Are you an Indigenous person living in western Canada or north-western Ontario? Interested in a challenging summer experience that delivers hands-on skills development, encourages teamwork, provides physical fitness training and promotes cultural awareness?
If so, Bold Eagle is the program for you! This unique summer training program combines Indigenous culture and teachings with military training, that will help you develop valuable skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, time management, respect and fitness.
The six- week program is conducted from early July to late August each year. During this time, you are enrolled as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Upon completion of the program, you can choose to remain in the CAF (as a Regular Force member, a Reserve Force member or a Canadian Ranger) or to be released from service.
Benefits of the program
During the program, you will find out more about yourself and what you are capable of achieving through hard work, perseverance and teamwork. You will also have the chance to meet Indigenous people from across western Canada and northwestern Ontario. Overall, the program will help you prepare yourself for the future – wherever that may take you.
During the program, we will provide you with:
- Meals and accommodation;
- Military clothing and equipment to use during the training;
- Transportation from home to the training location and back home; and
- Approximately $4,200 in salary.
Bold Eagle is an established military training program for which you are eligible for career experience credits through your provincial education system. If you would like the credits, it is your responsibility to arrange it through your school’s guidance counselor before starting the program.
If you live near a Primary Reserve unit, you can, upon graduation, transfer to that unit to continue to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) when you return to your community. You can also transfer into the Regular Force or into a Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. Serving full-time or part-time are excellent career options and a chance to further your service in the CAF, should you choose this route.
Are you up for the Bold Eagle challenge? The first step is finding out if you are eligible. To be eligible for the Bold Eagle program, you must:
- Be First Nation, Métis or Inuit (status not required);
- Be 16 years of age or older;
- Have completed Grade 10;
- Be a Canadian citizen; and
- Reside in western Canada or north-western Ontario.
Further instructions for applicants 18 and under
All applicants under the age of 18 must obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian to participate in this exciting opportunity. Applicants must be at least 16 and enrolled in school full-time at the time of application. If you are not a full-time student, the minimum enrollment age is 17 years.
If you are still completing Grade 10, you must send us a letter from your high school outlining the courses you are taking and your potential to complete them successfully. You will be enrolled once we receive the transcripts that state that you have passed Grade 10. Make sure to send us your proof of completion early, as you cannot be enrolled in the program without it, and slots fill up early.
Bold Eagle training
Once you are accepted into the Bold Eagle program, your training will take place in Wainwright, Alberta at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre from early July to late August of that year.
The program is made up of two parts.
The first week involves the Culture Camp, where you will learn traditional Indigenous values and teachings as demonstrated by Indigenous Elders or teachers. The Culture Camp helps candidates understand the need for self-discipline and teamwork and instills pride and the sense of continuing the Indigenous tradition of military service.
At the end of the first week, you will continue your military training with CAF military instructors. The course itself is the standard five-week Army Reserve Basic Military Qualification (BMQ). During the BMQ course, you will learn a number of skills, including weapons handling, navigation with a map and compass, first aid, drill, outdoor field craft and survival skills.
You will also have the opportunity to participate in a local powwow and attend an organized career day that will introduce you to the education and career options in the CAF.
In addition to the comprehensive and extremely demanding training, there are regular Elder hours throughout, and also a mid-course sweat in the sweat lodge.
At the end of the program, you will be congratulated on your success with a graduation ceremony that encompasses military protocol with Indigenous customs. Bold Eagle recruits are enrolled in the Primary Reserve at the beginning of the course. That means that you can continue your career with the CAF, should you choose to do so.
How to apply to the Bold Eagle program
In order to apply for Bold Eagle you will need to complete the online application found at this link https://forces.ca/en/apply-now/. In addition to the documents you will complete online you will require the following:
- Birth Certificate;
- Government Photo Identification (such as a Status Card, Driver’s License, Passport or Provincial Health Card);
- Official education transcripts;
- Social Insurance Number; and
- Bank account (so you can be paid).
Although the online application is the easiest and preferred method, there are other options if the online version isn’t viable for you. If this is the case you can reach out to your nearest recruiting center (contact info can be found at this link https://forces.ca/en/find-a-recruiting-centre/#/ ) and they can mail you a paper copy. Additionally you can reach out to the Bold Eagle Coordinators (email below) and they can email you a PDF copy. We encourage you at any time to reach out to the recruiting center or the Bold Eagle Coordinators to assist you with the application.
The CAF starts taking applications at the beginning of September each year. There are a limited number of vacancies available for Bold Eagle, so don’t wait! However, please contact the Bold Eagle Coordinator to confirm as there may be occasions where they accept an application after the deadline. Once you are accepted, you will receive a package containing all course details. We will also work with you to schedule your travel arrangements.
You can also request for a Bold Eagle Coordinator to come to your community or organization to give a presentation about the program. Please send a detailed email request for consideration to the Bold Eagle Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For requests to visit rural or remote locations, the Bold Eagle Coordinator will try to include your community, when it is feasible to do so, during a planned visit to the region.
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