AMC calls for a bilateral agreement with federal government for fire safety and emergency management

June 20, 2018

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, MB. _ Today Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) responded to a report released by the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

The report released yesterday is called From the Ashes: Reimagining Fire Safety and Emergency Management in Indigenous Communities. The report’s first recommendation calls for Indigenous Services Canada to recognize First Nations as equal partners and to work with them and provinces and territories through trilateral agreements to clarify the various roles and responsibilities regarding emergency management in First Nation communities.

“The AMC is already working closely with the Canadian Red Cross,” stated Grand Chief Dumas. “First Nations definitely need to be recognized as equal partners, however, the AMC is confident that a bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and Manitoba First Nations is the only path forward. The AMC will reach out directly to partners, such as the province, who can assist in emergency situations.”

The report by the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs released yesterday recognizes that “the solutions to the problems identified in this report should come from First Nations themselves.”

Over the years, the AMC has worked to promote First Nations as equal partners in fire prevention and emergency management. This spring, the AMC held a First Nations Fire Preparedness Forum in Thompson, Manitoba. First Nations have identified a number of issues they face when dealing with fires. They have a number of recommendations, including the need for greater collaboration across federal government departments to ensure streamlined services and problem solving.

“The AMC remains committed to working with First Nations leaders across our province to ensure that plans for safety are robust and proactive,” said Grand Chief Dumas. “We know what we need and we encourage the federal government to work directly with us as we are the experts when it comes to the safety of our own communities. We would like to send our gratitude to the staff and volunteers at the Canadian Red Cross for their ongoing commitment to the safety and well-being of our First Nations citizens in Manitoba.”