Twelve First Nations, including Cowichan Tribes, 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 will support communities to enhance cultural safety and cultural humility in the delivery of local emergency-management programs and services.
The 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.
Cowichan Tribes will receive $30,000 of the funding to implement an Indigenous cultural safety program for emergency management and first responders.
“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,” said Cindy Daniels, acting CAO for Cowichan Tribes.
“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.”
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.
“Indigenous peoples have cultural practices, beliefs and values that must be respected,” said Bowinn Ma, minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.
“In past emergencies, services have not always been inclusive and welcoming for Indigenous peoples, and this has to change. 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.”