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$254K in funds heading to SRD for Indigenous cultural safety training

Five workshops focused on Indigenous Cultural Safety training will be available across Vancouver Island, thanks to funding from the province. BC’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund is giving $254,000 in funding to the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) for Indigenous Cultural Safety training.

According to the District, a key part of the funding is to develop a training program called ‘Sacred Belongings: Salvage, Restoration and Recovery’, which will host the five workshops to First Nations throughout Vancouver Island.

They’ll provide the hands-on skills necessary to salvage community and generational artifacts after a flood or fire. The main goals of the workshops are as follows:

To create a ‘sacred cultural item salvage strike team’
Nurture a new skill that can be brought into a local government Emergency Operation Centre to help teams work better with First Nations
Provide guidance to the BC Heritage Emergency Response Network (BCHERN) with developing Sacred Belongings Preventative and Response emergency salvage guidance documents.

SRD Chair Mark Baker says the funding was made possible through partnerships with five First Nations, four villages, and the Comox Valley Regional District.

“It will support Truth and Reconciliation initiatives throughout and beyond the SRD,” says Baker. “These workshops will encourage emergency response personnel and public safety volunteers to explore their own roles in supporting the revival of the values that worked so beautifully in Indigenous villages for thousands of years.”

The District adds that First Nations attendees will help educate disaster recovery staff on how to identify the recovery gaps for culturally sensitive items.

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