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Indigenous Services Canada supporting First Nations recovery from Hurricane Fiona as part of federal government response

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

October 7, 2022

Hurricane Fiona brought high winds and heavy rainfall, affecting First Nations communities in the Atlantic region, resulting in flooding, downed trees, damages to infrastructure, and extended power outages.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is working closely with affected First Nations to provide immediate relief, assess damages, and support recovery efforts. Officials have met regularly with First Nations leadership, emergency management organizations in each Atlantic province, Public Safety Canada, and other agencies to ensure the right supports are in place and that additional requests are handled as quickly as possible. ISC has also helped facilitate the delivery of fuel and generators where needed throughout the region.

Through ISC, $4 million has been made immediately available through the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) to address recovery efforts and various needs and expenses identified by First Nations communities. More funding will be made available as damage and recovery assessments are completed. This funding can support measures such as:

  • Tree clearing and storm clean-up
  • Electric generators and fuel
  • Community food security needs, including food spoilage and water supplies
  • Additional emergency supplies to support long periods without power
  • Short-term building and critical infrastructure repairs

Through EMAP, ISC is also offering direct financial assistance of $295 per on-reserve household to help cover the costs of food loss and to help with food security. As of October 6, 2022, ISC has already provided over $920,000 to those that have experienced extended power outages. As recovery needs evolve, ISC remains ready to adapt to ensure they can be met.

Funding through EMAP is designed to be responsive to community needs as it has been through COVID and other emergency situations. Should there be unmet financial needs that cannot be fulfilled through EMAP, the new $300 million in relief funding as announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week is intended to fill those gaps and ensure no community is left behind.

As communities transition from emergency response to recovery, ISC will be there to meet the needs of First Nations in their rebuilding efforts.

Quotes

“First Nations chiefs and leaders in the Atlantic region have worked incredibly hard to keep community members safe from Hurricane Fiona. As the damages are assessed, and the focus turns to the planning for rebuilding, Indigenous Services Canada will be there every step of the way to help First Nations in the recovery of their communities.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Hurricane Fiona was an unprecedented storm that has devastated Atlantic Canadians including First Nations communities. It’s important that we support all those affected by this storm. Ensuring Indigenous households on reserve are included in these supports will continue to be an important part of the work being undertaken by our federal government.”

The Honourable Jaime Battiste
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and MP for Sydney-Victoria

“The damage felt in First Nations communities in our region from Hurricane Fiona will take significant investments to repair. The funding announced today will help ensure that Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada have the support they need to rebuild and be strengthened for the long term.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and MP for Central Nova

Quick facts

  • First Nations governments are playing a lead role in assessing the immediate needs of citizens in the affected areas and determining the appropriate course of action, which may include evacuation, on-ground support and transportation.
  • Responsibility for costs for emergency events on reserves falls under ISC’s Emergency Management Assistance Program. This single window provides First Nations, provinces and territories with access to emergency funding when needed.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Alison Murphy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
[email protected]

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
[email protected]

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