Canadian Rangers

First Nations(continued)

(L) Ranger Derek Sutherland, Master Warrant Officer Larry King, Warrant Officer Yvon Fortin and Ranger Doug Taylor

"They are the eyes of the north," says Warrant Officer, Yvon Fortin of Canada's Military Camp Borden, talking about the Canadian Rangers.

Fortin and others of the Canadian Armed Forces were demonstrating survival techniques at the Saugeen Youth Pow Wow held Saturday (Mar.21) at Saugeen First Nations in Bruce County and took part in the official ceremonies honouring First Nations veterans who served in both the Canadian and U.S. militaries.

The Canadian Rangers are reservists that provide a military presence in remote, often isolated, communities of Canada.
The organization, first established in 1947, has grown to more than 4,000 members in almost 200 communities across Canada's north. They are made up of First Nations and Inuit peoples trained by the Canadian Armed Forces and are easily recognized by their wearing red sweatshirts and ball-caps.

Dedicated and committed to their communities and the north, the Rangers assist in a number of situations such as missing persons search and rescue, plane crashes and domestic emergencies such as the recent evacuations due to endangering water quality.

They also report unusual activities that pertain to sovereignty in the north, collect data in support of military operations and conduct surveillance patrols when required.

(next column)

22/03/2009 09:23 PM

Junior Canadian Rangers at Pow Wow with TeePee

Other significant examples of their activates include reporting of unidentified vessels within Canada water off the N.E. cost of Quebec, participants as guides to counter illegal immigration of the west coast and, of course, responding to disaster situations.

"We are always looking for new young members to join the Junior Canadian Rangers," says Master Warrant Office, Larry King from Borden near Barrie. "Only those communities that already have adult Rangers, can start up a Jr. Ranger program as the adult Rangers act as mentors and support. The adults have gone through extensive training by Canada's military and they are prominent presence in Canada's north. Unfortunately, there are not enough to go around given the large geographical area that we have to cover."

Two of the Rangers, Derek Sutherland and Doug Taylor, from Constance Lake in Northern Ontario, have been with the organization since they were young teens. They have been members for 14 years. "It's a really good program," says Sutherland. Taylor adds that, "It's a great thing for young teens to become involved in."

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