Emergency Services

Access and support for emergency management in First Nations communities, including emergency mitigation, preparedness and response, and capacity building.

The provision of Emergency Services to meet the needs of all First Nations continues to be a national issue.  The AFN is engaged in ongoing work for new investments, improved programs and services as well as policy changes and respectful working relationships between First Nations and all levels of government.

AFN engages with Public Safety Canada and pursues opportunities to engage in F/P/T Ministers Responsible for Emergencies.

First Nations are often affected by emergency events to a greater extent due to remoteness, lack of critical security infrastructure, resources and capacity.  There is a substantial disparity for emergency preparedness, response and management between First Nations and non-native communities of similar size and circumstance throughout Canada.  Severe weather events from climate change continue to affect First Nations.

INAC’s Emergency Management Assistance Program works with provincial and territorial governments and non-government organizations to support First Nations and ensure they have access to comparable emergency assistance services available to other residents in their respective jurisdiction.  First Nations and organizations are able to access this funding for non-structural mitigation projects.

Resolution 03/2015 calls on governments to include First Nations in the development of intergovernmental agreements related to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery planning, as well as ensuring INAC and provincial partners work collaboratively with First Nations leaders.

Greater involvement of First Nations is needed in emergency response, recovery preparedness and mitigation.  In March 2017, Public Safety Canada, on behalf of the Government of Canada, welcomed representatives to Montreal, Quebec for the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas.  A key element of the Regional Platform was the Second Meeting of Ministers and High Level Authorities, during which a Regional Action Plan (RAP) was approved.  The guidelines for the RAP were endorsed at the First Meeting of Ministers and High Level Authorities in Paraguay in June 2016.  The Government of Canada has been working with regional and national partners to assist with drafting the RAP.  AFN ensured Indigenous peoples interests were included in the RAP.

AFN Update

Regional Chief Craig Makinaw
is the AFN portfolio holder

AFN ensured Indigenous peoples were included in the RAP at the meeting in Montreal in March 2017. The follow up Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Cancun, Mexico, on May 22-26, 2017.  Due to other commitments, AFN will not be in attendance.
A very successful Emergency Management Forum was planned and delivered by AFN March 28-30, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta. Final Report
A Chiefs Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM) has been formed and the first teleconference will be convened on May 18, 2016 to ask for input on the NIO meeting on May 25.
A multi-year funding proposal has been submitted to INAC’s Emergency Management Directorate to support the EM function at AFN. This file is currently unfunded.
PSC has responded to National Chief’s recommendations from the May 2016 meeting.
As of May 16, 2017, 219 First Nation citizens are in evacuee status for the 2017 Spring Floods.
As of May 2017, 3,273 First Nation citizens remain in evacuee status from the 2010 to 2016 floods. This includes 2,048 from the 2011 Manitoba Floods.

Next Steps

  • Continued work to support First Nation organizations in the development of First Nation managed and driven mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities.

  • Continued follow up work on Resolution 03/2015.

  • Regional Chief Hart and Irving Leblanc, AFN Director – Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Services will attend a meeting on emergency management with the AFN and other Indigenous organizations in St. John’s, NF on May 25, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is to identify priorities, gaps and challenges.

  • Planning the second annual AFN National Emergency Management Forum.

  • Initiate activities with the newly formed Chiefs Committee on Emergency Management.

Emergency Services Staff

Irving Leblanc
Director, Infrastructure

Alexandra Whiteduck
Junior Policy Analyst

Bertina Lou
Policy Analyst

Christopher Barney
Executive Assistant

Daniel Gaspé
Senior Policy Advisor

Delaney Murphy
Policy Analyst

Grace Martineau
Acting Director, Housing and Homelessness

Jordan Fischer
Senior Policy Analyst

Kelly Whiteduck
Executive Assistant

Matthew George
Senior Policy Analyst

Pat Currie
Senior Policy Analyst

Susan Barnes
Finance and Administrative Coordinator

Angie TurnerEmergency Services