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In late winter 2018 a group of youth and leaders from across Canada came together to meet and share information and ideas on how to best, Prepare Our Homes.

The program outline from 2018 is listed below with some images from the week.

Program Outline

2018 Preparing Our Home gathering

We are grateful to be able to work with Charlotte Stringam and Derek Bryson from the Osoyoos Indian Band to ensure that this beautiful place inspires us to do some great work together!


Dinner 5:30pm at the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre.

Welcome by Charlotte, OIB

Introductions over dinner, participants get to know each other

7:30ish – dinner wrap up

Move to the Theatre – Brief into for the week

Move to the circle room – set intentions for the week

Evening concludes by 8:30pm



9:00 am

Morning with Casey Gabriel, Lil’wat Nation, Billy Williams, Curve Lake First Nation, and Lily Yumagulova, Preparing Our Home: Sharing experiences and tools from the Preparing Our Home workshops

10:30am – Break

Sharing circle: What works in our communities for emergency management and resilience? What could be improved? How can youth be engaged?

Photography session with Jonathon Reynolds

12-1 – Lunch

Afternoon with Tyler Zabotel and Dario Antoine, Bonaparte Indian Band: Sharing experiences about the 2017 fires in Indigenous communities in BC

Creativity break: Walk with Charlotte and a photography session.

Assignment: take a photo and a write a few sentences that capture the atmosphere of the first day  

3:30 – Break

Afternoon with Emily Dicken: Salmon preparedness story. Emergency management system. Colonialism as an enduring and unnatural disaster. 

Circle room – day wrap-up

5-6pm Paddle carving demonstration; photography; free time

Dinner at 6:30pm

An evening with Rose Whitehair, Emergency Management Specialist -‎New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, US “Learning from the Navajo Nation on youth engagement for community resilience” (via Skype)



9:00 am

A morning with Darlene Munro and Astokomii Smith: the long road to recovering from disasters – learning from Siksika Nation

10:30am – Break

Emergency Preparedness in Mi’kmaw Communities in Nova Scotia. Amber MacLean-Hawes,Climate Action Emergency Management Officer and Alanna Syliboy, Community Liason, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq  

12-1 – Lunch

Afternoon with Mathew McCorrister – Sharing lessons from the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, Manitoba

Afternoon with Marcellina Peltier “The history of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve”

Creativity break: a portrait of another participant (indoor/outdoor)

3:30 – Break

Circle room – day wrap-up and intentions for the next day

5-6:00pm Carving demonstration; photography; free time

Dinner at 6:30pm

An evening with Atyia Martin, CEM, Former Chief Resilience Officer forBoston, US “Planning for resilience: emergency management and racism” (viaSkype).

Thursday: Curriculum Development


9:00 am

Morning with Leslie Loubert and Angel Robinson, Aboriginal Youth Interns, Emergency Management British Columbia –Developing an Indigenous module for Masters of Disasters. 

10:30am – Break

Morning with Michelle Vandevord and Sheena Leila Charles –Youth engagement in FireSmart initiatives and curriculum development in Prince Albert Grand Council  

12-1 – Lunch

Creativity break: an interview with another participant (indoor/outdoor/green screen room in the Theatre)

3:30 – Break

Preparing Our Home workshop plan for your community

Circle room – day wrap-up

Dinner at 6:00pm at Mica Restaurant


9:00am Working session

11:30am Lunch

12:30pm Participants depart/shuttle to the airport  


The conference will take place at the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre. We are grateful to be able to work with Charlotte Stringam and Derek Byson to ensure that this beautiful place inspires us to do some great work together!


We will be staying atthe Sprit Ridge resort located on the beautiful lands of the Osoyoos Indian Band.

Address: 1200 Rancher Creek Rd, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V6

We have reserved 1-, and 2-, bedroom condos. All condos have fully equipped kitchens and washer and dryer.

About the Preparing Our Home program: 

In Canada, there are few initiatives that build the capacity of Indigenous youth leadership in emergency management, disaster risk reduction and climate change resilience. Examples in other countries (New Zealand, US) show that youth programs can help build, sustain, and improve community preparedness.“Preparing our Home” fills this gap as a youth-led community-based resilience planning program. Using a partnership approach the program enables an inclusive planning process that connects youth, Elders and community members and weaves together Traditional Knowledge/Indigenous Science and innovation, low-cost technology and best practices in disaster risk reduction. At its core the program enables Indigenous youth to reach their potential in becoming emergency preparedness leaders in their communities. The program provides planning tools for participatory hazard and risk identification, social vulnerability mapping, asset and critical infrastructure mapping, fire safety and youth career development in emergency management.

In 2017, the program won the Global Competition for Youth Led projects on Floods and Droughts announced at the United Nations Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction.

For 2017/2018, the Preparing Our Home program has partnered with the Water Youth Network, the World Meteorological Organization/Global Water Partnership Associated Programme on Flood Management and Integrated Drought Management Programme, to develop a youth-led Indigenous community resilience curriculum.

The workshop is funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.