Junior Canadian Rangers win prestigious national awards

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Four Junior Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario have been recognized for their work with the Junior Canadian Rangers program and for their volunteer work.

The recipients of the prestigious national youth medals are Beth Baxter of Moose Factory; Jack Linklater Jr. of Attawapiskat; Elaina Matthews of Kitchenuhmaykoosib; and Amber Lawson of Mishkeegogamang Junior Ranger patrol.

“They earned their medals based on their leadership in the Junior Canadian Rangers and in their communities,” said Captain John McNeil, Canadian Army officer commanding the 750 Junior Rangers in 20 First Nations across the Far North of Ontario. “They richly deserve them.”

Junior Ranger Baxter received two medals, the Lord Strathcona Medal and The Order of St. George. The Lord Strathcona Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed on a cadet or Junior Ranger in recognition of exemplary performance in a range of leadership roles. She also received the Order of St. George, which recognizes excellence in youth leadership. Junior Rangers Matthews and Lawson received the Lord Strathcona Medal.

Within her community, Junior Ranger Baxter is a vocal advocate of  the rights of youth and females, and activelypromotes the Junior Ranger program.

Junior Ranger Linklater received The Order of St. George for his work to promote a number of causes in Attawapiskat. He has helped with addictions, done walks for causes such as combating suicide, and has saved two lives in a house fire. He was previously awarded the Lord Strathcona Medal for his outstanding work as a Junior Ranger.

Junior Rangers Matthews and Lawson won their medals, in part, for overcoming a lack of self-confidence to assume leadership roles within the Junior Rangers and their communities.

“Elaina Matthews received her medal because she was recently named the top Junior Ranger in Ontario and has stepped up and shown that she is a leader within her community,” said Capt McNeil.

“Amber Lawson has developed into a leader. At Camp Loon for example, our annual Junior Ranger camp this summer, she did extraordinary things to help kids by talking them through problems.”

The medals were presented to them during the national Junior Canadian Ranger leadership course at CFB Borden, which they attended with 34 other top Junior Ranger leaders from across Canada.

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