Inuvik welcomes new Junior Canadian Rangers patrol

0
507

Inuvik now has something many in the community have wanted for a while. It is the latest — and last — Beaufort Delta region community to get a Junior Canadian Rangers Patrol, and the 44th junior ranger patrol in the North.

An opportunity for the program, which teaches youth aged 12 to 18 traditional, on-the-land ranger and life skills, opened up after Inuvik’s army cadet program disbanded about two years ago. That freed up some money for a Junior Canadian Rangers unit.

‘I can’t wait’: Junior Rangers program finally comes to Inuvik

On Saturday an opening ceremony for the new patrol saw the junior rangers joined by Joint Task Force North Commander Brig.-Gen. Mike Nixon, community leaders, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and others for occasion.

Kyra Buckle, 12, is one of the 25 new Canadian Junior Ranges in Inuvik.

“I’d seen it as a good opportunity to learn … traditional skills and how to do on-the-land stuff. And all the opportunities I’m going to get to travel,” said Buckle.

“It was actually really cool to be able to dress up in uniform like this.”

There are also six youth participating in the patrol from other communities.

Brienna Gruben,12, is a Junior Canadian Ranger in Tuktoyaktuk, but lives in Inuvik during the school year.

Now that Inuvik has a patrol, she is able to be part of the program year-round.

“They do a lot of things I always wanted to learn out on the land, like i always wanted to learn how to shoot a gun — and I learned how.”

Gruben hopes the Junior Canadian Rangers are just the beginning for her.

“I want to be a Ranger, and I want to help other Junior Rangers and do what we did when we were younger.”

Canadian Rangers Master Cpl. Gailann Raddi will be in charge of Inuvik patrol.

She says she’s wanted to have the program in Inuvik for a long time, and is excited the day has finally come.

“I just can’t wait to teach them our ranger skills, traditional skills and to start taking them out on the land, doing new things, and meeting other

The Junior Canadian Rangers have been in the region for a long time, with Paulatuk celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Canadian Junior Rangers unit this year. Canadian Rangers and Junior Rangers in the North are part of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which oversees ranger patrols in the N.W.T., Nunavut, Yukon and Atlin, B.C.

A a marksmanship competition was scheduled for the weekend. Six teams were to compete, but due to poor weather, only three teams were able to make it for the competition.