Three Circles of Learning
The reality of life in Canada's remote and isolated communities is that conditions are often harsh and opportunities for participation in a wide variety of activities are limited. Consequently a unique curriculum was prepared for Junior Canadian Rangers that covers three important areas of training: Ranger Skills, Traditional Skills and Life Skills.
Ranger skills offer Junior Canadian Rangers the training required to become capable, skilled and active members of their communities. Ranger skills are taught by experienced individuals, and involve practical exercises and hands-on training. It is here that Junior Canadian Rangers learn about the important role their instructors serve in the Canadian Forces and become acquainted with the customs of the military, including marching, saluting and care for their uniforms and equipment.
Traditional Skills are those that expressly take into account the background and culture of the Junior Canadian Rangers in any given community. Elders are involved in teaching these important skills where applicable, and community members are sometimes invited to participate alongside the Junior Canadian Rangers in learning about "lost skills" and recapturing their ancestral traditions where they have been forgotten.
Examples of traditional skills include hunting, fishing, local language, traditional music and dance, traditional cooking and spiritual ceremonies.
Life skills provide Junior Canadian Rangers with important lessons that help them to become healthy, well-respected and responsible members of their communities. This part of the curriculum is also adaptable according to the particular needs of the local community. In certain communities with high-risk youths, for example, qualified professionals might teach suicide prevention and intervention, while others focus on staying drug-free or speaking in public.
Examples of life skills include good nutrition, staying in school, drug and alcohol abuse awareness, and citizenship. The new PHASE (Preventing Harassment and Abuse through Successful Education) Programme could also be taught to all Junior Canadian Rangers as part of the Department of National Defence's commitment to providing a safe learning environment.