1. How many years have you worked/volunteered with TRACKS?
I have been with TRACKS for about a year. I began as a Summer Instructor then moved on to a School Programs Instructor and now I am the Camp Programs Coordinator!
2. What is your favourite part about working at TRACKS?
I love being able to learn from the campers and students we work with! They always have so much to offer and are so curious about everything. It is also fun to play the games that we run as I learn something new every time!
3. What programming is your favourite to run and why?
I love River Race! There are so many cool components to it, and it is interesting to watch the students take on the roles of the fish. They get to learn about the obstacles that salmon, sturgeon, and eel face, as well as the Indigenous knowledges and initiatives that help them out.
4. What is your favourite nature fact? And share what it is.
Porcupines are great climbers and will often climb up trees to snack on them! I have seen this a few times, not too far from the TRACKS office!
5. What is your go to native plant for teachings and why?
I often turn to cedar. I always feel grounded when I harvest the cedar and just being with them clears my mind. I often use cedar for protection as I will do things like put some in the bottom of my shoes if I feel like I need the extra boost or help.
6. What is your favourite activity to do outside of work?
Beadwork! I love exploring the different stitches, patterns, bead sizes, colour combinations, and everything related to beadwork! Lately, I have been enjoying making fringe earrings and beading hoops. Beadwork tends to allow me to let my mind run free while putting good intentions into the work I do.
7. What is the most important thing you learned while working at TRACKS?
I have learned that every being of the natural world can teach us more than we can imagine. As I learn new things like the medicinal uses for different plants, I think of the further knowledge that the beings would have taught my ancestors as they walked with nature instead of away from nature.
8. Where is your favourite natural area to visit in Nogojiwanong and why?
I like the nature trails that are behind Camp Kawartha. I often go there and listen to the songs of the birds and go for walks. Sometimes we will take our campers for walks there during camp and it is so much fun identifying the different beings that we come across!
9. What inspired you to get into outdoor and INSTEM education?
I have been on a journey of reconnecting and learning about my culture, as a result I have developed a deeper connection with the natural world. This, along with my enjoyment of math and sciences I experienced in school lead me to taking Indigenous Environmental Studies at Trent University.
I have also found that I enjoy working with youth and wanted to find a happy medium where I can use the knowledge that I am continuing to work on while learning from and teaching youth about our natural world and the sciences involved with such. Getting involved with outdoor and INSTEM education has been a wonderful decision, as I love the work that I do!
10. If you could give advice to anyone who wants to get into this field of work, what would you tell them?
Don’t let the things you don’t know hold you back. This field is full of learning and growing and the more you learn, the more questions you will have, which is the beauty of it. I would also recommend coming in with an open mind to understand that any and all perspectives have validity to them.