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Canadian Wildfire Response Through Indigenous Fire Steward Training

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Across Canada, several provinces and territories are experiencing a severe wildfire season, and the effects are widespread. As wildfires become more common and more extreme, the Government of Canada is focused on keeping people safe while strengthening Canada’s long-term response.

Today, as part of his visit to Saskatchewan, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a contribution of $524,780 toward the Prince Albert Grand Council Indigenous Wildfire Stewards Pilot Program. 

The contribution comes from Natural Resource Canada’s Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate Program: Training Fund, a two-year Training Pilot currently being implemented with a focus on providing support to Indigenous communities and organizations to train firefighters and to better understand the needs and barriers in the sector. A fully launched fund in 2024–2025 will be informed by the best practices obtained from the projects under the pilot.

Through the Indigenous Wildfire Stewards Pilot program, the Prince Albert Grand Council will increase capacity to prepare for and respond to wildfires, address employment barriers for Indigenous people and better understand the needs and requirements of communities in Saskatchewanimpacted by wildfires.

A total of 320 existing wildland fire practitioners will participate in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) training with Elder advisors, as well as train 125 Indigenous fire stewards through fire camps and fire guardian programs. The project will result in 445 participants receiving training, increasing the number of trained personnel that provinces, territories and Indigenous communities can leverage to respond to wildfire.

The Government of Canada’s first priority is protecting lives and livelihoods. Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to identify and suppress wildfires and keep communities safe during this year’s devastating wildfire season

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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