MP Hanley Announces New Yukon Indigenous Firefighting Pilot Project and Highlights Canada's National Adaptation Strategy

WHITEHORSE, YT, Nov. 25, 2022 /CNW/ – Fighting climate change and protecting communities from the damages of wildfire has never been more important. As part of Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, communities from coast to coast to coast are developing tools and programs to increase resilience to climate change impacts while investing in clean solutions.

Today, Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced $3.5 million in support for the Yukon First Nations Wildfire project for training 10 instructors and 120 wildland firefighters under the Indigenous Firefighter and Multi-Hazard Training Initiative. This pilot project will support the Yukon First Nations Wildfire’s vision to incorporate traditional Indigenous knowledge in wildland firefighting and help to inform the Wildfire Training Program.

Support for the Yukon First Nations Wildfire project is built on investments in Budget 2022, which provided Natural Resources Canada with $37.9 million over five years to train 1,000 firefighters and incorporate Indigenous traditional knowledge in fire management under the Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate Program.

Working with Indigenous organizations to develop and expand the employment and training supports to a broader range of recipients will build wildfire response capacity across Canada and inform the establishment of a responsive and inclusive-by-design Wildfire Training program. The Wildfire Training program will be fully launched in 2024–2025.         

Yesterday, in Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, released Canada’s first-ever National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy.

Following this, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, also highlighted new funding that is being provided to three federal programs that form part of the Action Plan and will be delivered by Natural Resources Canada for Canadians across the country: a Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program, a Wildfire Resilient Futures Initiative and a Climate Resilient Coastal and Northern Communities Program.

The National Adaptation Strategy establishes a common direction for preparing for climate change events across five key systems: disaster resilience; health and well-being; nature and biodiversity; infrastructure; and economy and workers.

The Strategy is now open to the provinces, territories and National Indigenous Organizations for a final 90 days of engagement on the Strategy’s common goals and specific measurable targets and objectives. The Strategy is a result of extensive engagement since 2021 and presents a shared vision for climate resilience in the country and a framework to measure progress nationally.

Making adaptation investments now will have major economy-wide benefits later. Expert research suggests that every dollar invested in prevention and preparation can save up to $15 in costs. Adapting to climate change requires that all orders of government, the private sector and Canadians work together to build resilient communities and a stronger economy, ultimately ensuring Canadians continue to thrive into the future.             

Quotes

“Northerners and all Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change. Today’s announcement of the Yukon First Nations Wildfire’s training of 120 Indigenous firefighters is a step toward greater community-based climate resilience and will advance the protection of forests. As part of the National Adaptation Strategy, this initiative and others will advance key resilience and adaptation measures to mitigate climate impacts, preserve livelihoods and protect our communities and the critical infrastructure we depend on. The result will be stronger, safer and more prosperous places to call home.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

“As a northern region, the Yukon offers a unique perspective on our rapidly changing climate. Having faced recent, extreme weather events like flooding, wildfire and landslides, there is a highlighted need for building capacity in emergency services. I am pleased to see a pilot project in conjunction with Yukon First Nations Wildfire that supports local First Nation training and employment opportunities and the incorporation of traditional knowledge in fire management while providing valuable insight to other jurisdictions in our country.”

Brendan Hanley
Member of Parliament for Yukon

“This partnership with Canada will provide the much-needed flexibility for Yukon First Nations Wildfire to engage with all Yukon First Nations and northern communities to train the next generation of wildland firefighters. This will benefit not only our northern First Nations and Yukon but also Canadians at large. Today, we take an incredible step forward for reconciliation within our industry, and we are proud to be taking it with our partners and shareholders. Yukon is particularly susceptible to climate change impact, and this collaborative effort will help us actively prepare and mitigate future risks by bolstering our resilience against these rapidly changing climate conditions. We thank all of our partners including Canada for their continued confidence and support of our efforts. Màhsi’ choo, thank you.”

Fred Koe
Chair of Yukon First Nations Wildfire

Related Information

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

MP Hanley Announces New Yukon Indigenous Firefighting Pilot Project and Highlights Canada's National Adaptation Strategy WeeklyReviewer

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