August 20, 2014 7:15 pm

Aboriginal youth get taste of what Canadian Army is all about

Watch above: Basic training army-style taught by the Canadian Forceb

SASKATOON – Brandon Singer, 17,  knows what he wants to do when he’s done high school, he wants to follow in his older brothers footsteps and join the military.

“I wanted to know what it was like being at least in the army before I go into my program next year,” said Singer.

So the teen from Loon Lake, Sask. enlisted in Eagle’s Nest, a camp for aboriginal youth put on by the Canadian Army near Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.

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“What we’re looking to do here is develop them and to challenge them and teach them some of the different skills that we learn on basic training in the military,” said Major Caleb Walker, Battery Commander with the Canadian Army and an instructor at Eagle’s Nest.

The idea came from a pilot project the army did last year north of Petawawa, Ont.

The camp reached new heights off site in Saskatoon, wall climbing.

“I’m not afraid of heights but you know if you have that confidence in you, you’re just ready for it,” said Singer.

Twenty-two young aboriginal’s from northern Saskatchewan First Nations communities are camping.

“The more that they’re able to do these challenges the more confident they are,” said Walker.

The 16 to 19 year olds learn everything from building shelters and navigation to weapons handling and wall climbing over the five days.

“I kind of expected a bit of yelling but I guess there wasn’t and I don’t call myself a leader, I’m going to call all of us brothers and sisters, we stand by each other,” said Singer.

That attitude is what’s making Eagle’s Nest a success and why officials are looking to expand the camp for next year.

Eagle’s Nest wraps up Saturday with a graduation parade at 1 p.m.

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