Reserve Land Fire Fighting
Res #: 42-03A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Indian Affairs & Northern Development Canada
Resolution No. 42-03A
WHEREAS, entrance onto First Nations Reserve land to fight fire is not legal without a fire protection agreement; and
WHEREAS, the fire may escalate into a near unstoppable fire as it exits the aforementioned reserve land; and
WHEREAS, the cost of firefighting may be uncollectable in these types of situations;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we request the Federal and Provincial Governments be held responsible for all costs of firefighting on reserve lands or fires spreading off reserve lands.
Response from the Honourable Robert D. Nault, PC, MP, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development:
As I state on my letter of February 14, 2003, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), which is mandated to provide fire protection services for on-reserve lands and assets, encourages all First Nations to work co-operatively with their neighbours to provide fire protection services. Several First Nations throughout Saskatchewan have entered fire protection services agreements with neighbouring towns, villages and rural municipalities. In the spirit of co-operation, the department may assist financially with reasonable costs associated with fighting off-reserve fires where it can be confirmed that the fire originated on reserve lands.
Should a rural municipality believe there are unsatisfied federal liabilities for fire fighting costs, it is encourages to formally communicate with First Nations and the respective INAC offices in Fort Qu'Appelle and Prince Albert.