Earth Skills Alliance
Meet some of the Presenters at the 2019 Coyote Conference
Fred Coyote Downie
Fred 'Coyote' Downey, has been supported by the American Indian Institute for the last 40 years to travel and teach his spiritual knowledge of Indigenous culture and ceremony. He was an avid activist in the 60s and 70s, involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee. He served on the board and taught Native history at DQ University, also accompanied the Hopi to the U.N. to talk about the environment and the destruction of Native lands. He took the Federal government to court three times and won. He is now a spiritual advisor to many people, including the Siakumne Maidu.
Co-Founder and Director
Nature & Wilderness School of the Alps
Angelika, "Geli", leads with her husband for 20 years now the “Natur- und Wildnisschule der Alpen” (Nature- and Wilderness School of the Alps). With her body, heart, and soul she is a mother, housewife, naturalist, and nature & wildlife trainer basket weaver and scout in training. After completing her studies in architecture she dedicated her time to intensive training as a naturalist and tracker. The main interests of her work are in the area of awareness training, philosophy, the art of mentoring, peacemaking and communication models. The craftsmanship of basketry is her passion. Her heart beats for her blood family, extended family, the wilderness school, the global wilderness movement, to be an elder and to develop herself in it. She loves the Great Mystery, the Ancestors and Future Generations, life, people and family, the earth and the universe, nature, red ochre and a life full of vision and commitment.
Angelika will be sharing about her School in the Austrian Alps and a Vision of Uniting the Wilderness Schools as a family.
She will be also be sharing a story of 'Rockmountain and the Turtle".
Founder, Author, Speaker
Jon Young is a nature connection mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, peacemaker, author, workshop leader, consultant, sought after public speaker and storyteller. As a leader in the field of nature-based community building over 30 years, Jon’s research into the impact and significance of nature on human intelligence and development has influenced tens of thousands of people worldwide.
Trained from an early age by renowned animal tracker Tom Brown Jr. , and later by Lakota elder Gilbert Walking Bull and many other indigenous leaders from around the world, Jon has delved deeply into the arts of nature awareness, holistic tracking, bird language and ancestral living skills-- fundamental knowledge that shaped the formation of human neurobiology and the way our species connects and learns. He has appeared as an expert in numerous documentaries concerning nature and ecology and travels to teach widely throughout North America, Europe, Australia and southern Africa.
Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his innovative work, which has inspired positive developments in the field, and fostered the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level.
As co-founder of the 8 Shields Institute and OWLink Media, Jon has established an international network of consultants and trainers working to cultivate effective nature connection mentoring programs in communities and organizations. As the originator of the 8 Shields model, a best-practices process for nature connection mentoring, Jon has implemented vital advancements in the regeneration of nature-based cultural knowledge for the benefit of current and future generations.
Jon will be sharing inspirational stories about the art of mentoring and about the Nature Connection Movement.
(Track 1 Thursday, April 4th)
Mi'kmaq First Nation, New Brunswick, Canada
Cultural Educator and Ceremonial Leader
Donna Augustine (Thunderbird Turtle Woman) is a Mi'kmaq enrolled member of both Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick and of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Presque Isle, Maine .
She is a Cultural Educator and a Ceremonial Leader. She has been involved with reclaiming the Traditional Ways of her people since the age of twenty-three. Her main work is on Repatriation; reclaiming and reburying ancestors, burial items and Sacred Objects from museums and institutions throughout Canada, the U.S. and now Internationally. Her current writings will be featured as a chapter in a book on International Repatriation that will be read internationally.
She is a speaker and has been invited to speak at many venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Schools, Colleges, Universities and the United Nations.
She has served and serves on many Boards which now includes The Standing Indigenous Advisory Council to the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba; she also served on the Task Force for Museums and First People, co-sponsored by AFN (Assembly of First Nations) and the Canadian Museums Association for two years 1992-1994.
She is acknowledged as a spiritual leader of her own People, but she is regularly invited by other tribes of Turtle Island (North America) to Opening Prayers and conduct Ceremony.
Her spiritual ceremonial work has brought her to lead and be involved in ceremony with spiritual leaders throughout the world; including his holiness the Dalai Lama and others.
She has been trained by and worked with several highly respected Medicine People of various tribes for over forty years.
She has seven children and nineteen grandchildren. Mi’kmaq is her first language and she speaks it fluently. She is a strong advocate for her culture and her people.
Donna will be leading a sunrise ceremony. She will be presenting on Native Culture and Spirituality. As well as Native Intuition and Ansectoral Guidance.
Ilarion will give two presentations:
The Messages of the World Elders On What We Must Do Now &
Why It is Important to be a Real Human Being During These Times of Daunting Challenges
Ilarion Larry Merculieff
Global Center for Indigenous Leadership & Lifeways
Ilarion was born and raised on St. Paul Island in the middle of the Bering Sea. St. Paul Island is part of a five-island group called the Pribilof Islands. He is an Unangan (Unungan), Aleut, raised in a traditional way. Throughout his life, Ilarion has focused on traditional knowledge, wisdom, and spirituality gained from culture bearers around the world, acting as a bridge from the past to those alive today. He lived on St. Paul Island for half his life and now lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
“I miss community and the ocean. One day I will complete my work and live somewhere that has both,” he says. In the meantime, Ilarion continues to take what he knows to the world, wherever he is invited. “I don’t go where I am not invited,” is a refrain he frequently says.
Ilarion’s work has been broad and eclectic as his C.V. indicates. He is proficient in many areas but his passions are community wellness, the fate of the planet and elder wisdom. It is reflected in his work on climate change, the Bering Sea and its people, and the work we humans must do to re-establish harmony with ourselves, our families, our communities, and Mother Earth.
With a solid background as a community, business and environmental leader, Ilarion’s later years reflect both this lifelong career path as well as the fufilment of his cultural role as Kuuyux, or traditional messenger for the Aleut people. Recently, he completed facilitation of a strategic planning session for the Eyak Preservation Council.
Founder, Trackers Earth
Tony rose-out of high school by his Sophmore year due to reading Walden and Winnie-the-Pooh. After nearly a decade as a seasonal outdoor educator, he eventually founded Trackers Earth, an organization with the purpose of cultivating "Greater connection to community, nature, our heritage, and future". From Teacher to Registrar, from Marketer to Financial Officer, he has worn all the hats while making and ideally learning from all the mistakes along the way. At Trackers, his current title is "Person Who Does Things" and he counts himself extremely lucky to work with an awesome staff of fantastically dedicated educators, professionals, and geeks passionate about nature. He also greatly appreciates hanging out with his own kids in the forest behind his house while actively recreating scenes from the Hundred Acre Wood and Calvin and Hobbes.
Tony will be presenting on Staff recruitment and development, risk management, operations, expanding livelihood for full-time employment
and answering questions about business models.
Executive Director Tender Tracks
Wendolyn brings a unique and outstanding set of talents, training and experience to all her work with young children and caregivers. Her workshops and trainings for educators, caregivers and parents incorporate story, song and music and are informed by her years of experience running her own fully outdoor pre-school, Tender Tracks Tales and Trails, as well as her popular outdoor Summer Camps for older children. Her skill set is enhanced by her experience as a licensed Psychiatric Technician, who worked in Child-Adolescent Psychiatric Units, Juvenile Court Schools and the County Jail. She has taught for many years in schools with diverse populations, and has been a professional storyteller and musician.
She is also the author (and singer) of Tales from the Earth to Sky
Wendolyn will be leading a workshop about tending to your mental and physical stability while in the presence of all the emotional states that can show up in programs.
Southern Lipan Traibal Artist
Juan is an Elder of the Southern Lipan Apache people who connected with Rick Berry in 2007 through the Tracker School. Passionate about keeping the old skills alive, Juan brings a unique indigenous view-point to every educational experience.
Whether he's helping lead 4EEE programs or teaching classes through his own organization, Juan serves as a gentle guide, helping people create sacred relationships with the land and life, as a care-taker and healer.
A sister organization to 4EEE, Juan's Sacred Wind Earth Teachings program is located in Alice, TX and is dedicated to helping groups and individuals learn, share, and teach ancestral, holistic ways of living.
Founder of Teaching Drum Outdoor School
Taking what he learned from living with Wolves and apprenticing to American Indian elders, Tamarack Song (dodem Owl) founded the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in 1987, and more recently the Healing Nature Trails. Twenty years ago, he invited five people to live at his primitive camp, which became the beginning of the Wilderness Guide Program—the only known year-long full immersion wilderness living course. Tamarack is a Zen practitioner, Guardian-Warrior trainer, ecological restoration consultant, and stress-trauma consultant for outdoor programs. He is currently pursuing doctorates in Integrative Psychology and Applied Shamanic Studies.
Elder and Guide with Teaching Drum Outdoor School
Lety Seibel (dodem Eagle) first came to Teaching Drum Outdoor School in 2001, attending the Wilderness Guide Program with her 10-year-old daughter. She currently serves as an Elder and Guide for the Program, and is co-founder of the Healing Nature Center. Lety was trained by her Grandmother, a traditional Curandera, to be a generalist, and to grow in relationship with the leafed, winged, furred, and all who feed and are fed by them. A chameleon, Mother, educator, simultaneous translator, energy worker, massage therapist, gardener, farmer, primitive potter, leathercrafter, beader, seamstress, dancer, drummer, mischief maker, business owner and manager, accountant, poet, storyteller, fool, tracker, guide, child, adolescent, woman, and crone, Lety follows in her Ancestors’ footsteps as a servant in the awakening to what it is to be Human.
Tamarack and Lety will offer workshops on:
Stoking the Passion: Rejuvenate and Recharge your Educator Soul through the Body-Mind Connection in Nature.
The Philosophy of Nature-Based Education: How Nature re-wires our brain to our original settings.
Vilda Founder, Director and Instructor
Originally from Finland, Mia has studied the regenerative practices of earth based cultures around the world and has been mentoring children and adults for almost 20 years. She directed and co-founded the Bay Area branch of Trackers Earth, managed several outdoor education programs, and taught nature education in many California schools. She is the co-author of The Bay Area Forager, a guide to edible wild plants of the Bay Area. She has served on the board of non-profits including Sustainable Fairfax and Circlecenter and been an elected member of the Fairfax Open Space Committee.
Mia will be sharing about her journey creating Vilda as well as leading a workshop on Wild Edibles for Kids- hands-on workshop.
Dave will be presenting on "non-profit vs.
for-profit business models.
Director Earth Native Wilderness School
Dave is the founder and director of Earth Native Wilderness School. He is also the co-author of Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species. As an educator, Dave’s passion is to help his students establish strong lifelong bonds with nature and the outdoors through knowledge of wildlife behavior and track and sign, increased sensory awareness, wilderness survival skills, self-reliance, and the knowledge of place. Dave’s greatest love is spending time outdoors with his wife and kids. Dave is currently certified as a Track and Sign Specialist through the Cybertracker Conservation evaluation system, an international standard for gauging and enhancing in-field knowledge of wildlife behavior and track and sign identification. He is one of only 27 individuals in North America to attain this level of certification.
Wilderness Awareness School Survival Skills Specialist & Marketing Director
Dan Corcoran, Survival Skills Specialist; he teaches a variety of wilderness survival and primitive living classes for the Anake Outdoor School and the public. His passions include wilderness survival, bowmaking, hunting, and raising his two sons. Dan is an Anake graduate of the class of 2003. He has worked with Wilderness Awareness School in many different roles over the last 13 years. Beyond teaching survival skills, he is also our Adult Program and Marketing Director. Dan is a Kamana graduate, a Wilderness First Responder, and a former member of King County Search and Rescue.
Dan will present on; Case study of Wilderness Awareness School’s 5-year plan initiative and the results of creating and enacting that plan for our organization.
Bill will be sharing his expertise on Earth Skills.
Founder & CEO Ancestral Knowledge
Bill is the CEO and founder of Ancestral Knowledge. Bill has worked and studied intensively with the masters in the fields of; youth mentoring, naturalist studies, primitive technology and tracking. He has been teaching children and adults in these subjects since 1998 — For five years Bill worked as head instructor Children of the Earth Foundations- Coyote Tracks summer camps, and two years as the assistant director. He has instructed students at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Rivercane Rendezvous, Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering (MAPS Meet), Bill has instructed for 5 years at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School teaching primitive traps, bow making, flint knapping, pottery and hide tanning. In 1999, Bill chose to leave his skateboard/snowboard business and dedicate his life to teaching these skills. Shortly afterward, Bill designed and was granted an after school and summer program for the 21st Century Learning Community in Public School District 150 in Peoria, Illinois. This program was successful in that it led the children to a respect for nature, respect for themselves and others, self-discipline and adventure. Bill is a specialist in bow making, stone tool technologies, hide tanning, fire by friction and hunting.
Tony H. Cervantes (Chichimeca) has been working for over 45 years to protect and restore Indigenous relational constructs supportive of people, families, clans, Tribes, communities and Nations and the sacred relationship with the unseen world and all of Creation. Tony is retired from the State of California. After retirement he worked for Sierra Native Alliance and Shingle Springs Rancheria. He is trained in all White Bison, Positive Indian Parenting, Fatherhood/Motherhood is Sacred, Anger Manager and GONA curricula resulting in Cultural Revitalization, Leadership Development, Indigenous best practices, Wellbriety Community Development, Indigenous Addictions/Mental Health prevention/treatment and the Grieving Cycle. Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Systems, the Medicine Wheel and the behavioral components of addictions inform work focused on emotional, mental, physical, behavioral, social, volitional and economic wellness change. He currently lives with his partner Sara in Northern California’s mountains, has seven (6 bio) adult children and eight grandchildren. Tony enjoys being in nature and living sustainably, locally, organically, seasonally through permaculture farming and wild harvesting medicine, cultural materials and food, road & mountain biking, kayaking, hiking & backpacking, hot springs, rivers and Indigenous ceremony. He and Sara currently provide workshops and farm 2.5 acres using permaculture practices. They also provide consultant services, including with the California Conservation Corps Back County Crew Orientation training week. He deeply believes that living locally is key to bringing us closer to our original ancestors, tonantzin, ehecatl, atl and xieutecuhtli. I remember drinking water directly from streams, rivers, creeks and seeing thousands of monarch butterflies in all stages of development at one place. What have we done?
Tony will be sharing with us an interactive way to engage youth in being caretakers of the land. Track 2
Sara Raskie has been instructing at Fox Walkers for 4 years. She loves teaching, learning, playing, growing and loving Nature with the young ones! She is the mother of one college student, and is blessed with many grandchildren through her partner Tony! She is Ojibwa, lives in Nevada City, and when not at Fox Walkers, farms using permaculture methods, teaches classes on wellness, and works with food and medicine plants. She loves hiking, biking, swimming, care taking plants, hot springs, backpacking- anything to be immersed in Nature! She is passionate about inspiring young people to deepen their relationship with Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and empower themselves with learning everything possible about the natural world and our place in Creation.
Sara will be sharing ways to engage youth in an interactive way. Track 2.
Tom Brown III
Land Steward and Earth Skills Educator
Tom, otherwise known as “T3”, has been a practitioner and teacher of primitive living skills, wilderness survival, tracking, and nature observation since an early age. Growing up in New Jersey at the Tracker School he was raised with a deep reverence and respect for wild places and the skills our ancestors used to live close to the land. After graduating high school he spent a few years wandering the country, practicing the skills he learned as a child in both urban and wilderness environments. He eventually returned to Tracker school and after a few years became head instructor and director of operations. In 2009 he left Tracker school to start the Primitive Arts Collective, an outdoor education program that sought to teach people in small groups in many different states across the country. In 2014 Tom moved to Virginia where he helped to found Earth Village Education, a non-profit organization based on a 100 acre farm near Shenandoah National Park.
Tom’s role at Tracker’s Earth involves being both the land steward and an adult educator. His unique insight and first-hand knowledge about how large groups of people interact with the landscape help him and the Tracker’s team ensure healthy land management practices that will not only benefit the students, but also the wild things that are the centerpiece of these rural locations. Tom loves all things wild and free. During his down time you can find him on a river somewhere fly-fishing for steelhead with his spey rod and learning all the wonderful things the PNW has to offer.
Tom will be sharing Earth Skills and stories of how he grew up learning at the Tracker School and what he has done to get folks inspired to caretake the Land.
Matt will present on Cyber Tracker North American and about the future possibilities of youth Adventure Certifications. For track 2 he will lead a "mock" track and sign Eval to give folks a taste for what this is all about.
Wildlife Tracker and Cyber Tracker Evaluator
Matt Nelson Bio:
From the Arctic to the Antarctic, this simple traveler has left footprints in search of authenticity in his life. Slow to learn and insistent on the hardest of life’s lessons, he’s a generalist in the true sense of the word. Easily bored, Matt has worked more jobs than can be listed here, searching for himself amid all the glittery promises of the materialistic culture he grew up in.
A lifetime hunter and woodsman, Matt strives to share his deep observations and his love for all things wild and true freely amongst his human interactions and in his teaching.
Matt holds a Senior Tracker certificate from Cybertracker Conservation, is a track and sign evaluator with the same organization, and has worked on numerous wildlife and research projects, including the Gualala River Watershed council, the Garfield/Mesa Lion project, and the East Bay Puma Project. He currently resides in the beautiful coastal Mendonoma mountains where he was raised.
Founder & Executive Director, Gaia Girls
Sarai has been a part of creating programs and serving girls in wilderness groups since 2007. She has worked as a mentor for, founded and directed girls’ groups and coming of age based programs individually and for organizations such as the ALEPH Kallah, Wilderness Torah, Wild Earth and the Vermont Wilderness School. She has trained in naturalist skills, mentoring, and cultural regeneration through the 8 shields cultural mentoring model, completed the TerraSoma Wilderness Guide Apprenticeship with Wilderness Reflections, has a certificate in clinical herbalism from the California School of Herbal Studies, trained in the Girls Leadership model, Non-Violent Communication, energy psychology, Ayurveda, and other healing modalities, all of which inform the work of Gaia Girls Passages. She has carried the question for many years of “What do girls need to grow into healthy womanhood?” Through her education, research, and years of working with girls she has found many answers to that question that are now woven into the web of what is today Gaia Girls Passages.
Sarai will be presenting about Social Emotional Learning and techniques for nature-based programming based on an organization that solely serves female identified youth.
David Lonebear Sanipass
Mi’kmaq First Nation, New Brunswick, Canada, Spiritual Elder
David Lonebear Sanipass is a Native American Elder and storyteller from the Mi'kmaq Nation. He is a mathematician, scientist, traditional storyteller, tracker, martial artist, and master flute maker. He spent the first 26 years of his life being taught by over 600 elders from around the world. His lineage and history are more than 20,000 years old. As a scientist, he has sent balloons into space that collect data from the atmosphere. As a spiritual teacher, he has shared his teachings to thousands of people and has stood beside many of our great spiritual leaders including his holiness the Dalai Lama.
David will be sharing " Understanding the Ancients of the Woods
Cherokee - Seneca
Melody Talcott is of Seneca and Cherokee descent. She has been a member of the Working Group on International Repatriation under Honor Keeler (Cherokee) since 2013, formerly AAIA (Association on Indian Affairs), now the International Repatriation Coalition. Melody has assisted Donna Augustine in the Repatriation of the Ancestors. Melody worked with a traditional Cherokee Elder for nine years before he died, who was trained by Wolf Clan Elders of the village of Big Cove, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina. Her teacher (and adopted brother) spent ten and a half months in the “wilderness” with nothing but a tarp, the clothes on his back and a knife, training in the Old Ways. Melody has travelled with spiritual leaders as their ceremonial helper to Sacred Sites on the old migration paths. She has done a lot of Ceremony and prays in the language.
Melody will be assisting Donna Augustine and sharing with us cross-cultural teachings of how important the "old ways" are. And that they are passed on to future generations the best way possible.