From: Vanessa Gastaldo <email@example.com>
Date: 31 October 2013 09:25
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Emergency Preparedness in the NWT
31 October 2013
Public meeting seeks input from residents on how
climate change affects emergency preparedness in the NWT.
Recommendations to go to Ottawa in February 2014.
During a two-day meeting in the Yellowknife area, residents of the Northwest Territories are being asked to share their thoughts, concerns and experiences on how climate change is affecting emergency preparedness in their communities.
"The only people who know the impact climate change is having on hunting, travelling and responding to emergencies on the land are the people that live there and experience it every day," says Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. "This is their opportunity to speak up and tell us what they need to make it safer for them to do their jobs and live their lives."
The meeting is co-hosted by Dene Nation and Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and supported by the Arctic Athabaskan Council (which represents Athabaskans at the Arctic Council) and the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program, which aims to amplify northern voices in national and international decision-making.
The event begins on November 5 at the school gym in Ndilo (7:00 to 9:00 p.m.), where organizers welcome community members to come share their thoughts on what is needed for emergency preparedness in their communities. On November 6, participants are invited to attend a full-day of information sharing and roundtable discussion at the Chief Drygeese Centre in Dettah. The roundtable will begin at 9:00 a.m. Attendees will include: National Chief Erasmus, Chief Edward Sangris, Yellowknives Dene (Dettah), Chief Ernest Betsina, Yellowknives Dene (Ndilo), representatives from the Canadian Forces and the Government of the Northwest Territories. All events are open to the public and media.
"The more input we have, the more detailed an image we can create of the state of emergency preparedness in the Northwest Territories, both for ourselves and for those outside the NWT who are making decisions that affect our lives," says Cindy Gilday, co-chair of the Munk Gordon Arctic Security Program's emergency management project. "It is up to the people who live here to guide the discussions on what needs to change."
The findings of the meetings will be compiled into a report, along with those of similar meetings taking place in Nunavut and Yukon. Recommendations from all three territories will be presented at a national roundtable in February 2014.
"The eight Arctic states have signed an agreement to co-operate on search and rescue," says Thomas Axworthy, president and CEO of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, a partner of the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program. "But what is often missing from these discussions is a real understanding of what is going on in the communities. We are honoured to help support the discussions of those on the front-lines to determine what they need to be safe on the land and on the water."
For more information on roundtable events and for a detailed agenda, visit our website at: http://gordonfoundation.ca/north/munk-gordon-arctic-security-program/emergency-management
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For more information, or to arrange for an interview, contact:
Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program