Over three years, more than $1.8 million has been funded to empower resilience for several communities in Ontario’s North.
Climate change threatens every community, so when the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and a climate services firm wanted to help empower resilience for several communities in Northern Ontario, we helped develop the First Nations Infrastructure Resilience Toolkit and several pilot projects. Funding was secured through the First Nation Adapt Program by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (formerly INAC) as well as the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaption Resources.
Initially focusing on three communities—the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, the Moose Cree First Nation, and the Oneida Nation of the Thames—we conducted extensive studies and public meetings examining climate impacts on infrastructure. The toolkit assisted in implementing asset management practices (to better plan maintenance, repairs, and asset replacement) as well as maintaining or improving services to the communities. The results were turned into practical solutions, such as improving weather alert systems to allow operational staff and emergency first responders to be proactive in anticipation of extreme weather and hurricane ties, an inexpensive added protection to roofs subjected to high winds.
Since its development, the toolkit has been used to train First Nations communities through a series regional workshops across Ontario. Ultimately, the toolkit will help First Nations communities prepare for and measure the impacts of climate change and help them to receive and allocate funding for future projects through sound asset management practices.
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