It was a day filled with Many cheers, smiles and even some tears as 40 young men and women took part in a parade for their graduation.
This wasn’t just any graduation it was for the Raven Indigenous Youth Employment Program.
A naval based military program that started in 2003, created to work with indigenous communities throughout Canada.
The program first puts recruits through a culture camp to bring them back to their roots and instill a sense of pride through indigenous teachings by Elders and cultural staff.
Recruits then begin their six-week Basic Military Qualifications, this can be used towards credits for high-school or college diplomas.
Graduate Reed Eady came from Jasper Alberta and not only was he a proud graduate.
Eady was awarded platoon commander and lead the drill in the parade.
“Feeling a lot of pride really excited to be done, looking forward to a career in the armed forces,” Eady, graduate, said.
This year graduating class was one of the largest in recent years in comparison to last year where only 24 recruits made it through the 7-week summer program.
Although it’s not required 36 of the 40 graduates plan to join the Canadian armed forces and Guillaume Brochu the officer in charge of the Raven program says its really incredible learning experience for the recruits and instructors.
“I think the most interesting thing is learning from these cultures that we have across the country,” Brochu, instructor, said.
To learn more of the Raven Indigenous Youth Employment Program: http://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/navy-life/youth-raven.page
CORRECTION: the above video incorrectly refers to the graduates of the program as cadets. Graduates of the program hold the military rank of Ordinary Seaman.