First Nations 10 times more likely to die in house fires: report
Posted by Zig Zag
Almost half of reserves in Canada have ‘little to no fire protection’
The Canadian Press, Dec 21, 2015
An internal federal government report says almost half the First Nations across Canada have “little to no fire protection” and rely too heavily on poorly trained volunteer firefighters.
The 2011 report examining insurance coverage for First Nations communities, obtained by The Canadian Press through Access to Information, says the number of fire-related deaths on reserves is a concern.
The report says only 56 per cent of First Nation sites across Canada have adequate fire protection the vast majority because they rely on a neighbouring municipality.
The report says First Nations are 10 times more likely to die in a fire on a reserve compared to the rest of Canada.
It says reserves rely too much on volunteers who aren’t properly trained to protect homes that are dilapidated and not built to code.
Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, who represents northern First Nations, says the situation has to change. She says the lack of fire protection provided to First Nations would never be tolerated in any other Canadian community.
A spokesperson for the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada says the report — quote — “does not provide a complete picture” of fire protection in First Nation communities.