This session has two parts: First, presented by Michelle Vandeword - Overview of 20+ year career as a female, Indigenous firefighter, and leader. What working in a male dominated field has taught me, and why public education on fire and life safety is so important.
Part two presented by Laurie Sallis - The National Indigenous Fire Safety Council (NIFSC) is the result of a new Indigenous developed framework designed to support Indigenous communities in the development of their internal capacity to improve community safety and resiliency. The NIFSC Project is Indigenous inspired, designed and led in collaboration with regional and national Indigenous communities, organizations and leaders. Additionally, I am currently working with the Indigenous Fire Marshal Service to develop the National Incident Reporting System (NIRS). Our hope with this reporting site is to create an Indigenous specific database that will allow us to identify trends, deficits, and emerging risks for Indigenous peoples. This information will inform future education, infrastructure, and economic planning for First Nations communities on reserve.
Michelle Vandevord is from Muskoday First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is the Associate Director of Saskatchewan First Nation Emergency Management (SFNEM), the current President of Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) and sits on the Board of Directors for FireSmart Canada.
Laurie is part of the NIFSC project as the National Incident Reporting System Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. She also provides logistical and administrative support to the National Advisory Committee
Laurie has a background in Executive Administration, and she brings to the team an extensive background working across various Government and not for profit sectors
Her family is Coast Salish, Wolf Clan, and part of the Lyackson First Nation based in Chemainus on Vancouver Island. She currently resides on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in the city of Vancouver