Canadian Forest Service Publications

A qualitative study exploring barriers and facilitators of effective service delivery for Indigenous wildfire hazard evacuees during their stay in host communities. Asfaw, H. W., Nation, S. L. F., McGee, T. K., & Christianson, A. C. (2019). International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 41, 101300.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40423

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101300

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Abstract

This study employed a qualitative community-based research approach to explore factors that influenced Indigenous residents' wildfire evacuation experiences. Fifty-six interviews and two focus group discussions were completed with band members of Sandy Lake First Nation, including evacuees, those who stayed behind, and people who had a management role during the evacuation. Document review was also used as a complementary method. It was found that a combination of factors positively or negatively affected evacuees' experiences during their stay in the host communities. Inadequate accommodation, financial problems; a lack of activities; racism; and concerns over the condition of homes, property and pets negatively affected evacuees' experiences. Material and emotional support from local residents, perceptions of the evacuation as a free vacation and an opportunity to socialize with fellow community members, and leadership from the Chief positively affected evacuees’ experiences. To provide appropriate hosting facilities and services provincial government and host communities should develop an appropriate plan for hosting hazard-displaced Indigenous evacuees by taking into account their unique socio-economic, cultural and demographic attributes.

Plain Language Summary

This study explored factors that influenced Indigenous residents’ wildfire evacuation experiences. Interviews and focus group discussions were completed with band members of Sandy Lake First Nation, including evacuees, those who stayed behind and people who had a management role during the evacuation. A combination of factors positively or negatively affected evacuees’ experiences in the host communities. Inadequate accommodation; financial problems; lack of activities; racism; and concerns over the condition of homes, property and pets negatively affected evacuees’ experiences. Material and emotional support from local residents, perceptions of the evacuation as a free vacation and opportunity to socialize and leadership from the Chief positively affected their experiences. Provincial government and host communities should develop a plan for hosting hazard-displaced Indigenous evacuees by taking into account their unique socio-economic, cultural and demographic attributes.