Canada’s first Indigenous-led Coast Guard Auxiliary commenced operations this fall, in the territorial waters of Ahousaht and Heiltsuk First Nations.
The Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary (CN-CGA) was incorporated in 2018 between five member Nations — Ahousaht, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Gitxaala, and Kitasoo — with federal government sponsorship.
“We are excited to welcome all five nations to the CN-CGA team,” said Alex Dick, Chair of CN-CGA.
“I foremost recognize the critical role of First Nation communities as members of the Auxiliary in protecting mariners and coastal communities. They are simply the most experienced stewards of the marine environment and are unquestionably vital to Canada’s marine safety system today.”
Over 50 volunteer members with CN-CGA will be on-call from five rescue stations to respond to marine emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in remote coastal areas in B.C.
The Canadian Coast Guard will continue to support CN-CGA with ongoing training in search and rescue, advanced first aid, swift water rescue and safe towing techniques.