NIFSC Project and the AFAC
The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) Manages the National Indigenous FIre Safety Council (NIFSC) Project
The National Indigenous Fire Safety Council (NIFSC) Project was created in 2017 by the AFAC.
AFAC started the NIFSC Project with the following objectives:
- Create a new organization through Indigenous collaboration – for us, by us.
- Create an Indigenous governed organization whose structure receives sustainable funding to operate and serve FN communities.
- Collaborate with existing Indigenous organizations providing support to FN communities and not accept any existing funding targeted for another Indigenous organization.
- Establish standards and programs that are relevant to FN communities’ needs and (through validation) improve community safety.
- Create a national reporting system that will serve improving FN community safety.
Strategic goals and objectives are free of political influence.
- Promote Indigenous fire service careers and training.
In 2019/20, the main effort of the NIFSC Project was to engage with Indigenous communities. During that engagement, we heard clearly that change is wanted. The NIFSC Project team is working to bring about that change in collaboration with communities and existing organizations. The NIFSC Project team continues to reach out to constituents to seek feedback on programs as they are developed.
The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) is a united body of regional Indigenous emergency and fire service organizations from across Canada. Each regional organization nominates a representative to sit on the AFAC Board of Directors.
History of the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC)
The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) was founded on September 19, 1991 in Portage La Prairie, MB when a group of Indigenous firefighters decided to form a national Aboriginal firefighters association. The association has worked for many years to research and raise awareness of the fire service challenges facing our Indigenous communities.
The association was established to:
- Represent the interests of these associations nationally.
- Assist in the exchange of information.
- Support the implementation of services.
- Promote national standards in fire prevention, education and suppression within Indigenous communities in Canada.
Four Priorities of AFAC
- Fire prevention.
- Legislative standards.
- Fire Service operations standards.
- National coordination of fire and emergency services in Indigenous communities.
This strategic approach allows Indigenous communities to close the fire service gap to that of non-Indigenous communities and reach a comparable service level. To achieve these results, AFAC works in collaboration with federal and provincial governments, national fire service organizations and other Indigenous organizations.