MNBC Honours Raven Grads of 2019
August 15th, 2019
MNBC Minister for Métis Veterans Lissa Smith, and Métis Veterans BC Representatives had the honour of sashing 5 Métis grads, now Ordinary Seaman at the Raven Grad on August 13th, at CFB Esquimalt. Minister Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, was the reviewing Officer for the Raven 2019 Graduation Parade.
The Raven 2019 Program
The Canadian Armed Forces offer several training courses and employment opportunities for Indigenous youth. The Raven program is just one of these programs and is home based on Vancouver Island and is a Navy summer program for Indigenous youth from across Canada. Participants train in Esquimalt, British Columbia, at the Work Point Barracks, and the staff are current Military members who have years of experience. The Raven training program combines military lifestyle with cultural awareness and teachings, that will help recruits develop valuable skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, time management, respect and fitness.
Of the 135 applicants to the Raven 2019, 42 indigenous youth from First Nations, Métis and Inuit students were selected. The students arrived from various locations across Canada to participate in the program. With the 42 candidates starting the course, 40 completed the training program and within the ranks were 5 Métis youth.
The recruits are enrolled in the CAF at the beginning of the course then straight into Culture Camp which serves two purposes: It helps the candidates understand the need for self-discipline and teamwork and also instils pride through Indigenous traditions within military service. The 3-and-a-half-day culture camp immersed the recruits in the cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit conducted by Elders included aspects from all three cultures, to name a few: jigging, sampling bannock and pemican, Inuit Games, sacred fire and sweat lodge and, traditional teachings all mixed in with team building exercises to prepare them for what lay ahead. Dave Armitt, MNBC Métis Veteran Chair, was the Culture Camp Coordinator this year and the Métis Elder was none other than Eldon Clairmont, Region 3 Veteran Rep, supported by his wife, Shirley.
MNBC has been supportive of the Raven Program at the graduation parade over the past few years and provides the successful candidates with a Métis Sash in a special “Sashing Ceremony” prior to the graduation parade commencement. This enables the Métis graduates to show pride in their heritage and culture as Métis by wearing their newly presented sashes on their graduation parade. “It is truly an honour for the Métis Veterans BC to be invited to sash the Métis Grads of the Raven program. We are extremely proud of these Métis youth, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours whatever career path they choose”, Minister Smith commented.
Photo: (L-R) LCdr Danny O’Regan the deputy Commandant of Naval Fleet School (Pacific) (Seamus O’Regans Brother), Retired Leading Seaman and Region 1 Métis Veteran Rep. Eleanor Creighton, MNGV Community Member, Lydia Toorenburgh, MNBC Minister of Veterans Lissa Smith, The Right Honorable Seamus O’Reagan, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, Retired MWO and Métis Veterans of BC Chairperson Dave Armitt, Eldon Clairmont Region 3 Métis Veteran Rep, Retired Major Barb Hulme Métis Veterans of BC Women’s Rep, PO2 Steve Morrison and Co-Chair of the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group.
The Raven 2019 program saw the successful graduation of the following Métis youth:
Ordinary Seaman Méghane Bédard from Québec city, QC
Ordinary Seaman Reed Eady from Jasper, AB
Ordinary Seaman Braedon Osmond-Doucette from Errington, BC
Ordinary Seaman Pierre Parenteau from Qualicum Beach, BC
Ordinary Seaman Nolan Skolski from Nanaimo, BC
Royal Canadian Navy Facebook Page
Photo Credits: Maritime Forces Pacific
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