Caribou ribs and haggis are highlights of Ranger training
By Peter Moon
A small group of Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario ran a two-day winter survival training for members of a Toronto-based army reserve regiment at the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre in Meaford, Ont.
Seven Rangers trained 70 soldiers from the Toronto Scottish Regiment on ice water rescue techniques, starting fires, snaring and trapping small game, building emergency shelters, and preparing signal fires for search and rescue aircraft.
The Rangers, who are part-time army reservists, were from the remote Cree communities of Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Peawanuck, and Moose Factory on the Hudson Bay and James Bay coasts. They brought snow geese, moose and caribou meat to demonstrate their outdoor cooking skills.
“They devoured the food in one day,” said Sergeant Matthew Gull, who commands the Ranger patrol in Peawanuck. “They really liked it when I threw a whole rack of caribou ribs on the grill and put on the barbecue sauce. They’d never seen something like that before.”
The food was donated by members of the Peawanuck Ranger patrol to provide realistic training for the troops from the Toronto Scottish Regiment.
The regiment’s soldiers had a surprise for the Rangers too. They had two pieces of haggis with them for the Rangers to eat. They showed the Rangers how to cook the Scottish national dish.
“It was my first time eating it,” said Master Corporal Pamela Chookomoolin of Peawanuck. “It was pretty tasty actually. I went back for a second helping.”
“The reactions of the Toronto Scottish Regiment were unbelievable,” said Warrant Officer Carl Wolfe, an instructor with the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. “The army doesn’t often get a chance to do this kind of training. Experiencing wild game, some Indigenous foods, learning how to get out of icy water, that sort of thing, is something new for them. They were blown away by the Rangers’ survival skills and they had a blast.”
“I can absolutely say the troops loved it,” said Captain Ann Lockhart, a rifle company commander with the Toronto Scottish Regiment.
(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)
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