Some First Nations say a fragmented system that makes the province responsible for regional districts but gives the federal government authority for reserves is hindering them in the BC wildfire fight.
Miranda Louie of the Nadleh Whut’en near Fraser Lake says the regional district has been communicating with the First Nation by phone to let them know when it issues an evacuation order or alert. That’s left the First Nation scrambling at times to knock on doors and let residents know to get out, and Louie says Chief Larry Nooski should be at the table making decisions rather than a phone call away.
Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako chairman Bill Miller says he agrees the system is disjointed but the problem is that the district and First Nation are two separate orders of government.
Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, who was visiting both the Nadleh Whut’en and Stellat’en First Nations Friday, says communication lines have opened up, but Louie says they should have opened up weeks ago.
Grand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit has called on the federal government to increase funding to First Nations for emergency planning and equipment.
(The Canadian Press)