Advocating to ensure access and support for emergency management in First Nations communities.

Our Work Improving emergency response for all First Nations communities.

Emergency events are particularly difficult for many remote FIrst Nations communities as well as those that lack the infrastructure for quick responses. The AFN’s Emergency Services Policy Sector is engaged in ongoing work to improve funding, programs, services, and policies for First Nations’ emergency management. We help to promote respectful working relationships between First Nations and governments to develop equitable, relaiable emergency services.

First Nations are 18 times more likely to be evacuated due to an emergency event than non‑First Nations.

Geography plays a major role in the provision of emergency services for First Nations, who are often affected by emergency events to a greater extent due to remoteness.

Canada has 114 remote First Nations communities, with some accessible only by air or water.

While most have established and regular access, others have single paved/unpaved roads or winter road access.

Initiatives & Priorities The policy areas, initiatives and committees driving change in First Nations emergency services and response.

Steering Committee on First Nation Home Flood Insurance Needs

On May 18, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the Assembly of First Nations launched the Steering Committee on First Nation Home Flood Insurance Needs to examine the specific home flood insurance needs of First Nations on reserves.

The Steering Committee was the first co-led emergency management initiative between ISC and the Assembly of First Nations. It included representatives from First Nations organizations such as the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association and the First Nations Housing Professionals Association. Committee members also came from several federal government departments and agencies, Indigenous owned and conventional insurance firms and academia.

Over the year, the committee engaged 71 First Nations across Canada, gathering key information and obtaining First Nations-specific context regarding home flood risk insurance. The final report (PDF Version, 5,14 MB, 42 pages) was presented at the final Steering Committee meeting on June 28, 2022. This work will inform future considerations and potential next steps related to flood insurance options on reserve.

Engaging First Nations from the beginning of the process respects ISC’s mandate to advance First Nations self-determination and self-government.

Learn more about the Steering Committee on the Government of Canada website.

Indigenous Emergency Management Capabilities Inventory

As part of the ongoing effort to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities, in May 2017, Federal / Provincial / Territorial (FPT) Ministers agreed to work collaboratively with Indigenous representatives to develop an inventory of emergency management capabilities in Indigenous communities across Canada.

The Indigenous Emergency Management Capabilities Inventory is led by Public Safety Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. Public Safety Canada is working closely with Indigenous representatives and communities, other federal departments, provinces/territories, and other emergency management partners to ensure the inventory is culturally sensitive, appropriate, and beneficial to communities. The project was piloted with targeted Indigenous communities in the fall of 2017 and was rolled-out nationally in early 2018.

The resulting Indigenous Emergency Management Capabilities Inventory will be used by the federal government, provincial and territorial governments, and Indigenous communities as a tool to collaboratively focus on the emergency management needs of Indigenous communities across Canada.

Learn more about the inventory on the Government of Canada website.

Documents The latest resources on this topic.

These are our latest reports, resolutions and other documents on the subject of Emergency Response. To see more documents on this topic, and all other public AFN documents, visit the Document Library.

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