Emergency management service agreements
Learn about what service agreements are in place to support First Nations facing emergencies.
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About emergency management service agreements
To enhance the delivery of emergency management services, including emergency preparedness and response and recovery efforts, to First Nations communities on reserves, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has bilateral agreements with provincial and territorial governments and third party service delivery partners across the country.
These agreements were put in place to ensure First Nations had access to emergency response services comparable to other residents in their jurisdiction.
Currently ISC has bilateral emergency management service agreements in place with:
In provinces and territories where there is no agreement in place, ISC works with the provincial or territorial government, First Nations, tribal councils and third-party organizations to deliver emergency services and supports First Nation communities on reserves. ISC provides funding to these governments and partners for emergency services and supports through the Emergency Management Assistance Program.
Moving toward multilateral service agreements
Although these bilateral agreements are a good starting point, more work needs to be done to ensure that First Nations are full and equal partners in a fully comprehensive approach to emergency management, including supports for First Nations-led approaches. ISC is committed to improving emergency management services and transferring control of emergency management programs to First Nation partners.
In partnership with First Nations, provincial and territorial governments and other service delivery partners, ISC is developing emergency management multilateral service agreements.
The development of new emergency management multilateral service agreements intends to:
- include First Nations as full and equal partners with Canada and provincial and territorial governments in emergency management
- support First Nations’ right to self-determination
- support the inclusion of all partners in decision making and implementation mechanisms
- set a foundation for the service transfer mandate
- ensure that high quality and culturally appropriate emergency management services are provided to First Nations and are equitable to those provided off reserve
Agreements across Canada
While new multilateral service agreements are being developed, existing bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding currently in place between the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments and other service delivery partners continue to be in effect.
Below is a list of active emergency management agreements across Canada.
ISC has a service agreement with Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to provide emergency management services on reserve.
The Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in BC ensures that First Nations have a voice in the governance and operations of emergency management services with ISC, the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia.
The Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement was signed in 2018 between the Tsilhqot'in National Government and ISC, and renewed in 2022 for 5 years.
In 2015, ISC and the province of Alberta renewed for 10 years a comprehensive emergency management service agreement.
The agreement ensures that First Nations located in Alberta have access to direct support from the province, as needed, for emergency events on reserves.
ISC signed a 5-year agreement with the Canadian Red Cross in April 2017 and continues to renew the agreement on an annual basis. This agreement helps to support First Nations in Manitoba in the event of emergency situations.
ISC and the Government of Ontario signed a 10-year bilateral agreement in 2018 that helps strengthen provincial response capacity to better support First Nations affected by natural hazards and other emergency events.
ISC and the Government of Quebec signed a bilateral agreement in 2019 that helps ensure provincial assistance is available to First Nations in Quebec during disasters. It also allows the federal and provincial governments to collaborate on disaster risk management.
Additionally, a bilateral agreement was signed in 2017 between the Canadian Red Cross and Indigenous Services Canada to support emergency management preparedness and training for First Nations in Quebec.
Prince Edward Island
ISC and the Government of Prince Edward Island signed a 5-year bilateral agreement in 2015 that is renewed yearly. This agreement helps to support First Nations in Prince Edward Island in the event of emergency situations.
ISC and the Government of Yukon signed a bilateral agreement in 2016. This agreement helps to support First Nations in the Yukon in the event of emergency situations.
ISC and the Government of the Northwest Territories signed a bilateral agreement in 2015. This agreement helps to support First Nations in the Northwest Territories in the event of emergency situations.
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