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Indigenous students complete training program at Royal Military College of Canada
June 16, 2017 – Kingston, Ont. – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) concluded today at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC), marking the end of the year-long program focused on developing leaders for Indigenous communities and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The program offers Indigenous youth the opportunity to strengthen their leadership and military skills, academic education, athletic ability, and cultural awareness. The year culminates in a 107-kilometre canoe trek down the Rideau Canal, a final exercise to test the leadership skills the cadets have developed during the program.
Of this year’s class of 21 cadets, 13 intend to join the CAF. All participants will bring the skills acquired over the year at RMCC back to their communities and to their future careers.
“This program represents the commitment of the Department of National Defence and the CAF to strengthen our relationship with Indigenous communities and become a more diverse and inclusive institution. We are proud to honour the candidates who have successfully completed the program, and to welcome those who have decided to continue their careers with the CAF.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“The Defence Team greatly benefits from the unique cultural, spiritual, and traditional identities of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. As such, our military will only be strengthened by the unique perspectives of our Indigenous members. My heartfelt congratulations to those who have successfully completed this program.”
Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army
“Each of these students has met and overcome the challenges of the ALOY program, thereby demonstrating their potential to lead, and better serve their communities and their country. They should be proud of the critical accomplishment they have achieved today.”
Rear-Admiral Luc Cassivi, Commander, Military Personnel Generation and Canadian Defence Academy
- The ALOY Program is an example of the CAF’s outreach to Indigenous Canadians in support of a more diverse military, which was identified as a priority in Canada’s new defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged.
- Participants receive a salary at the Officer Cadet level, as well as paid tuition and books.
- 178 aboriginal students have entered the program since 2008.
- This year, as well as attending classes and acquiring military skills, the cadets attended veterans parades and the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, and visited the Parliament buildings. They participated in the “drumming ashore” of HMCS Goose Bay in Kingston, a pow-wow at the community of Curve Lake just outside Peterborough, Ont. and the Kingston Pow-wow hosted on the grounds of RMCC.
Navy Lieutenant Jennifer Fidler
Public Affairs Officer
Royal Military College of Canada
Phone: (613) 541-6000 ext 6484
Department of National Defence
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