The Canadian Rangers are expanding into two west-coast Cree communities—Peawanuk and Fort Albany.

Both will have a patrol of 20 Cree Rangers each. Peawanuk’s Ranger patrol will be launched Nov. 17 and Fort Albany gets its patrol in January.

The new patrols were established following consultation with Peawanuk Chief Abraham Hunter and Fort Albany Chief Edmund Metatawabin. Moose Factory and Attawapiskat already have Ranger patrols.

There are 4,500 Rangers across Canada and 350 in Quebec. They are considered part of the Canadian Forces Reserves. The role of the Rangers is to provide a military presence in remote areas. In peace time, they “report on unusual activities, provide assistance, guides and in-depth environmental knowledge to the Canadian Forces,” according to a military information package. They also help their community in times of civil emergency and conduct search and rescue operations.

Each Ranger is provided with a .303 No. 4 MK 1 rifle and 300 rounds of ammunition each year. They attend seven days of basic training and are called out eight to 12 days per year.