BLAZING THE TRAIL: CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS FIRE STEWARDSHIP
Dec. 1, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FireSmart Canada is pleased to release Blazing the Trail: Celebrating Indigenous Fire Stewardship,
a beautiful, bound publication that recognizes the contributions to wildfire prevention of
Indigenous com- munities in Canada.
The glossy, 56-page book is the culmination of a FireSmart Canada partnership with Natural
Resources Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
Blazing the Trail is both a resource and a treasure; its detailed, first-person stories provide
insight and context about Indigenous Peoples and fire stewardship, and the narrative encourages
celebration and sharing of wise practices and lessons learned across generations.
Artwork, photos, and writings throughout the book acknowledge the significance of storytelling and
ex- pressive arts as ways of sharing knowledge about the roles and uses of fire in Indigenous
The publication acknowledges that Indigenous communities have been leading, in many ways, fire
miti- gation and prevention.
An important outcome of Indigenous fire stewardship is wildland fire risk reduction, which aligns
FireSmart Canada’s organizational mandate, says FireSmart Canada executive director Ray Ault.
“The book includes an Indigenous fire risk-reduction toolkit to help communities be prepared for
wild- fires and ensure everyone is aware of the steps to take in case of evacuation,” Ault says.
“Providing this type of resource, along with the rich history of the relationship between
Indigenous Peo- ples and fire, will build knowledge and encourage the adoption of FireSmart
The project engaged technical writers and peer reviewers across Canada. According to project
managers Dr. Amy Cardinal Christianson (Métis) and Dr. Natasha Caverley (Algonquin/Jamaican/Irish),
80 per cent of Canada’s Indigenous communities are in forested regions and therefore are at risk
“Many Indigenous communities are already carrying out valuable work in the areas of destructive
wild- fire prevention and risk reduction,” says Christianson. “We wanted to highlight those
contributions in this book.”
Blazing the Trail: Celebrating Indigenous Fire Stewardship is designed for leaders at all levels in
Indig- enous communities, from local youth to elders, fire-keepers, fire knowledge-holders, elected
fire chiefs, and senior community managers/administrators.
In the spirit of allyship, non-Indigenous agencies that work alongside Indigenous communities
across Canada will also benefit from Blazing the Trail: Celebrating Indigenous Fire Stewardship.
To purchase copies of Blazing the Trail: Celebrating Indigenous Fire Stewardship for $10 (or less
for bulk orders) visit www.firesmartcanada.ca and click SHOP.
For more information about the project or to arrange interviews with project team members, contact:
National communications advisor