Emergency management is a provincial/territorial responsibility, however, the AANDC Minister has accepted responsibility for supporting emergency management in on-reserve First Nation communities.
An Emergency Management Framework for Canada defines emergencies to include "all hazards" which broadens the scope of emergencies from merely fire fighting and flood control, to encompass a wide range of broader emergencies and responses including but not limited to earthquakes, severe weather, landslides, power outages, avalanches, cyber, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear issues, and depending on the situation, issues of civil unrest.
The most common emergencies affecting First Nations are floods, fires, search and rescue, or failure of community infrastructure (i.e. critical roads, bridges, etc.) due to a natural disaster or accident.
AANDC's role is to support the efforts of the primary provincial or territorial emergency management organization to address an emergency situation on-reserve, and to manage the consequences arising from the emergency such as disruptions to community-level critical services delivered in the First Nation.
There are various funding arrangements or agreements between AANDC and the provinces for the delivery of emergency management services for First Nation communities. These agreements ensure that First Nation communities have access to comparable emergency assistance services available to other nearby non-aboriginal communities in their respective province. They also provide an assurance to the province that AANDC will provide funding to cover eligible costs related to emergency assistance in First Nation communities so that responses can be implemented rapidly and without unnecessary delay.
The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) National Emergency Management Plan describes the roles and responsibilities of the Department and its partners in emergency management as well as the concept of operations for responding to and managing an emergency situation in First Nation communities.
While there are only two First Nation communities in the North, AANDC has a different set of responsibilities in the territories given our land, water and resource management operations.
Annexes to AANDC's National Emergency Management Plan include:
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) established the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) to assist First Nation communities living on reserves in managing emergencies. The program covers all four pillars of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. In addition, the program may provide assistance for search and recovery activities related to missing persons.
For general information regarding AANDC's role in emergency management, please contact the:
AANDC Public Enquiries Contact Centre
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington, North Tower
Phone: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604
TTY: (toll-free) 1-866-553-0554
If ever an emergency takes place on-reserve, the First Nation community should notify the AANDC Regional Office as soon as possible. There is an Emergency Management Coordinator in each AANDC regional office who can provide support in the response to an emergency on-reserve.