TG Supports Amendments to NWT Emergency Management Act

Tłı̨chǫ Government Supports Efforts to Amend NWT Emergency Management Act To Include Coordination with Indigenous Governments & Organizations

Behchokǫ̀ – Monday, August 28, 2023 - Tłıc̨hǫ Government supports the efforts of Monfwi MLA, Jane Weyallon Armstrong, to amend the NWT Emergency Management Act (EMA) to require the Emergency Management Organization (“EMO”) to coordinate its activities with impacted Indigenous Governments and organizations whose citizens and communities are affected by an emergency.

The EMA has not equipped the EMO with enough legal authority to coordinate its activities with Indigenous Governments and organizations during this unprecedented wildfire and evacuation time and it is leading to real hardship for Indigenous peoples and individuals. Tłıc̨hǫ Government estimates that among the evacuees were 1000 Tłıc̨hǫ citizens, some of them with issues that complicated their evacuation situation. The Tłıc̨hǫ Government has taken extraordinary measures to set up a Tłıc̨hǫ Wildfire Evacuee Registration and Support Centre to coordinate the activities to identify, locate and then support Tłıc̨hǫ citizens in need. This amendment is an immediate way to deal with the lack of coordination that is having harmful effects right now and creating urgent issues.

Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty said that the amendment that will be proposed by Jane Weyallon Armstrong comes at a critical time. “I deeply appreciate all the efforts being taken in these trying times, yet we can always do better. Despite our efforts to assist, there has been a failure to communicate with Indigenous Governments throughout the response and evacuations. This put our most vulnerable populations at risk such as Elders, the homeless and those struggling with addictions. If steps to coordinate had been taken, we could have made sure our people were evacuated to the safest possible environment - in some cases our own communities. Instead, Tłıc̨hǫ people were shipped out across the country to large cities... people went missing for several days and were put in unsafe situations. We have the best knowledge and capacity to support the needs of our people and we would like the GNWT to collaborate with us to ensure our citizens are taken care of. This amendment would allow us to work together on urgent issues in the day-to-day emergency response.”

For inquiries, please contact:
Tłıc̨hǫ Government Communications
[email protected] 

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