Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the presenters today. It's a very interesting discussion.
In my previous life as an MLA with the Government of the Northwest Territories, I was a minister for a number of years, and one of my portfolios was emergency management. We dealt with many disasters in those days—floods and fires—and we had very little in terms of a relationship with the federal government of the day, which was the Conservative government. It was practically non-existent, so it's very exciting to see the involvement of the federal government when it comes to disasters that deal with indigenous people.
This past year we had quite a few floods in the Northwest Territories. I found it very refreshing to have the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Public Safety, the regional director general for the Northwest Territories, and the Red Cross all reach out to the communities and offer their services and provide support. It was really comforting to know that everyone was there, working together.
We know there are going to be more disasters. We talk to the indigenous people in our communities. We have some reserves, but we mostly have public communities. A lot of the indigenous people say that some of the communities may have to move.
Historically, our people were nomadic and communities were built where there were flood zones. When you ask an indigenous person why they are located there, they say that this was their summer area. They never used to stay there in the winter, but the church set up there, or the government set up there, so they had to move there.
Anyway, now that there's more concern over disasters, are you listening to the indigenous people? Are you talking to them about traditional knowledge, about areas that are known by them to be flood zones? Even for forest fires, historically, indigenous people would use fires as a tool to burn fields where geese would land and burn brush where there was a threat of fire.
My question is this: Is that part of the discussion when you talk to indigenous governments, indigenous people, about disaster protection and preparedness?