Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in an Arctic military exercise – which included an overnight sovereignty patrol – with the Gjoa Haven Patrol of the Canadian Rangers as part of Operation NANOOK 13. The Prime Minister marked the expansion of the Canadian Rangers by welcoming Private Nigel Nakoolak, from Coral Harbour, Nunavut, as the 5000th Ranger.
“Our Government has expanded the Canadian Rangers, our eyes and ears of the North, as they serve a critical role in safeguarding Canadian sovereignty,” said Prime Minister Harper. “It was an honour to patrol with the Rangers today, as they work to defend our territory from potential threats and emergencies and keep our North strong, secure and free.”
Taking place from August 2 to 23, Operation NANOOK 13 is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) premier annual northern operation. Canadian Rangers are the pillar of this operation due to their local knowledge and considerable expertise in protecting Canada’s sovereignty in the North. Most Canadian Rangers originate from various Aboriginal communities.
The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. They provide patrol groups and detachments across the North for national security and public safety missions, including national sovereignty patrols in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. When not assisting with domestic operations, Rangers regularly train in activities such as first aid, ground search and rescue, leadership, navigation, weapon safety and special training as required. The Gjoa Haven Canadian Ranger Patrol was formally established in 1947.
The strength of the Canadian Rangers is a testament to the Government’s concrete actions to exercise Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic, one of the pillars of Canada’s Northern Strategy.
This document is also available in Inuktitut at http://pm.gc.ca/grfx/docs/20130821_NR_Rangers_IU.pdf
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