Canada: Preparing our home: Lessons from Lil’wat Nation, British Columbia
Water Youth Network
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Preparing our Home is a community-based program that enables Indigenous youth to reach their potential in becoming resilience leaders in their communities. Experiences and research around the world show that youth programs can help build, sustain, and improve community preparedness and resilience. Preparing our Home enhances activities directed at understanding risk from an inclusive, people-centered and community-based approach that connects youth, Elders and community members and brings together Indigenous knowledge and global disaster risk reduction solutions. The program strengthens resilience capabilities in Indigenous communities by building leadership through youth training and exercises.
Following best practices of community-based planning, Preparing our Home workshops involve community members, educational and youth staff, band staff (e.g. land officers, housing staff), community safety officers, councillors, former Chiefs and Elders. A community gathering showcases and celebrates youth (an exhibit of workshop photography and paddles carved) and brings awareness to emergency preparedness work being conducted by the youth in the community. This toolkit outlines key elements of the Preparing our Home program as it was implemented at the Xet̓ólacw Community School, Lil’wat Nation: hazard mapping and risk assessment; community resilience assessment and youth strategies developed (personal/household, school and community levels).