The BC First Nations Housing & Infrastructor Council (HIC) recently sent out three seperate Requests for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for 4 (four) vacancies within the HIC structure. This memo will hopefully clarify confusion about the difference between these three requests, plus there was an error that HIC would like to correcton the closing date in a version of one of the requests.
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(Wet’suwet’en First Nation Territory – Burns Lake, BC) – On May 30, 2019, the Wet’suwet’en First Nation concluded its election for one Chief and two Councillor’s, for a three year term from May 31, 2019 to May 31, 2022. The successful candidates are Maureen Luggi, Chief and elected Councillors Heather Nooski and Karen Ogen-Toews. Luggi defeated incumbent Vivian Tom.Show more Show Less
Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Applauds SD57 for Ad Hoc Committee on Reconciliation
- Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) represents seven member bands with a membership of 5500 members, many of whom reside in Lheidli territory.
- CSTC was one of many partnership groups who helped pave the way for Nusdeh Yoh, which was British Columbia’s first ever Aboriginal choice school.
Lheidli T’enneh Territory/Prince George BC – The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is applauding a recent motion put forward by the Board of Trustees of School District 57, which calls for an ad hoc committee to be formed to implement reconciliation within the school district.
Tribal Chief Mina Holmes stated, “We are thankful for this news. CSTC has been behind many innovations in SD57 that benefit all students today, and this news is encouraging. All children in SD57 will benefit from the action of this committee. We commend and support the work of Lheidli T’enneh, McLeod Lake Indian Band and SD57 for the courage in moving forward with this motion.” CSTC hopes this recent motion will pave the way for more community input into Aboriginal education, particularly the many urban students in SD57 who currently live away from their home territory. CSTC estimates that roughly one-third of the total SD 57 Aboriginal population come from the seven CSTC member bands.
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”
June 3, 2019
(Unceded Territory of the Lheidli Tenn’eh, Prince George, BC – June 3, 2019) The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its Reclaiming Power and Place: Final Report this morning. This inquiry was made possible by the years of advocacy led by women in the communities who called on Canada to address the systemic and root causes of violence faced by Indigenous women and especially address the large number of missing and murdered Indigenus women in Canada.
Tribal Chief Mina Holmes, stated that “We want to recognize the courage and strength of the women who shared their stories. Their bravery and their trust in this process has become an opening for the possibility of monumental changes in our country. We also want to acknowledge the victim families for their ongoing support and advocacy” Chief Holmes is encouraged by the 231 recommendations and believes that the collaboration between all levels of government and the community need to continue in order to implement meaningful change. This is the time to rise above our past and finally address the systemic issues we face. This change must be a true partnership between First Nations, Communities, and all levels of government and Canadians.
The report uses the term genocide rather cultural genocide and that has been the topic of much of today’s news regarding the Report. “Most importantly,” Holmes said, “is the transformative change for Indigenous women in this country. The persecution of Indigenous women must stop and we must now begin a new journey of hope and promise. The National Action Plan must be implemented immediately in order to stop the ongoing genocide.” Chief Commissioner Marion Buller said today in a television interview ‘the change could start with simple, do-able things like providing drinking water in the Indigenous communities.’
The Commission Report also recommends that the Criminal Code of Canada be changed so that when an Indigenous women is murdered in a domestic violence case, that the criminal charge would automatically be first degree murder. Further the report states that the police force must change to include police sensitivity to properly serve and protect First Nations women. The police were reluctant to co-operate with the Commission in its requests for files on missing and murdered women.
If you need emotional assistance today, please call 1-844-413-6649. It is a toll free 24/7 crisis call line providing support for anyone who requires emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Serious Problems Still Face First Nations After Wildfire Season: Report
NEWS PROVIDED BY
Nadleh Whut’en First Nation
Nov 29, 2018, 13:03 ET
NADLEH WHUT’EN TERRITORY, BC, Nov. 29, 2018 /CNW/ – The Nadleh Whut’en First Nation has released a new report, Trial by Fire: Nadleh Whut’en and the Shovel Lake Fire, 2018, chronicling persistent problems with emergency management in British Columbia.
Last summer, the Shovel Lake Fire threatened the Nadleh Whut’en village on Nadleh Bunk’et (Fraser Lake). The village was evacuated, and thankfully no one perished in the fire. Nadleh Whut’en did lose three structures at a healing camp. But far more significant was the burning of 111,966 hectares of land from Shovel Lake and other fires last summer. That’s over 22% of Nadleh’s traditional territory.
Trial by Fire examines the many issues faced by Nadleh Whut’en during the emergency. There is no protocol for information sharing with First Nations governments, which meant Nadleh Whut’en received a notice to evacuate their healing camp a day after it had already burned.
There is also no protocol for funding emergency operations during an emergency. That has left Nadleh Whut’en with crushing debt after being assured by Emergency Management British Columbia that costs would be reimbursed.
Evacuees faced disrespect from many businesses. Representatives from Nadleh Whut’en were forced to confront management of local restaurants to stop discrimination on the part of staff.
Access to funds from the Provincial Government for recovery after emergencies is almost impossible for First Nations and their members. This has left many Nadleh members without food, since their fridges are ruined, or fuel to heat their homes since there is no firewood left to cut.
“Shovel Lake will not be the last fire we face,” said Chief Larry Nooski. “With climate change, and the problems with modern forestry, forest fires are becoming more frequent and severe. But if we can act on the recommendations found in this report, we will be far better prepared to meet these challenges in the future.”
With the release of this report, the Chief and Council of Nadleh Whut’en hope to spur the Government of BC to implement protocols — through consultation with First Nations — to improve emergency management and guarantee funding for emergency operations and recovery once the emergency has passed.
SOURCE: Nadleh Whut’en First Nation
For further information: Chief Larry Nooski, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation at firstname.lastname@example.org or (604) 865-0658 for comment
Many British Columbia First Nations that stayed behind to stop wildfires from destroying their communities in 2017 and 2018 are still waiting to be reimbursed by the provincial and federal governments.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Updated: November 27, 2018
VANCOUVER — Chief Larry Nooski remembers the deafening sound of a wildfire racing toward Nadleh Whut’en territory in August, like a “low-level jet plane.”
The chief of the central British Columbia First Nation felt ambushed. His community scrambled to buy equipment, train firefighters, evacuate residents and set up an emergency operations centre — spending about $400,000 but saving most of the reserve’s buildings from the flames.
He said the province’s emergency management agency assured him it would co-ordinate reimbursement from various provincial, federal and non-governmental agencies. Months later, he’s still waiting.
“We are able to carry this debt, but we shouldn’t have to,” Nooski said. “My worry is more (about) those smaller communities that have to go through these emergencies and make those expenditures and are not able to carry the debts.”
Many B.C. First Nations that stayed to stop wildfires from destroying their communities in 2017 and 2018 are still waiting to be reimbursed by the provincial and federal governments for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses.
Indigenous groups say they’re in an impossible situation because they can’t afford to pay for training and equipment for firefighters before a crisis strikes, so they have to take on enormous debts to protect their homes as flames approach.
Nooski was set to meet with provincial officials Wednesday to deliver a report about his community’s struggle to stop the massive Shovel Lake wildfire near Fraser Lake. It burned through 922 square kilometres of the nation’s traditional territory, including two cabins and a smokehouse at a camp for substance abuse rehabilitation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in August to clear up the lines of communication between the provincial and federal governments to ensure First Nations had what they needed to fight wildfires. The same day, the deputy minister of Indigenous Services Canada visited Nadleh Whut’en land and surveyed the damage in a helicopter.
“We were hoping that their visit would ease any of the application processes … to help the area regenerate,” Nooski said.
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Residents of his community moved back into smoke-damaged homes without any inspection for potential health effects, he said, and many of their freezers are empty for the winter because they couldn’t pick berries or fish in the summer.
Most B.C. First Nations that suffered an emergency in 2017 or 2018 have response or recovery funds outstanding, Brent Langlois of the First Nations Emergency Services Society said in an email.
“The scope does include literally dozens of communities,” he said. “Losses are extensive and include infrastructure, socio-economic (and) economic viability of a community, and mental and physical health concerns.”
He said reimbursement claims are onerous and time-consuming. In many cases, the outstanding funds significantly impact general operations of a community, he said.
Emergency Management BC said the province strives to reimburse valid claims within 30 days, but given the complexity of some of the claims received over the past two wildfire seasons, this objective is not always attainable.
Indigenous Services Canada said it’s working with B.C. and First Nations to develop a tripartite approach to emergency management that recognizes First Nations as full partners. It also provided funding to 44 First Nations in the last year to update and exercise their emergency management plans and conduct mitigation projects, it said.
The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons were the worst on record in terms of land scorched in B.C.
The Bonaparte Indian Band spent $600,000 to fight the Elephant Hill wildfire near Cache Creek in 2017 and have not been reimbursed about $150,000. Carrying the debt has a significant impact on essential services, said Chief Ryan Day.
Day said a portion of their claim was rejected because their firefighters weren’t properly certified, and ideally, his band would have a fully certified crew and equipment. But its “persistent state of poverty” means it simply can’t afford these things, he said.
“The root of the issue is that … we’ve been prevented from having a land base where we could have adequate taxation and have adequate economic opportunities … so that we can provide basic services to our people, like fire protection,” he said.
He added that severe wildfires could be prevented with proper management of the forest, but his community has no control over the land surrounding it.
The First Nation hardest hit by wildfires last summer was the Tahltan Nation in Telegraph Creek, where 21 homes were destroyed.
In contrast with other Indigenous leaders, Chief Rick McLean said the provincial and federal governments have been fully responsive from Day 1 of the crisis.
The federal government gave them $2 million to cover costs right away, and he’s confident that the $1.4 million they paid out of pocket will be reimbursed, he said.
“I’m very pleased with the federal government’s response,” he said. “I think they were looking for something to champion. We have the largest wildfire devastation to a community in Canadian history and the fastest recovery.”
Fraser Complex Evening Update
Shovel Lake Wildfire (R11498)
Location: approx. 6km north of the community of Fraser Lake
Status: 91,253 hectares (mapped—infrared scan) – 20% contained
Cause: under investigation
Resources: 244 firefighters, 43 pieces of heavy equipment, 16 helicopters (shared in the complex).
Objectives: The Shovel Lake fire situation has remained fairly static over the last few days with internal fire activity not causing growth beyond the existing perimeter. The most activity over the past few days has occurred on the northeast by the Bud Road, on the southeast corner, and in the north between Hannay Lake and the Sutherland Park area. This activity has been spurred on by higher afternoon winds and available fuel pockets (what can be called “fuel finding”), especially with remaining spruce stands. Today, the southeast corner was given attention to by crews as the fire was fuel finding and spurred by strong western winds. Crews will continue to respond to activity as heavy equipment helps to wrap any excursions that have occurred over existing containment lines. With clear skies today, bucketing helicopters supported objectives all day. Crews continued to work on the northeast section, and mop-up along the east flank is ongoing. Heavy equipment has the objective to “tightline” the fire perimeter (meaning: to wrap containment lines tightly along the perimeter as an initial guard within the broader containment lines that have already been constructed along the Barlow and Dog Creek roads).
Island Lake Wildfire (R11921)
Location: Adjacent to Island Lake
Status: 20,409.0 hectares (mapped—infrared scan)
Cause: Under investigation
Resources: 52 firefighters, 23 pieces of heavy equipment, 16 helicopters (shared in the complex) – more helicopters are arriving for tomorrow.
Objectives: Crews continue efforts on the Dahlgren Road to stop the fire from creeping further towards values. In the Dahlgren Road area, hand guard was constructed today around powerlines and crews conducted planned ignitions to mitigate the risk posed by the slash and decked logs. Crews on the south side of the fire worked in the Anzus Lake and Borel Lake areas, wrapping around the eastern part of Borel Lake to tie off the fire. There is 100 feet wetlining occurring off of containment lines to secure the perimeter off the Arrow Road. The containment line that heavy equipment has been pushing in off of Francois Lake working south has been completed, and crews are following up with hoselay and blacklining to remove fuels from the fire side in order to keep the fire from advancing and to protect adjacent timber values.
Cheslatta Wildfire (R11683)
Location: North of Cheslatta Lake
Status: 7,629 hectares (estimated)
Cause: under investigation
Resources: 30 firefighters, 23 pieces of heavy equipment, 16 helicopters (shared in the complex)
Objectives: A small excursion over containment lines occurred towards the Binta Lake side to which helicopters and crews responded to, more action will occur on this tomorrow. On the west side, crews are working with heavy equipment to tie in containment lines and will maintain open communications with the Babine Complex given the proximity of the Verdun Fire and are looking for opportunities to build containment lines to support Verdun. Crews worked to blackline a 25 ft. buffer around the cultural sites that were equipped with sprinklers last night. Crews and heavy equipment continue to work to secure the eastern flank, where an excursion occurred by the end of Holy Cross Lake though crews and equipment wrapped it back in. Crews will anchor from Cheslatta Lake and work north towards the 48 Road and 20 ft wetline is occurring.
Click on the link below to read more of this update:
Fraser Complex Evening Update
Shovel Lake Wildfire (R11498)
Location: approx. 6km north of the community of Fraser Lake
Status: 91,253 hectares (mapped—infrared scan)
Cause: under investigation
Resources: 230 firefighters, 47 pieces of heavy equipment, 12 helicopters (shared in the complex)
Objectives: The fire remains internally active but is still primarily within containment lines. Visibility issues were rampant across the fire with thick smoke over the area due to western winds, but late afternoon clearing meant helicopters were eventually able to provide bucketing support to ground crews. The growth on the northeast corner has had machine guard built around the end. However, this part of the fire continues to be active within guard lines and is visible from the surrounding areas but it is resourced and the main east flank of the fire has not moved towards Fort St James, Highway 27, or Highway 16 in the last week. Crews continue to work late to take advantage of favourable conditions on the northeast flank tonight conducting hand ignitions to remove available fuels in order to reinforce the containment lines – this will be visible from the surrounding areas. Media reports from earlier today that the fire would eventually run into Stuart Lake were incorrect as the fire has not progressed towards the lake and the probability that it will do so is low given the resources and containment lines in place.
Crews continue to mop-up along the north for completed objectives while further contingency guards on the north and northeast flanks are being established. The fire remains active on the north flank in the Sutherland Drainage, but crews conducted planned ignitions today to secure parts of the flank and protect timber values. In the south, crews are mopping up along Sutherland Road to William Road from yesterday’s controlled burn and will have that line secured by end of day.
Click on the link below to read more of the update: