History of the Junior Canadian Rangers

Young Canadians in far northern and remote communities often face a number of unique and difficult challenges including boredom, isolation and lack of positive role models. After hearing repeated comments by members of the Canadian Armed Forces about the need for some sort of organized youth activities in these communities, the Government of Canada decided to take action.

Trial Period

In 1994, the Minister of National Defence authorized a two-year trial youth program in Paulatak, Northwest Territories. The trial offered ten young Inuit teenagers in this community an opportunity to participate in fun and rewarding activities and to learn more about their cultural traditions and history. Canadian Rangers from the local patrol group worked alongside respected community members during the trial program. In 1996 the trial was deemed a success and plans were made to expand the youth program nationally.

Official Launch

On May 31, 1996, the Minister of National Defence announced the official launch of the Junior Canadian Ranger Program. Young Canadians aged 12 to 18 who lived in qualifying communities across Canada were now eligible to participate in this new and exciting program.

Permanent Status

On April 30, 1998, the Minister of National Defence authorized the formation of the Junior Canadian Program as a Cadet Organization in accordance with the National Defence Act. This action formalized the funding of the Junior Canadian Ranger Program and moved it from "project status" to a permanent youth organization.


  • 2008 – The JCR Program celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2008.
  • January 2000 – A thorough review of the Canadian Rangers and Junior Canadian Rangers (CAN RAN 2000) Program is conducted. CAN RAN 2000 assesses the benefits of the two organizations and recommends a significant expansion in terms of financial support and personnel.
  • January 1998 – The first Junior Canadian Ranger to graduate from the JCR Program and decide to continue in the Canadian Rangers is enrolled.
  • 1996 – The Junior Canadian Rangers Program is officially implemented by the Minister of National Defence to serve Canada's youth in remote and isolated communities.
  • 20 June 1996 – His Excellency, the Right Honourable Romeo LeBlanc, Governor General of Canada, presents the Canadian Rangers with their official crest at Canadian Armed Forces Northern Area HQ (CFNA), Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
  • 1995 – The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) orders a study investigating the plausibility of expanding the Canadian Rangers south of the 60th parallel. This Ranger Enhancement Project (REP) marks the beginning of a truly national Canadian Ranger organization.
  • November 1994 – A two-year trial involving 10 youth from the community is initiated in Paulatuk, Northwest Territories. This pilot project is the precursor to the Junior Canadian Rangers Program.
  • 23 May 1947 – The Canadian Rangers are officially formed with an organizational base similar to that of the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers of WWII.
  • 03 March 1942 – The Pacific Coast Militia Rangers are formed in response to the fear that Japan might attempt to mount a military expedition against continental North America.
Date modified: