Four Vancouver Island First Nations receive emergency management funding

Four Vancouver Island First Nations receive emergency management funding

Four First Nations on Vancouver Island are receiving a cut of more than $500,000 in funding to enhance cultural safety in emergency management.

A total of $580,000 in funding is being handed out to 22 B.C. First Nations. The Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness says the goal is to ensure emergency management supports are delivered in a culturally safe and inclusive way.

“By creating more opportunities for staff and volunteers to learn about cultural safety, we are working toward ensuring Indigenous people feel respected, included, and cared for during emergencies,” said Minister George Heyman in a statement.

The funding is under the Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training stream of the Community Emergency and Preparedness Fund (CEPF). Included in the funding are a handful of First Nations on Vancouver Island.

“The Salvaging Sacred Belongings workshop this funding was used for provided community members with the skills they need to recover precious belongings like regalia, drums and masks,” said Mindy Ogden, heritage place specialist, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ (Kyuquot) First Nation

The Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ (Kyuquot) First Nation — located in Kyuquot, B.C., approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Port McNeil— received $17,800 towards their cultural safety and humility training framework development.

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“In the event of an emergency, we need locals who have these skills, as we are a very remote community. We are looking forward to equipping more community members, including the youth, in the future,” said Ogden.

The following Island First Nation communities received a portion of the funding:

  • Pacheedaht First Nation (located in Port Renfrew): $30,000
  • Nitinaht First Nation (located west of Port Renfrew): $29,975
  • Tseshat First Nation (located in Port Alberni): $20,935

The Tseshat First Nation will create a two-day workshop for emergency-response staff to focus on the displacement and history of residential schools on Indigenous Peoples and how to create culturally safe spaces.

“Indigenous people in B.C. will benefit from more inclusive emergency management. These supports are part of B.C.’s work to build a better province where all people can access the services and programs they need,” said Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Murray Rankin.

CEPF has provided around $176 million to B.C. First Nations since its creation in 2017 and funded more than 1,700 projects, according to the BC government.

Oli HerreraOli Herrera

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