Category Archives: Warrior Fieldcraft

Individual Operational Readiness

dapl-protestors-arrested-january-18

Protesters against Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, January 2017, equipped with as masks, shields and other gear.

by Sakej Ward

Do you have an impact on the “battlefield” or are you a liability? Do you possess a wide range of activist’s conflict skills? Are your skills up to speed? Not all activists are created equal.

The come-as-you are activist, the person who shows up at crisis events with intent to engage in obsolete, ineffectual, passive tactics that requires so very little skill and equipment (gear) is an amateur who treats the struggle for justice more as a social gathering (a crisis pow wow with endless opportunities to get selfies) than a war.

Read the rest of this entry

The Operational Pack

Oka three armed warriors

Warriors at Oka, 1990; the warrior in the centre wears web gear (what appears to be an ALICE belt and suspenders with canteen and pouches), described as level 2 gear in the article below.

by Sakej Ward, May 4, 2017
Can you conduct actions without your mission essential equipment? How long can you stay in the field without resupply? Mission duration in the field (away from camp) is the key to independent or long range actions. How operational ready are you without key equipment? Read the rest of this entry

Shuswap band carves canoes for 1st time in 60 years

Secwepemc canoe-carvers

Tanner Francois (L) poses with Frank Marchand (R). Marchand, from the Okanagan Indian Band, is helping members of the Little Shuswap Indian Band — including Francois — carve two canoes. (Doug Herbert/CBC)

‘Being able to be taught to do something my ancestors were doing — it’s like I’m following in their footsteps’

CBC News, March 8, 2017

The Little Shuswap Indian Band in B.C.’s Shuswap region is carving canoes for the first time in over 60 years.

The band partnered with the Okanagan Indian Band to relearn canoe-making skills and every day band members have been working on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake at Quaaout Lodge carving out two large canoes. Read the rest of this entry

‘The barrenlands are not a friendly place,’ says N.W.T. trapper after 2 searches in 1 month

north-barrens-n-w-t-mackay-lake

With little vegetation, deep crevices in the rocks, and its remote location, the area around MacKay Lake, N.W.T., can be dangerous for hunters. (submitted by Colin Patrick)

Two searches have been launched in the past month near Mackay Lake

By Alex Brockman, CBC News, Feb 25, 2017

The barrenlands of the Northwest Territories have been known as a dangerous place for hundreds of years.

It’s unforgiving. There are few signs of vegetation beyond the treeline, treacherous crevices in the rocks and freezing winds bringing temperatures below —50. The Dene have traditional stories of people going in and never coming back. Read the rest of this entry

Highway closures in B.C. raise concerns about local food security during disaster

coquihalla-highway-snow-snowfall-congestion

Coquihalla Highway closed in February 2017 due to heavy snowfall, leaving transport trucks and private vehicles stuck on the highway overnight.

Experts say communities have between 3-5 days of supplies before more needs to be shipped in

By Andrew Kurjata and Ash Kelly, CBC News, Feb 15, 2017

A series of highway closures has highlighted how dependent B.C. communities are on regular shipments of food and supplies and raised questions about what would happen to that supply chain during a prolonged emergency. Read the rest of this entry

PDF: Small Unit Leader’s Guide to Mountain Warfare Operations

winter-warfare-usmc-1

US Marines conduct mountain/winter warfare training.

Since moving to Gitxsan territory in northern BC, and with the onset of winter bringing -20 Degrees Celsius weather, I’ve acquired a renewed interest in winter survival techniques.  During the course of research I came across this US Marine Corps manual on mountain warfare operations, which also includes winter warfare, and thought it might be of use to some readers living in regions with extreme cold temperatures. Read the rest of this entry

Photo Essay: Trail Building in Maxhla Didaat

trapping-trail-7

Looking north from the cabin at Maxhla Didaat.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Maxhla Didaat, a Gitxsan territory belonging to the House of Gwininitxw.  I was part of a crew working on building trails for trap lines in the territory, which is located about 100 km north of Kispiox, “BC.”  Read the rest of this entry

Indigenous Alberta youth reconnect with nature and culture at Ghost River Rediscovery camp

ghost-river-rediscovery

Ghost River Rediscovery camp west of Calgary teaches survival skills and Aboriginal traditions to kids and teens. (Courtesy of Ghost River Rediscovery)

City kids sleep in teepees and learn Aboriginal traditions from Blackfoot, Cree and Metis elders

By Danielle Nerman, CBC News July 27, 2016

The Ghost River Rediscovery camp west of Calgary can only be reached by gravel road and a river crossing.

While the journey through the wooded forest of the Stoney Nation is not super strenuous, it can be daunting for campers who have never lived off the grid.

“A lot of these kids are pretty city-based. So we’ve got kids who have never camped before, never built shelter, don’t know how build fire,” said Kristie Schneider, the camp’s director of operations. Read the rest of this entry

A starving wolf stalked a woman and her dog for 12 hours. Then along came a bear.

Joane Barnaby

Joanne Barnaby, left, is reunited with Tammy Caudron after 18 hours in the Canadian bush.

June 17, 2016

Joanne Barnaby was deep in the deadfall, smeared in mosquitoes and blood, dehydrated and near exhaustion, when she heard the call of a mama bear searching for its cub.

Barnaby couldn’t believe her luck.

Twelve hours earlier, she had been picking mushrooms in the remote Canadian wilderness when she had heard a growl behind her. She turned around and saw Joey, her faithful mutt, locked in a snarling standoff with a skinny black wolf. Read the rest of this entry

The Tourniquet

Tourniquet Boston Bombing 1

Boston Firefighter James Plourde carries an injured woman away from the scene after a bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013. The woman has an improvised tourniquet on her left leg just below the knee.

By Warrior Publications, June 2, 2016

Tourniquet: A device, typically a tightly encircling bandage, used to check bleeding by temporarily stopping the flow of blood through a large artery in a limb… French : tourner, to turn (from Old French).”

The Free Dictionary

A tourniquet is a binding that is applied to an injured limb to stop arterial blood flow resulting from a severe injury (characterized by bright red spurting blood). Although it has been used on battlefields since at least the times of the Roman Empire, after World Wars 1 and 2 the tourniquet became a questionable, even dangerous technique that was to be used only as a last resort, if at all. Despite the apparent absence of any medical studies, the tourniquet was said to cause such severe nerve damage that it often resulted in amputations.

Warning: there are some graphic images in the following article. Read the rest of this entry