Winnipeg, Man., Friday, December 13, 2019 – Calian Group Ltd. (TSX: CGY) has partnered with Saulteaux Tribal Nation L.P., a First Nations-owned and operated company in Manitoba, to deliver emergency management services and best practices to other First Nations in the province.
Calian and Saulteaux are formalizing the unique partnership at a signing ceremony today. The unique agreement is designed to help Manitoba’s First Nations increase resilience and emergency management independence, and to build community capacity and economic opportunity.
The partnership represents the changing nature of Indigenous business relationships in Canada and a collective goal to support the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, which urged the corporate sector to adopt a reconciliation framework and commit to meaningful consultation and respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples.
Communities in remote or isolated areas can be disproportionately affected by emergencies or disasters. They can face logistical difficulties in their access to emergency services, for instance. After a flood or storm, infrastructure like roads, electricity and telecommunications networks can take longer to bring back online than communities in less isolated areas. In recent years, First Nations in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba have faced evacuations and states of emergency due to wildfires, storms and floods, highlighting a clear need to increase local resilience and preparedness.
“It is an honour for Calian to be part of such an important partnership, which evolved from our groundbreaking work with the six nations of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council. I look forward to working with Saulteaux to increase community resilience and capacity in the province,” said Donald Whitty, VP Learning, Calian. “These vital services and capacities are needed for communities facing a rising number of disasters.”
“We recognize that, in this day and age, partnerships work very effectively for the private and public sectors to provide necessary capacity. We are excited about the possibility of helping First Nation communities in Manitoba and Canada build resilience and preparedness for any emergency. We recently faced an emergency disaster where we saw the results of our partnership with Calian. With their expertise combined with the capacity of our Interlake Reserves Tribal Council staff, Calian was instrumental in delivering results in response to the snowstorm and power outage that occurred on Thanksgiving weekend. This is all about getting our communities to where they need to be: protected and emergency-ready,” stated Cornell McLean, Saulteaux Chairman and Chief from Lake Manitoba First Nation.
Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer, Saulteaux, added: “We have worked with Calian for the past two years, which has helped us immensely in building the necessary capacity to help weather any future emergency events. With this knowledge and ability, we want to help all communities be ready in an emergency. Most First Nation communities don’t have the infrastructure that all big cities enjoy, which places them at a disadvantage. Having a strong emergency management plan is essential.”
“I would like to congratulate both our Emergency Management team and the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council for leading this meaningful work, for building a strong relationship over several years, and for securing this important agreement for First Nations and Manitoba,” stated Kevin Ford, President and CEO, Calian. “Thank you to all of the Chiefs, Elders and community members who helped make this possible. I am hopeful this is only the beginning as we work towards a long-lasting, results-oriented partnership.”