To create a Mainland Coast Salish emergency plan for all hazards and climate change based on the Sendai Framework and rooted in UNDRIP that encompasses the values and priorities of Mainland Coast Salish communities.
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Through the Disaster Resilience Regional Action Plan, Hílekw Sq'eq’o, EPS seeks to create a Mainland Coast Salish emergency plan for all hazards and climate change based on the Sendai Framework and rooted in UNDRIP that encompasses the values and priorities of Mainland Coast Salish communities.
Our work is based in the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction using the Sendai Priorities:
1. Understand disaster risk;
2. Strengthen disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
3. Invest in disaster reduction for resilience; and
4. Enhance disaster preparedness for effective response and to "Build Back Better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Our vision is to have all of the 31 Mainland Coast Salish First Nations, from Yale to Squamish to Semiahmoo, resilient to existing and future disasters, meaning though disasters may continue to occur, communities experience little impacts from them. This is done with in-depth risk assessments, leading to resilient community planning and regional investment, coupled with effective and self-sustaining emergency planning and response programs. All of these practices must be connected from house-hold to region, where households are aware of their risks and plans, communities can support each other in planning, preparedness and response and can come together as a region for larger disasters. Communities will also be participating at all levels of regional emergency planning and response, from provincial land use planning to participating in the regional emergency response.
We're finalizing a Disaster Resilience Regional Action Plan with the 31 Mainland Coast Salish Communities which is meant to serve as a foundational document that identifies practices and processes to facilitate the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015–2030 with climate change preparation. It is named Hílekw Sq'eq’o, which means “get ready together” in Hal'qeméylem, one of the dialects of the Mainland Coast Salish First Nations.
Hílekw Sq’eq’ó is intended to serve as a guide for communities, marking a first step towards a deliberate regional approach to supporting communities in their efforts to build capacity and resilience, reduce disaster risk and impacts of each community. It may be used as a master plan, but it does not prevent any community from pursuing strategies or courses of action not necessarily identified within Hílekw Sq’eq’ó.
It is anticipated that leadership and direction will come from within the communities to ensure each of the 31 First Nations can apply Hílekw Sq’eq’ó when addressing their unique perspectives and priorities. This plan is intended to be reviewed and revised continually, and formally every five years to ensure it continues to reflect the needs, risks, and priorities of communities in a culturally relevant and sustainable way.
Hílekw Sq’eq’ó will become the framework of the EPS as it supports communities in building out local and regional plans. EPS does not and will not speak or act on behalf of any of the 31 Mainland Coast Salish First Nations that it works with. Instead, Hílekw Sq’eq’ó and the EPS will seek to uphold the principles of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIPA) to uphold the inherent rights that Mainland Coast Salish peoples have to self-determination, autonomy and self-government. These Acts are conducive to facilitating the development and implementation of Hílekw Sq’eq’ó in a way that is representative of the interests and priorities of Mainland Coast Salish communities and their relation with other governments.
Hílekw Sq’eq’ó helps further the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Mainland Coast Salish lands through the identification of regional initiatives that align with one or more of the Priorities for Action established in the Sendai Framework, as well as other foundational documents, such as the Abbot Chapman Report, The Fire Awakened Us, and the Emergency Management Strategy for Canada: Toward a Resilient 2030. It identifies activities and practices that may be implemented by Mainland Coast Salish First Nations to collectively build upon the Priorities for Action particularly those aimed at creating a whole-of-society approach and ensuring cohesion among key groups and stakeholders.
Key concepts of Hílekw Sq’eq’ó are risk and resilience. Risk is commonly understood as likelihood of experiencing consequences from a hazard to areas or people, combined with the vulnerability of those areas or people (how severe the hazard might affect them). Risks therefore can be any combination of the above that, and risk reduction can, and should be done through several streams. Resilience is defined as the ability to experience a disaster with little consequences, which requires reducing risk at its core, in a sustainable way that is in line with Mainland Coast Salish priorities.