Canada, British Columbia, and the First Nations Leadership Council have signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding to improve emergency management services for BC First Nations.
The MOU was signed Saturday by Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan, BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Regional Chief Terry Teegee, and Cheryl Casimer and Robert Phillips with the First Nations Summit.
“The threat of climate change has become a glaring reality, the fire seasons of 2017 and 2018 ravaged Indigenous lands and territories beyond recognition,” Teegee said in a news release.
“Through this MOU we hope that there will be increased resources, improved communications and fluid cooperation with those on the front lines who defend our environment and communities.”
The MOU comes after the Tsilhqot’in National Government released a new report earlier this week on the 2017 wildfires calling for better coordination with First Nations.
It commits all parties to establish a formal relationship to hold a collaborative, constructive and regular dialogue on emergency management issues.
Indigenous communities are 18 times more likely to be evacuated by forest fires and floods worsened by climate change.
We have to act.
Our new Emergency Management MOU with First Nations Leadership Council and BC will Help keep people safe when disaster strikes. pic.twitter.com/78641n3L3V
— Seamus O'Regan (@SeamusORegan) April 27, 2019
– with files from Rebecca Dyok, My Cariboo Now