Department of National Defence



Department of National Defence

July 12, 2013 14:00 ET

Canadian Army Aboriginal Youth Leadership Initiative

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 12, 2013) - Today, Aboriginal youth from First Nations communities of the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising, and from Wikwemikong First Nations of Manitoulin Island, successfully completed the Soaring Bird Aboriginal Youth Leadership Camp.

"The Soaring Bird Aboriginal Youth Leadership Camp provides Aboriginal Canadians with an opportunity to learn about the Canadian Armed Forces' culture, and enables Aboriginal youth to develop leadership skills," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "The Canadian Armed Forces has a proud history with Aboriginal Peoples and we continue to cultivate this relationship through various Aboriginal youth programs."

The leadership camp took place from 8 to 12 July in the community of Zhiibaahaasing, on Manitoulin Island. It encouraged an exchange of knowledge, introducing Aboriginal youth to basic military training, and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to Aboriginal heritage, history and culture.

"This initiative demonstrates the Canadian Army's commitment to foster and build upon the existing partnership within Canada's Aboriginal communities," said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army and National Defence Champion for Aboriginal Peoples. "Participating in this training camp inspires Aboriginal youth to develop their innate leadership skills."

"Experiencing the great outdoors and learning leadership skills can only motivate our young people to become more self-reliant and make good decisions for themselves," says Chief Joe Hare, M'Chigeeng First Nation, United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising Tribal Council Chairperson.

In recognition of the importance of Canada's Aboriginal population, the Department of National Defence and the CAF offer numerous experience programs for Aboriginal peoples, including youth development and enrolment programs, which combine Aboriginal teachings with military training.

For further information on Aboriginal education and training opportunities, please access the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4797

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