Pangnirtung receives coast guard funding for boats, safety equipment

Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program distributes $2M to 10 coastal communities

Pangnirtung, along with nine other Indigenous coastal communities in Canada, will receive $500,281 from the Canadian Coast Guard’s Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer program to purchase new boats and related safety equipment. Pictured here is Pangnirtung’s harbour. (Photo by Patricia Lightfoot)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Hamlet of Pangnirtung will receive $500,281 from the Canadian Coast Guard to purchase a boat, boat shelter and related marine safety equipment.

On Wednesday, federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray announced a total of $2 million for 10 coastal communities through the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer program:

  • Hamlet of Pangnirtung 
  • Makkovimuit Trust Incorporated, representing the Inuit communities of Nain and Makkovik in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations and Nisga’a Nation in British Columbia 
  • Whitefish River First Nation and Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario 
  • Cree Nation of Waskaganish in Quebec 
  • MAWIW Council Inc. representing Elsipogtog First Nation and Esgenoopetitj First Nation in New Brunswick 
  • We’koqma’q First Nation in Nova Scotia
  • Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador 

Founded in 2017 under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer program is meant to strengthen Indigenous coastal communities’ ability to participate in maritime search and rescue activities by becoming new members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

Members provide marine search and rescue services, promote marine safety, and conduct coastal safety patrols, boosting local capacity to respond effectively to emergencies. 

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary responds to roughly 25 per cent of maritime calls for assistance annually, said Murray in a news release.  

“Indigenous coastal community members play an important role in marine safety. They are often the first to arrive on the scene when incidents happen in remote coastal areas,” she said.

“The Oceans Protection Plan will continue to help communities build, enhance, or sustain their capacity to respond to marine search and rescue incidents.” 

Ten other Nunavut communities have previously received funding through the program, including the hamlets of Arviat, Gjoa Haven, the Igloolik Marine Society and the Sanirajak Search and Rescue Society. 

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