Water-based activity is a way of life in the NWT, and community members often swim/recreate in multiple different bodies of water. Proximity and ease of access can cause an increase in accidents.
We believe in the benefits of water-based recreation, and our goal is to promote participation in aquatic events and programming within the MRA region because basic aquatic literacy is essential!
Through Water Smart® programming, we aim to build awareness and provide opportunities to develop skills that will keep our communities safe in, on and around the water.
The Lifesaving Society’s Water Smart® program provides education on safe boating practices, wearing of lifejackets/PFDs, learning Swim to Survive® skills, and establishing safe waterfronts and boat launches. However,
programming can be adapted to meet the unique needs of each community.
From information, resources, sharing circles, water and ice safety programming, annual swim events, summer programming to funding support, we can help MRA communities further develop aquatic literacy. Some examples of community-run events we have supported include:
* Host or attend a Swim to Survive® event
* Promote safe behaviors at an aquatic facility or waterfront
* Educate the public at community events
* Offer safe water-based programs and initiatives within your community
Whether you want to take our annual training camps, host one in your community, or attend a training event elsewhere, MRA can help!
Some examples of training we have supported include:
* Annual MRA Recreation Leader Training Camp
* Bronze Cross, Bronze Medallion, National Lifeguard Instructor certification
* Aquatic Emergency Care
* Waterfront Assessments
The NWT Recreation and Parks Association - NWTRPA and Mackenzie Recreation Association joined forces to host a virtual sharing circle. The focus of this sharing circle is to share an Indigenous lens on being safe on the water. Our hope is that participants will learn the importance of water safety, Indigenous ways of practicing water safety, and strengthening a healthy relationship with water.
The discussion was facilitated by Carson Roche from Délı̨nę. Our panelists included Gerry Kisoun from Inuuvik, Kristen Tanche from Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ (Fort Simpson), and Jeanette Tobac from Rádeyı̨lı̨kóé (Fort Good Hope).
About 90% of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing a lifejacket.
Even if you have one on board, conditions like rough winds and waves and cold water can make it really hard, if not impossible, to find it and put it on. Worse, if you unexpectedly fall into the water, the boat (with your lifejacket on board) could be too far away to reach.
Although you can choose between lifejackets and PFDs, keep in mind that lifejackets offer a higher level of protection.