Twelve First Nations and local governments throughout B.C. will receive funding to improve Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility in local emergency management.
More than $562,000 from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) will support communities to enhance cultural safety and cultural humility in the delivery of local emergency-management programs and services.
“Indigenous Peoples have cultural practices, beliefs and values that must be respected. In past emergencies, services have not always been inclusive and welcoming for Indigenous Peoples – this has to change,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “By providing funding for cultural safety training, communities can work to create a culturally responsive emergency response system that recognizes and addresses the specific needs and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples.”
Funding may be used for cultural safety and humility training, adapting emergency-management tools to be inclusive of Indigenous Peoples, and activities related to partnering with or providing assistance to First Nations during emergency mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
CEPF is a suite of seven funding streams, including public notification and evacuation planning, emergency support services, and disaster risk reduction-climate adaptation. The next intake for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility is expected to open to communities in fall 2023.
Since 2017, First Nations and local governments have been approved for more than $111 million through CEPF for more than 1,300 projects that help communities mitigate and prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies.
Cindy Daniels, acting chief administrative officer, Cowichan Tribes –
“This Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training funding will support our ongoing work to build collaborative and respectful relationships with local front-line responders by sharing with them a greater understanding of Cowichan history, our connection to the lands and waters here, and the snuw'uy'ulh (teachings) that guide our people. Emergency events are becoming more frequent in our community and front-line responders need to be supported with proactive cultural education, especially before responding to high-stress events.”
Mike Moyer, community safety director, Adams Lake Indian Band –
“Providing funding opportunities is essential to improving our way of life. Being the successful recipient of Indigenous cultural safety and humility funding is an important step towards improving overall safety in our community. Specifically, conflict occurs in all aspects of our life, but providing tools to deal with conflict in a healthy manner will have long-lasting effects no matter what age group.”
Herb Pond, mayor, Prince Rupert –
“Our emergency personnel deal with residents at some of their most vulnerable times. Prince Rupert’s population is over half Indigenous and it’s a priority for us at the city to ensure that our staff are well supported to provide care that is compassionate, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive. We are very grateful to UBCM for supporting our community through funding for this initiative.”
For more information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund administered by the Union of BC Municipalities, visit: https://www.ubcm.ca/funding-programs/local-government-program-services/community-emergency-preparedness-fund
A backgrounder follows.