It's at all levels. An example is the people who were evacuated from Esk'etemc, one of the neighbouring Secwépemc reserves. Because the emergency preparedness centre that was set up in the city didn't have them on their list as an evacuated community, those individuals were denied support. It was just as fundamental as that: they didn't know that it was a community of people who were evacuated, so they couldn't even get the emergency allowance because they weren't on the list. It starts at the very basic level.
The other challenge is that first nations aren't adequately acknowledged or recognized as a local authority in the same way as municipalities. Therefore, in any provincial or federal emergency planning preparedness training, we're not included. We should be included, because we have four bridges that come through our community, we have Highway 1, we have the Trans-Canada Highway, and we also have the CN railway that comes through our community. To exclude first nations in that way is putting all of our lives in danger.
We're already at risk because of the wildfires killing off a lot of the animals. That's food security for a lot of our families who hunt in the winter and fish in the summer. There will be a lot of families who will have hard times this winter because of the impact of the wildfires. Historically, Canada used to be proactive and have effective collaboration around resource management to prevent wildfires. Traditionally, our people did early spring fires to get rid of the underbrush, so that was a prevention method. We did traditional fire burning, so we need to restore some of those practices, but we need Canada and the provinces to actively include us in training around emergency preparedness.