The Regional District of East Kootenay is set to receive a portion of a $3.4-million investment from the Province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF).

According to the B.C. Government, the RDEK will receive $25,000 for the East Kootenay Emergency Program’s Indigenous Cultural Awareness training.

“The Province will continue to support our communities as we work to keep British Columbians prepared from the threat of emergencies,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund supports the projects that municipalities and First Nations have identified as necessary to keep their communities safe, so it’s an excellent example of how we are effectively working together to improve public safety and resilience throughout B.C.”

The Province added that the CEPF is meant to enhance the resiliency of local governments, indigenous communities and their residents.

Recent approved funding includes $690,000 for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training and up to $2.8 million for flood risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning.

“We learned many lessons during the unprecedented wildfire and flooding seasons in 2017 and 2018, including the importance of working together to improve emergency services for First Nations communities,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “We’ve worked hard as a government to make sure communities are prepared for emergencies, and this funding has been a key part of that effort.”

The cultural safety and humility stream of funding from the CEPF supports applicants to provide emergency management personnel with training to more effectively partner with Indigenous communities during emergencies.

“This includes increasing opportunities to educate emergency management personnel, emergency management professionals in training, and others working in the emergency management system on the history of Indigenous peoples, as well as the concepts of cultural safety, cultural humility and its importance to Indigenous peoples,” said the Province.

Meanwhile, flood assessment funding has yet to be allocated to communities around B.C.

“The current funding for flood-risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning will be released to communities that have highly ranked projects from the most recent intake that was oversubscribed. The funding for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training has already been allocated to communities,” said the BC Government.

A total of 21 proposals for Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training were accepted, these include:

  • Bulkley-Nechako Regional District – Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training at NESST Conference: $8,741.06.
  • Central Coast Regional District – Regional Central Coast Cultural Competency Training Project: $49,967.50.
  • Delta – Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training Project for Emergency Services: $25,000.
  • Doig River First Nation – Cultural Safety and Humility Training Pilot Project: $25,000.
  • East Kootenay Regional District – East Kootenay Emergency Program Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training: $25,000.
  • Gitxaala Nation – Gitxaala 2030: Cultural Safety in Emergency Services: $25,000.
  • Halalt First Nation – Cultural Safety and Humility Training: $24,475.
  • Kitimat – Emergency Management Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Training: $6,875.
  • Metchosin – Bridging of Emergency Preparedness with Cultural Awareness: $23,650
  • Northern Rockies Regional Municipality – Indigenous Cultural Humility and Cultural Safety Training: $22,000.
  • Pemberton – Improving Our Cultural Competency: Cultural Training for EOC Staff and Fire Rescue: $14,500.
  • Penticton Indian Band – Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training: $25,000.
  • qathet Regional District – qathet RD and Tla’amin Nation Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Training: $25,000
  • Skawahlook First Nation – Historical Impacts Training for Emergency Response Personnel: $23,067
  • Squamish – Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Training for Emergency Personnel: $25,000.
  • Stz’uminus First Nation – Cultural Awareness as Emergency Preparedness: $24,420.
  • Tl’azt’en Nation – Preparing for Tomorrow: $25,000.
  • Tsilhqot’in National Government – Regional Tsilhqot’in Nation Cultural Safety and Humility Program: $125,440.
  • Vernon – Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training Project for Emergency Services: $25,000.
  • We Wai Kai First Nation – Regional Ligwilda’xw and Kwakwaka’wakw Teachings for Culturally Aware Emergency Care: $125,000.
  • Whistler – Indigenous Cultural Safety Training for Emergency Management Personnel: $16,138.