By Emily Dicken, Director, Emergency Management – First Nations Health Authority
We are in the midst of a profound shift of awareness, understanding, and action within the field of emergency management practice across Canada. Over the span of my 15-year emergency management career, the past 5 years have been shaped by an overwhelming recognition that disasters have disproportionate outcomes drivendiversity primarily by a spectrum of social determinants. Although by no means addressed, this recognition has cast a spotlight on the disaster landscape of social injustice and the inequity of emergency management support and services for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
When I think about what the next ten years will hold, I am hopeful that this recognition will be met with actionable change. We will see greater gender and racial diversity enter the field of practice, bringing with them unique skills and abilities that will foster greater inclusion. In turn, this will uphold an enhanced space of cultural safety and humility in the development and delivery of emergency management programming. These are just two of the hopeful spaces for change that will act to dismantle and shift the current oppressive and disproportionate experiences faced by many during disasters.
As the emergency management cohort of 2030, you will hold the key to these changes and shape the continued growth of the field of practice – as we turn the field of practice over to you, I look forward to seeing what the future has in store!
A Dialogue from First Nations on Emergency Management:
Note from the Editor: This article was produced as part of the Time Capsule: A message to future emergency managers, resilience practitioners, and disaster risk reduction scholars series by HazNet. Read other time capsules here.