"We commend the outstanding work and commitment of First Nations, their firefighters and emergency coordinators in ensuring the safety and security of their communities.
We will continue to work closely with First Nations communities and with Indigenous firefighting and emergency management organizations to improve fire prevention and protection on reserves.
"To support prevention efforts, we have invested more than $3.7 million to install more than 128,000 working smoke alarms in First Nations homes on reserves. In addition, since Budget 2016, 89 fire protection projects have been funded, benefitting 235 First Nations communities.
"We introduced the Joint First Nations Fire Protection Strategy 2016-2021 , in partnership with the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC), and working in close collaboration with other experts. The goal of this five-year strategy is to support on-reserve communities in reducing the risk of fire-related deaths, injuries and losses to critical infrastructure by promoting initiatives that focus on preventing fires before they start.
"Indigenous Services Canada is supporting AFAC as they begin a national engagement process to create Canada’s first-ever Indigenous Fire Marshal’s Office. This Office would support Indigenous communities in their efforts to improve the safety and protection of people and property, as well as the development of fire services, programs and services.
"My department also supports FireSmart initiatives on-reserve across Canada. These initiatives focus on partnering with First Nations communities to support their capacity-building efforts, and ultimately enhance their ability to respond to the increasing threat of wildlfires.
"The Government of Canada is committed to improve fire prevention and protection services, strengthening efforts to save lives and property and ensuring that Indigenous communities can prosper."
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: media may contact: Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-934-2796; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160, SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca
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