Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, Alberta graduates of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Bold Eagle employment program, a challenging six-week summer employment program that combines Indigenous culture learning with military training, will receive up to five high school credits.
The program runs from July to August each year at the Canadian Armed Forces Base in Wainwright.
“Connecting students to career paths early on ensures Alberta has an educated, engaged workforce,” said Minister of Education David Eggen in a release Thursday. “The Bold Eagle program opens up more opportunities for students to get real-life, hands-on learning and to obtain the credits they need to finish high school.”
Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, added that the program blends Indigenous culture and traditions with discipline and teamwork. “Programs like this are life-changing. Participants will carry these lessons for the rest of their lives, whether they choose to join the Canadian Armed Forces or follow another career path,” he said.
After learning traditional Indigenous values and teachings from Indigenous Elders and cultural staff, participants subsequently learn a range of skills including weapons-handling, navigation, first aid, drill, outdoor field craft and survival.
Alberta has some of the highest enrolment rates for the program, with an estimated 400 graduates since 1990.