The CSBC Symposium was held in Yellowknife, NWT from September 22 - 24. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the unique circumstances and challenges of boating safety in the North, and to start a dialogue about how CSBC's programs can be developed and co-designed to meet the needs of Northern communities.
Following is an outline of the presentations. It is intended to load the presentations onto the
as they are available.
Canadian Coast Guard Update: Julie Gascon, Assistant Commissioner and Peter Garapick, Superintendent, Search and Rescue, CCG Central and Arctic Region
Boating Safety Developments in the United States: Richard Moore, Chair, U.S. National Safe Boating Council
Influence CSBC has had on Modernizing Canadian Forces' Training in Northern Canada: Warrant Officer Carl Wolfe, Canadian Ranger Instructor, 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group
How a Search and Rescue Led to a Lifesaving Strategy: Sgt. Redfern Wesley, Kashechewan 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group
Canadian Safe Boating Campaign: Barbara Byers, Public Education Director, Lifesaving Society and Ted Rankine, Playsafe Productions
Establishment of a Drowning Prevention Action Plan: Incorporating Community Ownership and Building Capacity in the NWT: Kelly Carter, Executive Director, Lifesaving Society Alberta and NWT Branch
Successes and Challenges for Boating Safety in the North: Clara Reinhardt, Coordinator, Water-related Fatality Research, Canadian Red Cross
Exploring the NWT: Cathie Bolstad, Executive Director, NWT Tourism
Local Panel Discussion: Dr.Audrey Giles, Associate Professor, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa; Dillon Douglas, Aboriginal Tourism Development Officer, Government of NWT; Rose Johnson, Aquatics Coordinator, NWT Recreation and Parks Association; Wendy Lahey, Instructor, Aurora College; Johanna Elliot, YK Pool Supervisor
Hypothermia and Survival in the Cold: Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, Professor, BPE/KIN Program, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba.
Following are some of the key takeaways from our discussions about boating safety in the North. Local communities are each unique, and boating safety programs need to be tailored to suit their individual needs and interests. For instance, there are both language and cultural differences in the 33 communities in the NWT. The way of life is deeply tied to the land and the water, with boating simply being a part of daily living. Local knowledge - about the land, the waters, the weather, navigation, survival - is passed down from the elders, and boating safety initiatives need to respect and build on this structure. In southern Canada,
"wear a lifejacket - it may save your life" may be a persuasive message. In northern Canada,
"wear a lifejacket - it may help your community find your body" may be more powerful, because the circle of life is a deeply held concept.
Under the Canadian Safe Boating Campaign 2016 - 2019: from Sea to Sea to Sea project, the CSBC is partnering with the Canadian Rangers to develop and execute a lifejacket awareness program to increase lifejacket wear in the North. This includes working with northern communities on attitudes towards wearing lifejackets and boating safety challenges. The program starts with two northern communities in the first year, and will roll out to a broader audience in subsequent years.
Outside the formal sessions, Symposium participants had the opportunity to visit the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, go on a boat trip on Great Slave Lake, visit Aurora Village for a dinner of local specialities such as bannock and smoked bison, and to see the swirling, mysterious Northern Lights.
|View from the Explorer Hotel showing the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
The CSBC also ran a cold water workshop with Dr. Giesbrecht, in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, at which 22 first responders were trained in
- Cold Facts (How our bodies react to cold stimulus in increasing intensity)
- The Four Phases of Cold Water Immersion
- Mechanisms of Heat Loss
- Thermal Protection Realities
- Proper Victim Extraction, Triage, Packaging and Re-Warming Techniques.
Here are highlights of what Symposium delegates said about this year's event:
"The quality and quantity of the presentations was outstanding"
"Wonderful, as always"
"A very well run symposium"
"Thank you for a wonderful few days - and as always, your enthusiasm and passion"
"Great mix of discussions and exposure to the area ...I would not change a thing! Excellent program"
"Stunning opening reception"
"Great engagement of partners so that everyone gets a consistent view of what's going on"
"Great information and opportunity to network and gain valuable contacts/influence".
87.5% of the delegates said the symposium met or exceeded their expectations.
All of the presentations were rated "excellent" or "very good".
Many thanks to the Symposium Committee, led by Committee Chair par excéllence Cynthia Hodgson, Rick Cassels, John Gullick, Clara Reinhardt, Geoff Ray, Carl Wolfe, Ron Kroeker, Ian Gilson, Audrey Giles, Ted Rankine, Barbara Byers, Robert Dupel, Larry Jacobs and Jean Murray, as well as the wonderful Michelle Handley, who opened doors and made things happen in Yellowknife. Our thanks go as well to the following industry sponsors, whose financial support made the Symposium possible: