For First Nations, the environment is vital in determining health and well-being. Our environment includes the land, air, water, food, housing and other resources that need to be cared for and considered to sustain healthy children, families and communities.
The FNHA's Environmental Public Health Services (EPHS) Team works in partnership with First Nations communities to identify and prevent environmental public health risks in First Nations communities that could impact the health of community members.
Where public health risks are identified, recommendations are provided to reduce these risks. Through community training, education and awareness, community capacity is increased to achieve a healthy and safe environment. EPHS aims to reach an equivalent or better standard of environmental health as non-First Nations communities. The FNHA EPHS Team provides services to all First Nations communities in the province of BC.
The booklet Environmental Public Health Services provides a full outline of the FNHA's work in the area of Environmental Health.
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) provide advice, education, inspections and recommendations to First Nations and their leadership to help them manage public health risks associated with the environment. They collect data and observations to determine whether a public health risk exists, and determine what steps can be taken to improve conditions. Chief and Council are responsible for addressing the recommendations provided.
All EHOs working in First Nations communities are certified by Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors , a minimum requirement in British Columbia.
If you are interested in becoming an Environmental Health Officer, contact your local Environmental Health Officer to talk with them about the work. The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) maintains a list of schools across Canada that offer special training.
Public Health Engineers (PHEs) work within our Environmental Public Health Services (EPHS) department at First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). PHEs work closely with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), with a focus on community infrastructure projects. PHEs often work in the context of interdisciplinary project teams comprising health officers, community leadership, design consultants, provincial and federal agencies, and technical specialists. The role of the PHE is to assess potential health risks in proposed designs and whether the proposed design achieves health protection objectives. PHE reviews do not constitute professional engineering advice and communities should retain the services of a qualified professional to provide design and construction advice.
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To receive additional information and tools to help develop your community's comprehensive all-hazards emergency management plan, please email the INAC BC Region's Emergency Management Unit at: BCEMU@aandc-aadnc.gc.ca
On-site wastewater systems constructed on-reserve should be installed based on the current provincial BC Sewerage Standard Practice Manual. Please contact an EHO for applicable forms and submission process.
Emergencies Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Call your local Environmental Health Officer
Emergencies after hours
Calls or emails received after 10:00 p.m. will be responded to the following day at 6:00 a.m.