Working with Indigenous communities to prevent rail tragedies

Working with Indigenous communities to prevent rail tragedies
June 21st is the summer solstice—the longest day of the year. But it’s also National Indigenous Peoples Day—an annual celebration of the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people across Canada.

"Operation Lifesaver would like to acknowledge National Indigenous Peoples Day as a time to reflect, and to be thankful for the relationships that we have with Indigenous communities across the many traditional lands where we work and live,” says Sarah Mayes, Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada’s National Director. 
Spreading the rail-safety message to Indigenous communities
In recent years, OL has made it a priority to partner with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities across the country to help them keep their residents safe. One of the ways we’ve done this is by providing many of our resources in Indigenous languages.
So far, we’ve translated OL’s rail safety brochures, colouring and activity sheets for children, and virtual-reality videos into 13 Indigenous languages, including:
  • Atikamekw
  • Innu
  • ᐃᔪᐤᐃᔨᒧᐅᓐ
  • Anishinaabemowin
  • Lnuismk
  • Nêhiyawêwin
  • Kanienʼkéha, 
  • ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ
  • Dënësułınë (Chipewyan)
  • Nakoda 
  • Siksikai'powahsin
  • Halq’emeylem
  • Kanien'kéha (Eastern dialect)
We plan to provide these resources in more Indigenous languages in the future, so that we can reach even more people.
“Rail lines run through Indigenous communities across this country,” says Mayes. “We need to make sure our safety message is reaching the people in those communities as a priority. These resources are just one of the ways we are trying to do that.”
Providing the tools to prevent rail tragedies
Our Look. Listen. Live. Community Safety Partnership Program is another way that OL is working to increase awareness about rail safety with Indigenous communities and prevent rail tragedies. OL will be making an announcement about some new Indigenous community partnerships later this fall. But in the meantime, you can find all of our Indigenous resources, as well as a range of other helpful material, on our website. Share them with your friends and family—whether they speak, English, French, Inuktitut, Anishinaabemowin, or another Indigenous language. Together, we can #STOPTrackTragedies.