The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

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This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the creation of Indigenous Services Canada and the eventual creation of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. During this transformation, you may also wish to consult the updated Indigenous and Northern Affairs home page.

The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada is made up of regional fire and emergency service organizations with a focus on delivering fire prevention and other associated programs, such as the National Firefighters Competition, that will help reduce fires and the loss of life.

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Transcript: The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

Blaine Wiggins - Executive Director - Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada is a national organization made up of regional fire and emergency services organizations with a focus to deliver fire prevention programs and other associated programs that will help reduce fires and loss of life on reserve…

…Our property loss and fire deaths on reserve are statistically higher than anywhere else in Canada.

The purpose of the National Firefighters Competition is basically to focus on volunteerism, focus on professional standards, focus on the spirit of fire competition for Aboriginal firefighters…

So this is the 25th Anniversary of the National Firefighting Competition and this year our host community is Fort McKay in Northern Alberta.

Destiny Young- Volunteer Firefighter- Fort McKay Fire Department

My family is big in firefighting…my Dad was a volunteer firefighter …my older brother is a volunteer firefighter…and also my big cousin…so we all firefight together here in Fort McKay.

Blaine Wiggins - Executive Director - Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

So the teams that are here are made of 8 regions across Canada including Nunavut…

Over the four days we do many things …we start off with a training day where the firefighters get an opportunity to be trained in different areas including fire prevention…

…We spend a day meeting with Aboriginal Affairs on fire strategies…

We partner with them to deliver the National Fire Fighter Competition, annually, and you know we hope to continue partnering in other programs, such as the BeFireSafe Campaign.

We do our national AGM… where we need to do our corporate business.

…We usually have a social afternoon…

…and then we move onto the competition day…

and the competition day is what everybody lives and breathes for… that's a fantastic day…gives the opportunity for the firefighters to really show how professional they are.

DJ voiceover

Welcome to Fort McKay, here with the 25th Annual National Aboriginal Firefighters Competition.

Ron Quintal - Deputy Fire Chief - Fort McKay Fire Department, Alberta

In 30 degree weather it makes for an interesting day…'cause the fact is you're wearing a set of bunker gear which turns up the heat by 10 degrees …and you're actually expected to follow through on … basic fire ground jobs…and do them in a time span which is limited…

Harold Morris - Team BC

…my arms are aching…
…my legs are burning…
…sweat is running into my eyes…
…it is absolutely gruelling…
…and I love every second of it!

Dekota Aquash-Team Ontario

It's actually my first time being here- I feel honored…a lot of good teams we have to compete….

Iqaluk Toonoo -Team Nunavut

We're all from different communities…and we got together in one week and help out each other and we got to know each other pretty good…a lot of fun.

Ron Quintal - Deputy Fire Chief - Fort McKay Fire Department, Alberta - Team Alberta

You get to meet people from all over Canada who share their experiences and who all have….ultimately have the same goal- community protection.

Blaine Wiggins - Executive Director - Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

I sense the future is going to be really bright…when I see the young firefighters…the men and women that are coming…that are committing themselves…I know they're going to make a difference…

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