OTTAWA – A Junior Canadian Ranger from Northern Ontario played a prominent role during the service marking Remembrance Day at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Junior Ranger Trevor McKay, 17, from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, was part of the official party at the ceremony and stood out in his distinctive Junior Ranger uniform. He attended a lunch afterwards at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Governor General Julie Payette, in honour of this year’s Silver Cross Mother, Diana Abel, who lost her son, Corporal David Abel, while he served in Somalia in 1993.
Junior Ranger McKay was selected to represent the 4,200 Junior Canadian Rangers across Canada. His home in Kitchenuhmaykoosib, known as KI, is a remote Oji-Cree community 580 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
“I presented the governor general with a flag of KI,” he said. “Meeting her was pretty awesome.”
The service at the War Memorial and the formal lunch at Rideau Hall were two of the highlights of his three-day visit to Ottawa, during which he met numerous dignitaries, saw the Speaker’s Chambers in the Parliament Buildings, and visited the Canadian War Museum, where he saw the impressive contribution of Canada’s Indigenous population to Canada’s military.
He thought the lunch at Rideau Hall was a memorable occasion and the dessert was “really good.”
At the War Memorial service, he carried the wreath for Florence Chideya, the ambassador of Zimbabwe and dean of the diplomatic corps in Ottawa.
Master Corporal Karen Meeseetawageesic, who runs the Junior Canadian Ranger program in Eabametoong First Nation, accompanied Junior Ranger McKay to Rideau Hall and to the remembrance service. “Trevor was a little nervous but he did a very good job,” she said. “The governor general talked with us and asked me about the Junior Ranger program. She told me to keep working with the Junior Rangers.”
Her Junior Ranger patrol was named the best in Ontario in 2016.
Captain John McNeil, the Canadian Army officer commanding the 1,000 Junior Rangers in 20 First Nations across the Far North of Ontario, said: “It’s an honour to have had Trevor represent the Junior Canadian Ranger program. He’s an outstanding young man. The work he’s done as a Junior Ranger reflects well on him and the program. He is this year’s top Junior Ranger in Ontario.
“He’s been a bit overwhelmed and pretty excited by this experience. It’s been a huge experience for him. He’s represented us well and he is deserving of this honour.”
Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.