National Indigenous Fire Safety Council
Conseil national autochtone de la sécurité-incendie

NIFSC and the AFAC

The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) created the National Indigenous Fire Safety Council (NIFSC), to support Indigenous communities to build capacity and determine their own fire and safety needs.

The NIFSC will, through the delivery of culturally relevant fire safety programs, support Indigenous communities to become healthier and safer. It was created in 2017 with the following objectives:

  • Create an Indigenous organization collaboratively developed by national and
    regional Indigenous bodies to serve Indigenous communities (‘for us, by us’)

  • Negotiate an established and sustainable funding model for the organization 

  • Create a National Incident Reporting System (NIRS)

  • Be driven by strategic priorities instead of political agendas 

  • Create and promote Indigenous fire service careers and certified training

  • Create inclusive programs that can be subscribed to by all Indigenous communities

The AFAC was a united body of regional Indigenous emergency and fire service organizations from across Canada. The AFAC have developed a strategic plan for the transition from the AFAC to the NIFSC which includes the establishment of the NIFSC Board of Directors. The NIFSC Board of Directors assumed its role in April 2022.

AFAC logo

History of the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada

The Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada was founded on September 19, 1991, in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba by a group of Indigenous firefighters. The main focus of AFAC was on fire prevention and raising awareness around the needs and challenges facing 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

  • Advocate for legislative standards

  • Fire service operations standards.

  • National coordination of fire and emergency services in Indigenous communities.

This strategic approach was designed to support Indigenous communities in closing the fire service gap to that of non-Indigenous communities and reach a comparable service level. To achieve these results, AFAC worked in collaboration with federal and provincial governments, national fire service organizations and other Indigenous organizations until March 31, 2022 when it transitoned to the National Indigneous Fire Safety Council.