Family and friends of a soldier found dead during a training exercise at CFB Shilo Saturday say he loved being in the military and strived to make societal changes.

The Canadian Forces said in a statement Sunday Cpl. Nolan Caribou was an infantryman with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. It said he served with the unit for five years

“Nolan Caribou loved a challenge,” said Caribou’s family in a statement issued Monday.

“He was very determined despite challenges that he encountered while in the military and he did so with integrity.  Nolan did not allow limited resources to discourage him from following through with his commitments. His focus enabled him to facilitate available resources when required. He was very focused on his job as an infantryman, and Nolan took great pride in being able to do so.”

The statement from family said Caribou had also recently graduated from the University of Winnipeg in October, and held a bachelors degree.

“Nolan strived on seeking change on social barriers in society. Hence his Bachelor of Social Work degree in university. Being in the military was one way for Nolan to contribute – a way for him to seek resolution to address the challenge of society’s inability to be peaceful, not just for himself but for everyone.”

The Canadian Armed Forces have not yet released the cause of death.

It said the death is under investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

“The death took place during an exercise focused on basic defensive routines, patrolling, and raids. No live ammunition was utilized during the exercise,” a military release said.

The Caribou family has asked for their privacy at this difficult time.

Friends in shock

Two friends of Caribou tell CTV News they are shocked.

Michael Russell is the owner of 9Round Fitness on Waverly Street. He said he knew Caribou for about a year and he would come to centre to work out.

“Definitely a shock,” said Russell in a phone call Monday. “Thoughts are with the family.”

“He enjoyed doing was he was doing, was respectful, a positive, positive kid,” he said.

Russell said the 26-year-old told him he hoped to do some police work.

Another female friend who said she knew Caribou for about a year told CTV News he was “ very proud” of being in the military.

She said he loved dancing and was good at it.

“He had a very lively personality and was happy almost all the time I've ever hung out with him. Very active guy,” the friend said in an online message.