Junior Canadian Ranger from Fort Severn wins Canada Company bursary

Junior Canadian Ranger Ian Kakekaspan receives a plaque and cheque from Kerry Vance, a director of Canada Company. Photo: Corporal Lori Kendall, Canadian Rangers *** Rangers juniors canadiens Ian Kakekaspan reçoit une plaque et un cheque d’une des directire de La Compagnie Canada Kerry Vance. Photo: Corporal Lori Kendall, Canadian Rangers

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By Peter Moon

Ian Kakekaspan, an 18-year-old Junior Canadian Ranger from Fort Severn is one of five Junior Rangers from across Northern Canada who has won a Canada Company bursary to assist with education expenses.

A grade 12 student at Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, he received a plaque and a cheque for $1,000 at a ceremony at Lac Seul First Nation. Presenting him with the bursary was Kerry Vance, a director of Canada Company, a charity that provides support for the military. Mrs Vance’s husband is current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance.

The high school senior plans to use the money to aid in achieving his ambition of becoming a commercial airline pilot after graduating.

“Ian really deserves this honour,” said WO Mark Kendall, a Canadian Ranger instructor. “He’s been in the program since he was 12 and he’s stayed with it since coming to Sioux Lookout to complete high school.  He’s been a leader in Fort Severn amongst the youth there. He’s been instrumental in setting up the high school program for the Junior Rangers in Sioux Lookout. It’s a challenge for kids when they come down from the north to attend high school. He’s been incredible at keeping kids out of trouble.”

The Junior Canadian Rangers is a Canadian Army youth program for boys and girls aged 12 to 18 in remote and isolated communities across the Canadian North. Ian was a staff Junior Ranger, or assistant instructor, at last summer’s Camp Loon, an annual camp that develops leadership skills for Junior Canadian Rangers. Most recently, he captained the Junior Ranger team representing Ontario at the National Junior Ranger Marksmanship contest in Quebec City in the fall.

“He led in mentorship, teamwork, and leadership,” said Capt Jason Dech, the Canadian Army officer who leads the Junior Ranger program in Northern Ontario. “He was always the first to volunteer to help out with extra tasks. His ability to lead by example set a high standard for other Junior Rangers to meet.”

(Sgt Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)

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