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Canadian Rangers training expands in Eeyou Istchee – The Spec

December 21, 2023

The Canadian Rangers Patrol Group visited Cree communities in November to conduct several training sessions. Following a week of exercises in Nemaska, there was an opening ceremony and basic military indoctrination for the organization’s 29th patrol in Ouje-Bougoumou.

Quebec’s Canadian Ranger program was first established in 1997, consisting largely of Indigenous members, to provide a military presence in the North for sovereignty protection and emergency preparedness.

“I’m the sergeant in [Nemaska] and we try to get as many Rangers as are available,” said Clarence Jason Jolly. “I like that they integrate our traditional knowledge and practices into the training. Ice rescue training to save someone from hypothermia was especially beneficial to refresh our knowledge and skills.”

The Nemaska patrol group began in 2019, following the establishment of patrols in the four Cree coastal communities. While the Canadian Rangers originated from the Second World War as the armed forces’ “eyes and ears” in isolated areas, it evolved over the years to leverage local knowledge and cultural pride across northern communities.

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