Coast Guard Partners with Indigenous Communities

Coast Guard Partners with Indigenous Communities Jun 16, 2022

Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous coastal communities to improve safety on the water. Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced $2 million in funding for ten communities through the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program to buy boats and related safety equipment.

The Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program in 2017, under the Oceans Protection Plan, to strengthen coastal communities’ capacity to participate in maritime search and rescue activities. Combined with training in search and rescue, the Program helps Indigenous communities in coastal areas become new members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. Increasing local capacity to respond effectively to emergencies makes the waters near these communities safer for everyone.

A total of $2 million in funding has been provided to ten communities: Hamlet of Pangnirtung in Nunavut; Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations and Nisga’a Nation in British Columbia; Whitefish River First Nation and Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario; Cree Nation of Waskaganish in Quebec; MAWIW Council Inc. (representing Elsipogtog First Nation and Esgenoopetitj First Nation) in New Brunswick; We’koqma’q First Nation in Nova Scotia; and, Miawpukek First Nation and Makkovimuit Trust Incorporated (representing the Inuit communities of Nain and Makkovik) in Newfoundland and Labrador.

To date, 40 Indigenous coastal communities or organizations on all three coasts have received over $12 million in funding to buy or retrofit boats and related safety equipment. Under the next phase of the Oceans Protection Plan, the program will continue to help communities build, enhance, or sustain their capacity to respond to marine search and rescue incidents.

The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a stronger marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.

Photo Credit: Hunter Reilly

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