Resiliency study blessed at Nistawoyou Friendship Centre – Fort McMurray Today

by ahnationtalk on May 16, 2017246 Views

May 15, 2017

A University of Alberta study on wildfire resiliency in Wood Buffalo’s indigenous communities received an official blessing Monday at the Nistawoyou Friendship Centre.

Community members and leaders gathered at the centre for a smudging ceremony and drumming and dancing performances. The three neighbourhoods most affected by the wildfire, Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways, contained many members of the region’s indigenous population, Nistawoyou Friendship Centre executive director Theresa Nahwegahbow told the gathering. That fact has not been well-communicated so far, she said.

“We’re going to change that,” she said. “And we’re going to change that through our partnership with the University of Alberta.”

The study is led by Tara McGee, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Alberta, and Stephanie Montesanti, assistant professor at the university’s School of Public Health. It aims to find out what made Wood Buffalo’s indigenous communities resilient during the wildfire crisis.

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