The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is appealing to both the provincial and federal governments for help as the flooding in British Columbia adds to the already existing challenges facing Indigenous communities.
âThe First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) remains deeply alarmed and concerned about the cumulative short- and long-term effects of the crisis on the safety and well-being of First Nations communities,â FNLC staff wrote in a statement. communicated.
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The council says they need more financial support as their communities are experiencing a myriad of issues, which are getting worse with each other.
âFirst Nations are still recovering from the ongoing emergencies of the 2021 forest fires, the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, the homelessness crisis and the discovery crisis. thousands of anonymous graves at the sites of former Indian residential schools, âFNLC staff said.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the level of support First Nations have received so far is unacceptable.
“From a pandemic to fires and then to floods, First Nations have been forced to shoulder the impacts of climatic extremes induced by colonization while facing the challenges caused by COVID-19 without adequate support and resources,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.
âOver the past week, many First Nations have lost their homes, with little or no support from British Columbia and Canada, while being forced to pay out of pocket to access temporary shelter and food supply.
“This is totally unacceptable.”
âTime and time again, First Nations have suffered the brunt of the impacts of climate change, and time and time again, the federal and provincial governments have failed to assess and take seriously the risks posed by climate change.
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âBritish Columbia and Canada must pledge to fully reimburse all accrued costs for all affected First Nations, including accommodation and transportation costs, rather than continuing to generously fund a military-style invasion of peaceful defenders of land in the unceded Wet’suwet’en. territory, as a means of advancing the development of LNG as a fossil fuel. Our hearts go out to all the survivors of the floods and mudslides, and to the 17,000 people who have been displaced from their homes. “
The council says the BC government has taken a “reactionary and inadequate” approach to climate disasters in the province.
âThe time for proactive responses has come,â said Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations, highlighting the various impacts that require immediate attention.
âThe Fraser River is an essential waterway in the global food chain. The ripple effects of this disruption could be catastrophic for our communities if not adequately addressed and First Nations need to be included in these conversations at the forefront, but they have not been so far. .
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The First Nations Leadership Council is made up of political leaders from the Assembly of First Nations of British Columbia (BCAFN), the First Nations Summit (FNS) and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) .
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