For the first time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Kenora District Office will operate the Ogimaa Binesiiyog Stewardship Youth Ranger Partnership Program.
This successful program, operating since 2013 in Fort Frances, was made possible through a partnership between the MNRF, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong Training and Employment Centre, the United Native Friendship Centre in Fort Frances, and the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre in Kenora.
Based on a shared vision to increase opportunity, celebrate diversity, and develop leadership capacity in young people, this unique program allows for a balance of indigenous and non-indigenous youth to gain valuable work experience while promoting environmental stewardship ethics in Northwestern Ontario.
“Ogimaa Binesiiyog,” chosen during the first naming ceremony six years ago, is feasted during spring and fall ceremonies each year.
Its meaning is: “Young eagles, let them rise up; these young rangers are the leaders of tomorrow; the ones who will look after the land.”
This eight-week summer employment program has teams working on natural resource management projects in and around their communities.
Each team is composed of four rangers, an assistant team lead, and a team lead.
For the 2018 season, rangers must be aged 16-18 years but not turning 19 before Dec. 31, 2018, be a student, and a resident of Ontario.
Team leads and assistant team leads can be 18 and over.