nations. The presentations, which include the participants' recommendations on how to address the challenges faced during disasters and evacuations, can be used as an educational tool. Interviewees came from the First Nation communities of Namgis and Lytton, British Columbia; Long Plain, Manitoba; and Eskasoni, Nova Scotia.

    Amount provided by INAC: $54,978
  • Indigenous Resilience Working Group participation
    The University coordinated the attendance of First Nation representatives in an Indigenous Resilience Working Group meeting with INAC and Public Safety Canada representatives in Gatineau, Quebec from October 25 to 26, 2016.

    Amount provided by INAC: $50,000
  • Mutual Aid Wise Practices Guide
    The University researched provincial and municipal emergency management approaches in order to create a guide for First Nation communities to develop mutual aid agreements where local authorities share emergency management resources or services.

    Amount provided by INAC: $134,926

Youth Engagement Project

Ursus Resilient Strategies Inc. is developing an outreach project to reach Indigenous youth and engage them in strengthening community resilience in the face of natural disasters. The project would provide youth with information and tools for personal and household preparedness, while also promoting awareness of emergency management activities in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada.

Amount provided by INAC: $87,900

Atlantic Canada projects

All-hazards Risk Assessment

All-hazards risk assessment was done for Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland.

Amount provided by INAC: $30,000

Quebec projects

Twenty (20) First Nation communities took part in one or more of the following emergency preparedness training projects:

An incident command system is a standardized on-site management system that integrates facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications within a common organizational structure.

A symposium for First Nations was also held on disaster risk reduction and best practices.

Amount provided by INAC: $781,974

Ontario projects

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: $69,065

Mattagami First Nation: Dealing with Community Emergencies

A comprehensive program to ensure community safety in case of emergencies, including:

  • ensuring band council members know their roles and responsibilities if a state of local emergency is declared
  • ensuring community members are prepared for emergencies and know the evacuation process
  • helping youth learn about emergency management and planning through table-top exercises
  • developing a business continuity plan, including safety emergency response training for front-line staff

Amount provided by INAC: $22,378

Mishkeegogamang First Nation: Wildfire Fighting Training

Four First Nation members will receive fire ranger training on wildfire fighting, protecting infrastructure and recognizing land clearance options to reduce the risk and effect of wildfires.

Amount provided by INAC: $25,000

Mohawks of the Akwesasne First Nation: Emergency Training and Risk Assessment

Emergency management training was provided to ensure that the First Nation has an effective emergency operations centre. Also, a hazard vulnerability risk assessment was done to identify disaster threats that may exist in the community.

Amount provided by INAC: $67,536

Ontario First Nations: Emergency Preparation, Mitigation and Recovery

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) provides Emergency preparedness and response courses available to all First Nations in the Ontario region. OFNTSC's program is designed to meet the emergency preparedness needs of First Nations. In 2016-2017 the OFNTSC offered six emergency management review training sessions and four emergency recovery training sessions. The OFNTSC also organized training sessions in the following five First Nation communities:

  • Curve Lake First Nation: Hazard Assessment and Risk Identification and Roles and Responsibility Training with Chief and Council. (1 Day)
  • M'Chigeeng First Nation: Hazard Assessment and Risk Identification and Introduction to Phase 3: Exercising with Community Control Group. (1 Day)
  • Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation: Hazard Assessment and Risk Identification and Introduction to Phase 3: Exercising with Community Control Group. (1 Day)
  • Walpole Island First Nation: Roles and Responsibilities Training with Chief and Council. (1 Day) and Introduction to Phase 3: Exercising with Community Control Group. (1 Day)
  • Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation: Introduction to Phase 3: Exercising with Community Control Group. (1.5 Days)

Amount provided by INAC: $1,410,000

Pikangikum First Nation: Wildfire Fighting Training

Eight community members were hired to complete a 10-week course in wildfire fighting. Four of the group will be chosen for further more advanced training.

Amount provided by INAC: $25,000

Wabaseemoong Independent Nations: Reducing Wildfire Risk

In collaboration with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Kenora Fire Management headquarters, heavy grass fuels were burned off in order to reduce wildfire risk to the Independent Nations.

Amount provided by INAC: $38,350

Manitoba projects

Canadian Red Cross Emergency Resiliency Project

This project focuses on building the Canadian Red Cross in Manitoba's capacity to support disaster recovery in First Nations. Goals include:

  • developing community connections and trust
  • improving disaster recovery support abilities
  • collaborating with other health and service organizations

Amount provided by INAC: $8,072

Emergency Operations Centre

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is working with its six First Nation member communities to develop an emergency operations centre that will provide emergency support, training and professional guidance to the communities.

The six First Nation member communities are:

  • Dauphin River
  • Kinonjeoshtegon
  • Lake Manitoba
  • Little Saskatchewan
  • Peguis
  • Pinaymootang

Amount provided by INAC: $382,995

Lake Manitoba Drainage Study

A five-phase drainage study was done for O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation to find solutions to possible future flooding from Lake Manitoba. The First Nation has faced flooding in past years and still has residents evacuated from 2014 flooding.

Amount provided by INAC: $162,151

Saskatchewan projects

Emergency Planning and Mitigation Training

The Prince Albert Grand Council provided training to social assistance directors and staff in its 12 First Nation member communities in key areas of emergency management planning and mitigation, including:

  • setting up emergency operation centres
  • providing key emergency information to communities
  • evacuation planning

Amount provided by INAC: $722,700

Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation

Through a partnership between the Prince Albert Grand Council and FireSmart Canada, First Nation members continued to receive training on thinning high-hazard forest areas and grassland vegetation. These activities reduce the intensity and spread of wildfires and help keep them from threatening First Nation communities.This training is a continuation of training that began in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Amount provided by INAC: $2,332,130

8th Annual Emergency Management Forum

First Nation and tribal council emergency planning officials came together from February 15 to 17, 2017, to improve their emergency management skills in order to protect their communities. Topics covered included:

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

Representatives of the federal and provincial governments, as well as non-government organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross, also attended.

Amount provided by INAC: $137,889

Alberta projects

The Alberta Bow River Basin Flood Hazard Assessment Project

The second year of 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: $533,284

British Columbia projects

Addressing Flooding Dangers

Eight First Nation communities located near British Columbia’s coast or near waterways (Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw, Kwantlen, Lower Kootenay, Musqueam, Namgis, Skwah, Squamish, Stz’uminus) received funding to cover activities, including:

  • flood plain mapping
  • water level monitoring
  • tsunami hazard area and safe zone mapping
  • seismic structural assessments
  • installation of Ultra high frequency (UHF) communications systems.

Amount provided by INAC: $428,708

Canadian Red Cross and St'at'imc Government Services

Building on their collaboration in 2015-2016, the Canadian Red Cross and St'at'imc Government Services (SGS) worked together to improve disaster preparedness in the 11 BC First Nations the SGS serves, including::

  • emergency preparedness workshops
  • community network development and planning
  • applying lessons learned in 2015-2016 to local emergency planning
  • improving preparedness kits

Amount provided by INAC: $215,581

Emergency Management Preparedness Proposals

A total of 47 First Nation communities were given funding for activities including, but not limited to:

  • emergency preparedness training
  • telecommunications training
  • setting up emergency operation and incident command centres
  • updating or developing emergency management plans
  • developing hazard identification risk assessments
  • coordinating wildfire fuel reduction programs
  • performing evacuation drills

Amount provided by INAC: $2,916,084

Regional Support Network Formation

Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response brought together the BC First Nations of Dzawada'enuxw, Gwawaenuk Tribe and Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis for joint emergency preparedness and response training and exercises and community emergency plan development. The three First Nations will then develop a regional protocol agreement/memorandum of understanding for joint emergency management support.

Amount provided by INAC: $87,156

Yukon projects

INAC’s Yukon Region supports three Yukon and three northern BC First Nation communities.

Flood Evacuation Drill

The Daylu Dena Council in Northern BC held a partial evacuation drill for residents whose homes are at risk of flooding. The council coordinated the drill with the help of Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response, Emergency Management BC, Yukon Emergency Measures Organization and the Town of Watson Lake. Lessons learned from the drill were presented to the council members and adapted into emergency planning.

Amount provided by INAC: $45,829

Wildfire Evacuation Drill

Evacuation drill held for members of Taku River Tlingit First Nation in BC whose homes are at risk during wildfires. The First Nation coordinated the drill with the help of Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response and in collaboration with Emergency Management BC, Yukon Emergency Measures Organization and the community of Atlin, BC. Lessons learned from the drill were presented to First Nation members and adapted into the First Nation's emergency plan.

Amount provided by INAC: $51,537

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