The 3055 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) Naujaat has been given an eleventh-hour reprieve and will continue to function for at least another year.
Capt. Erin McKinlay flew to Naujaat from Winnipeg this past month to work with local people and hamlet staff to revive the corps, which was left without an officer when former commanding officer (CO) Capt. Lloyd Francis left Naujaat to further his teaching career.
McKinlay said a number of options were discussed while trying to devise a plan to save the 3055 RCACC.
She said her visits to Naujaat have shown her that the hamlet and community members want the cadet program to continue.
“My job is being the zone training officer, so I go around to and look after 19 units as my full-time job,” said McKinlay.
“The corps in Naujaat is one of my units, so I had suggested that I take it over for one year to see if we can find enough local people to get involved and keep the corps sustainable for the future.
“So that’s the goal for the next year, for me to be the corps CO and co-ordinate everything from Winnipeg, with a number of trips to Naujaat.
“We have hopes of getting enough local support that we can keep the program going after this one-year term.”
McKinlay said the 3055 has two civilian instructors (CI) from the previous year, but both are very busy at this time.
She said one just welcomed a new baby into the home while the other just started a new job.
“I was really working in Naujaat for a week this past month to get some new staff involved and an RCMP officer has offered to come on as a CI and help out when he can, but RCMP officers can be called out at any given time, so he can’t be completely reliable.
“Two other locals have come forward and have put in paperwork to become a CI – one is Romeo Kopak and the other is James Jr. Kopak.
“Jr. was a CI with the corps a couple of years ago and Romeo’s son, Jack, is in the corps and is a very successful cadet.
“I’m very excited about both of them coming on board because it’s really nice for the kids to have them around.”
To date the 3055 RCACC has 26 returning cadets for the current cadet season and 12 new ones registered for the program during McKinlay’s stay in Naujaat.
She said those are good numbers to start with, especially considering the new cadets registered before any activities were held.
“I also have a teacher at the elementary school interested in coming out to help as well, so I handed out the paperwork for four perspective CIs while I was in Naujaat.
“That’s encouraging, so now it’s a matter of getting the corps up and running and see who can and who wants to, become an officer and if we can continue to get some more community participation.
“So, there’s reason to be optimistic about the corps right now. I will be travelling to Naujaat again in November so I can be there for their Remembrance Day service.”