28 Nov

Aaniin, boozhoo. Hello, my name is Matt Levac and I am an Indigenous youth with a mixed heritage (Metis, Wendat) from Sturgeon Falls, currently living in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough. As someone with a passion for learning and teaching Indigenous Knowledge's, I am thrilled to be working as the Education Assistant for the TRACKS Youth Program!

As a kid I spent most of my time in the woods catching frogs and snakes, going fishing,hunting, and just running around for hours on end. In 2016, my passion for being outside and engaging
with the land led me to Fleming College in Lindsay, and more specifically the Ecosystem Management program. Through the different courses I took there, I was provided with the resources and skills to develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of a variety of habitats. However, what stuck out to me the most were the Indigenous Perspective courses. 

My professors of these courses always left me wanting more, and my journey into working with
Indigenous knowledges was ignited. What really sparked my interest was being able to look at plants as medicines. My teachers and now mentors, Beedahbin Peltier and Joseph Pitawanakwat, spoke about these plants in a way that just made sense to me, and made me
start to look at these plants, and the land, through a brand new lens. For the past 5 years I’ve spent the majority of my time with my mentors on the land, engaging with hundreds of plants and developing relationships with them. 

Outside of this learning however, I’ve had some pretty amazing work experiences as well. From banding geese along the James Bay coast with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, to monitoring species at risk on a Wind-Farm project in Henvey-Inlet, to even studying reptiles in Costa Rica! I am very grateful for everything that TRACKS incorporates into their programming, and excited for the opportunity to be a part of it!