VANCOUVER, BC, June 1, 2022 /CNW/ - For generations, British Columbia's waterways have been integral to coastal Indigenous communities in their pursuit of traditional and cultural activities on the water, including fishing and harvesting wildlife. In order to advance reconciliation and address concerns raised by Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project marine shipping route, the Government of Canada launched the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative in October 2020.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra announced funding for six Indigenous communities to improve vessel safety through the MSET Initiative. Snuneymuxw, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h', Pauquachin, Tsawout, Malahat and T'Sou-ke First Nations will receive over $947,000 in funding to purchase marine safety equipment for over 70 vessels, and provide marine safety equipment and training for more than 215 community members.
This funding will help ensure these Indigenous communities are well-equipped to navigate safely through traditional waterways and continue to pass on important cultural knowledge to their community.
Eligible Indigenous communities can apply for MSET Initiative funding until December 31, 2024, or until all funds are fully allocated. Eligible Indigenous communities include:
Musqueam Indian Band
Tsawwassen First Nation
Halalt First Nation
Lake Cowichan First Nation
Lyackson First Nation
Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation
Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation
Stz'uminus (Chemainus) First Nation
Pacheedaht First Nation
Toquaht Nation (Maa-nulth)
Pauquachin First Nation
Scia'new (Beecher Bay) Indian Band
Semiahmoo First Nation
Songhees (Lekwungen) Nation
Tsartlip First Nation
Tsawout First Nation
Tseycum First Nation
T'Sou-ke First Nation
Ditidaht First Nation
Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations (Maa-nulth)
Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Maa-nulth)
Uchucklesaht Tribe (Maa-nulth)
Ucluelet First Nation (Maa-nulth)
"Marine safety is a priority for the Government of Canada. Through funding opportunities such as the Marine Safety Equipment and Training Initiative, we are working to address safety concerns for Indigenous communities and provide support to continue their traditional activities on the water. Initiatives such as these are an important step towards advancing reconciliation and prioritizing Indigenous needs."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
"The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain and marine shipping route to address concerns and impacts on Indigenous rights. The Marine Safety Equipment and Training Initiative and its support for safer waterways is part of that commitment."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
"Having resources available to increase the ability to respond and keep our community safe is essential. We are a very remote community where travelling on the water is part of our daily lives. It is much appreciated that the Government of Canada sees this need and responds by supporting us in this way."
Director of Community Services
Ka:yu:'k't'h' / Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations
The five-year Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative is one of eight accommodation measures developed to address the concerns of Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) marine shipping route. It is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to ensuring a safe marine environment.
The MSET Initiative provides funding up to $220,000 per eligible community and allows for flexibility to provide additional funds where needs are demonstrated. For more information, Indigenous communities can contact the Marine Safety Equipment and Training Initiative at: MSETProgram-ProgrammeFESM@tc.gc.ca
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
SOURCE Transport Canada
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2022/01/c3971.html