The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that First Nations affected by recent flooding in British Columbia are safe and secure, that a coordinated emergency management response is supported, and that communities are positioned for a strong recovery.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that Indigenous Services Canada has received and approved a funding request through the Emergency Management Assistance Program for $4.4 million in additional funding to the British Columbia First Nations’ Emergency Services Society. Funds will be used to support the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society as they assist First Nations in their response to the widespread flooding caused by the recent atmospheric river event.
Additionally, the Government of Canada will provide $330,000 to the First Nations Leadership Council, to be divided equally among its member organizations (i.e., the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs) to address immediate response needs in the wake of this ongoing emergency.
Indigenous Services Canada will continue to work in close partnership with impacted First Nations in British Columbia, provincial partners and federal departments, including the Department of National Defence and the Department of Emergency Preparedness. The safety and security of First Nations is the top priority of Indigenous Services Canada and we stand ready to provide further resources as needed.
“Our thoughts are with the communities affected by the recent flooding events in British Columbia. The loss of life, homes, infrastructure, property, and livelihoods, as well as the ongoing disruption to people’s lives is devastating. The Government of Canada is working with partners like the First Nations Leadership Council and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia, to support their work in helping First Nations people stay safe and be there for communities as they recover from this difficult situation.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
“We are thinking of all those affected by the flooding in British Columbia, and we grieve with those have lost loved ones in this devastation. The Government of Canada is providing assistance to the province of British Columbia and First Nations currently facing the threat of significant and widespread flooding. Canadians can be assured that all levels of government are working together to deliver the required help. On behalf of all Canadians, I thank all first responders and CAF members working tirelessly to support Canadians in need.”
The Honourable Bill Blair
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
In emergency situations in British Columbia, First Nations governments and Emergency Management British Columbia play a lead role in assessing the immediate needs of First Nation community members on reserve and determining the appropriate course of action, including on-the-ground support, and transportation needs.
The Government of Canada partners with the First Nations Leadership Council, the First Nations Health Authority, the First Nations Emergency Services Society and First Nations leadership, working in concert with Emergency Management British Columbia, to ensure that First Nations have the information and resources they need to keep their community members safe and supported.
A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on emergency management services with the First Nations Leadership Council, the Province of British Columbia and ISC also sets the stage for a trilateral approach. These agreements underpin ongoing discussions among partners on how to better support First Nations during emergencies and include the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia in emergency response platforms.
In British Columbia, ISC has a service agreement with Emergency Management British Columbia to provide emergency management services on reserves similar to those available to other B.C. communities. The department reimburses First Nations, as well as provinces, territories and authorized third-party emergency service providers, 100% of eligible response and recovery costs, including evacuation costs.