Instructors for the 2018 Heartwood Gathering
Still being finalized/updated, check back again as we update this page.
Information about the facilitators of morning activities is at the bottom of this page.
Abrah Arneson, Cht. RH, is passionate about mind/body healing. After a year-long meditation retreat in the Yukon wilderness, Abrah returned to school to complete Dominion Herbalist College’s 4-year Clinical Herbal Therapist Program. While in herb school, Abrah worked in a hospice setting caring for the dying. Upon graduating Abrah opened The Green Clinic: Herbal and Traditional Healing and was in private practice for 10 years in Red Deer, Alberta. During that time Abrah wrote a biweekly column on herbal medicine for two Alberta newspapers, facilitated the learning of several apprentices, taught plant medicine at a local college and was a co-founder of the 1st Canadian Herb Gathering in Alberta. Abrah also the author of The Herbal Apprentice: Plant Medicine and the Human Being. Abrah has been a guest lecturer at herb gatherings throughout North America. In 2015, Abrah and her husband, moved to Ontario where she co-managed a meditation retreat centre. She now lives in the beautiful Gatineau Hill, Quebec and practices and teaches herbal medicine in Ottawa, Ontario. www.abraherbs.com
Marianne is a Registered Professional Herbalist, Advanced Bowen Therapist, Reiki Master and teacher. She has been training in the healing arts since 1994 and has a Diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine, as well as over 2000 apprenticeship hours alongside traditional and professional herbalists and midwives. Her focus is a Western Herbalist approach using whole plant medicine and flower essences. Marianne runs a multi-disciplinary clinic and apothecary in Peterborough, Ontario. She is currently the President of the Ontario Herbalist’s Association. Marianne brings a heart-centered approach to her work and teaching and has many years of wild-crafting, production and clinical experience from which to draw. With multiple modalities available to her, Marianne offers the breadth and depth of her experience and knowledge to her clients and students in a co-creative and caring atmosphere. www.elderberryclinic.ca
Penelope is an Herbal Educator and Registered Herbalist. She is Product Development Specialist and Herbal Educator at Faunus Herbs; which manufactures, formulates and develops complex food based supplements for the natural products industry. Penelope is also a board member of the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine, moderator and lecturer at The Annual International Restorative Medicine Conference and past organizer of this conference for ten years. She is also the founder of The Ginkgo Tree, a small herbal business (teas & tinctures) located on her family farm, Dogwood & Brambles. We are very proud to announce that our farm has just been designated as a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary. She has had a career with herbs for the past two decades; from “the field to bottle” in all aspects of the natural products industry. Penelope has lectured for The Restorative Medicine Conference, New England Herbal Conference, Canada Blooms, Durham District School Board, Durham Region Headquarters, Richters Herbs, Herbal Conferences and other various organizations. She also has appeared in the Toronto Star’s Gardening Column, by Sonja Day. She also facilitates The Science and Art of Herbalism Course in Canada. www.theginkgotree.ca
Pierre has been running outdoor education and deep nature connection programs for over 25 years. His journey started with a Peterson Guide to Northeastern Plants and many journeys across the continent to wilderness skills gatherings and courses. He has specialised in plant based crafts as well as wild edible plants and medicines. He lives near Wakefield Quebec, and runs his own company, Rivers and Roots. riversandroots.ca and lesarterres.com
Alexis is a Naturalist, Tracker, Herbalist, Wilderness Skills Practitioner and Canoe Guide from Orangeville, Ontario. He currently resides in the Owen Sound area, spending his days tracking, wild-crafting and running his Outdoor School and Wilderness Canoe Tripping company, Earth Tracks. Alexis is lead guide for the wilderness canoe trips and head instructor for all the programs and classes. Along with his wife Bobbi and two children, they also run a small scale herb farm (Rebel Roots Herb Farm) which specializes in organically grown and ethically wild-crafted herbs. Alexis is committed to mentoring and teaching others the skills that help us to re-connect with the natural world in an ancient and powerful way. By learning from nature through immersion and direct experience we begin to see and more importantly ‘feel’ the inter-relation of all things in the natural world. And from here we can begin to understand the important role that we all can play in protecting and preserving the Earth for future generations. www.earthtracks.ca
Bobbi Burnett spent much of her childhood climbing trees, building forts and flipping over logs and rocks. Having always enjoyed getting dirty she decided spending 6 months helping out on an organic farm would be a great way to spend a summer. The hook was set and she never looked back. Bobbi began growing veggies for markets and restaurants, which then morphed into Rebel Roots Herb Farm as her love of medicinal herbs grew. Specializing in growing premium organic medicinal herbs, Rebel Roots Herb Farm supplies Herbal Practitioners, Herbal product makers, and anyone and everyone seeking to bring quality herbs into their lives. Together with her husband Alexis and their 2 small children Violet and River, they call Grey County home. Their small farm is also home to Earth Tracks Outdoor School (and a whole lot of chickens:)
Ben is the owner of Small House Farms which is located on the edge of the Huron Forest, on the outskirts of the village of Sanford, MI. Small House was built in the fall of 2013. Small House specializes in cold pressed oils and a number of other unique products for the health conscious, Earth friendly consumer. Ben has also worked tirelessly over the past few years to develop a network of heirloom seed libraries and seed stewards across his home state of Michigan. He has worked hand in hand to help a number of new seed banks become established as well as equip these communities with the tools they need for their projects to thrive. “In today’s world it is more important than ever for every community to have an independent and reliable source of fresh food. A localized seed bank is essential to making this possible. Every neighborhood needs to stand up and reclaim these traditional skills that were once vital to our existence.” Ben is a practicing herbalist and hosts workshops throughout the Midwest teaching about the many benefits of locally grown and wild harvested plants. Ben & Heather Cohen are members of the Valley Herb Society in Midland, MI. Ben Cohen teaches Seed Saving classes and is an avid seed saver. Small House is a grow-out location for Gardens Across America, which is a program founded by the Botanical Explorer, Joe Simcox. Because of Ben’s dedication and love for the program, he recently took on the position of Gardens Across America Regional Coordinator of the U.S. Central Region. www.smallhousefarm.com
Pat is a Culinary Herbalist. She gently wildcrafts and boldly grows herbs, photographs them, writes, and teaches about their gifts. She develops healthy recipes for cooking and healing with the humble, helpful, and life-supporting plants and shares all that she knows in her cookbooks. www.patcrocker.com
Rick began practicing in 1977; founding member of the Ontario Herbalist Assoc. and the national Council: the Canadian Council of Herbalist Assoc. He has lectured in Russia, Australia Canada & the USA. organized local, & (inter) national meetings to stop the new NHPD regulations; funded lawsuits ($105K since 1997) and heavily involved in current legal action. At The Herb Works we mill, encapsulate & bottle all our formula from wild-crafted & (certified) organic herbs; also export our version of Essiac to Italy for 20 years. www.theherbworks.com
Wild Foragers Society- Becky Lamb & Lee Earl
The Wild Foragers Society has been cultivating the plant curious since 2013. Co-founded and facilitated by Lee Earl & Rebecca Lamb, the WFS hosts free monthly ‘frolics’ in the urban jungle of Toronto or the rural landscapes of Prince Edward County. Lee brings a wealth of knowledge with her background in biology, outdoor/nature-based education, and mad tracking skills – she is easily distracted by birds. Rebecca brings experience in community development, horticulture/urban agriculture, and adult education – she is always trying new wild food recipes. As plant enthusiasts – not experts – Lee and Rebecca strive to connect people with nature by creating a safe space for the community to share their knowledge, experiences, and questions around wild food.
My name is Dee, owner of Tincture and Tonic Apothecary in Toronto, Canada. I have been blessed to study with some of the best herbalists in Canada. My herbal practice leans toward the more esoteric aspect of herbs, but with a great appreciation of the science as well. There is a great magic in their healing powers, and I am lucky to experience that on a daily basis. http://tinctureandtonic.ca/
Monika Ghent, RH, PSMA, is a Western Traditional Herbalist and Plant Spirit Medicine Healer with a private practice in both Toronto and Maple, Ontario, Canada. Monika was blessed with the opportunity of growing up in the countryside of Southern Ontario where she spent a lot of her time in nature observing, listening, being. In her 20’s she heard the call of the plant people and began the study of herbal medicine. She started her professional practiced as a Western Traditional Herbalist in 1997. She is an advocate of being in respectful and humble relationship with the earth and all the beings that inhabit her, and so all the herbs she uses in her practice she either ethically wild harvests herself or are grown organically. As a healer, Monika has most desired to help people come to know the beauty of their uniqueness and live in their truth to its fullest expression in health and wholeness. Monika also has a school of herbalism, Living Earth School of Herbalism, with her husband, Michael Vertolli, which offers general interest workshops and online classes, and certificate and diploma programs in Western herbalism and related fields of study. www.livingearthschool.ca www.dreamingwillow.ca
Steven has more than thirty years experience living co-creatively with the Earth, practicing traditional living skills of growing food, building and healing. Steven created Livingstone & Greenbloom in 1986, Toronto’s first green landscaping company. In 1996, he created the Algonquin Tea Company, North America’s premiere bioregional tea company. He has given talks and run workshops internationally for more then twenty years and has taught at Algonquin college since 2000. In 2014 Megan and he started the Sacred Gardener Earth Wisdom School. Steven released his first book, “The Story of the Madawaska Forest Garden” in 2016, and his second “Sacred Gardening” was released in June 2017. www.thesacredgardener.ca
Esstin is a member of the Mississaugi First Nations. Esstin has been studying and practicing Aboriginal Healing Methods for the past 30 Years. Through her years of study and experiential learning she has designed and facilitated “Wisdom Healing” workshops, to promote the healing benefits of Spiritual Plant Therapy. Her design includes the Medicine Wheel as a Wholistic Approach to health and healing. Through her role as a Traditional Medicine Practitioner she provides clinical consultations to various health organizations in northern and southern Ontario. Her practice for herbal medicine stems from a spiritual energetic perspective influenced by ceremonial practices and Elder Teachers.
Stephanie Morningstar (Oneida, Turtle clan) is an herbalist, ethnobotanist, cultural anthropologist, student, and educator dedicated to cultural safety and ethical knowledge translation between Western and Indigenous plant and medicine knowledges. She been a student of herbalism for over the 15 years, training with both Western and Indigenous mentors. Over the past 2 years she has been involved in extensive Ethnobotanical research on native species plant medicines of the Dish With One Spoon territory, cataloguing over 250 species; assisted the Royal Botanical Gardens Herbarium with establishing a rematriation project for the Six Nations Herbarium; and consulted and developed trail systems in which Indigenous knowledge is prioritized highlighted for public education. Her work in this world is being manifested through the development of collaborative curricula for a large-scale online project (upcoming) that will enable BIPOC/LGBTQ2S peoples’ access to culturally safe, equitable, and respectful herbal training in which their voices are prioritized, honoured, heard, and respected. Stephanie currently works, and teaches out of her home base- an organic herb farm in the middle of a magical Carolinian forest in the Niagara region of Ontario where she lives with her husband, 5 cats, 3 dogs, and a pet pig named Willy. www.skyworldapothecary.com
Caleb Musgrave/Kinew Nini
Caleb Musgrave is a Mississauga Anishinaabeg man of the Crane Clan, who has had a varied career, pertaining specifically to the relationships shared between his ancestors, and the land. He has traveled both Canada and the USA as an Archaeologist, Canoe Guide, Wilderness Survival Instructor, and technical adviser for film, television and radio. He is well known in the Indigenous Studies Field in his homeland, Nogojiwanong (Peterborough Ontario), as a Knowledge Holder of the Material Culture and Ethnobotanical Culture of his Anishinaabeg People. Whether it be speaking on behalf of the Wild Rice, creating traditional crafts and food from the landscape, or constructing 100% old-school Wigwams, Caleb has in his own words; “a little bit of everything in my back pocket”. www.canadianbushcraft.ca
Correne is a Traditional Western Herbalist, homesteader, forager, a mom and wife. She lives in rural Kawartha Lakes where she and her family grow medicines, food and raise chickens for meat and eggs. Correne is the owner and operator of Spiraea Herbal Clinic where she specializes in working with mothers and young families by supporting them through issues such as depression, PPD, anxiety, digestive conditions, chronic skin conditions and fatigue. She is also the founder of Spiraea Herbs; a blog about herbal medicine, natural health and homesteading. She shares her love of plants with her local community through herb walks, classes and workshops about basic herbal medicine and homesteading concepts. Correne also has an entire herbal product line made with ethically wildcrafted herbs and locally sourced organic ingredients. http://spiraeaherbs.ca/
Gudrun was born and raised in Germany where she completed her post-secondary education with a M.Ed. and M. Physical Education. Since her immigration to Canada in 1981 she has focused her professional education on complementary medicine. She resides in the country near Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. Gudrun enjoys the outdoors and being close to nature either by herself, with friends and family or riding her Icelandic horse. She has explored many parts of Canada with her family – camping, canoeing and hiking in the wilderness. Her deep interest in learning about other cultures and their healing traditions led her to travel to many places across the globe including India in 1974/75 where among others she was fortunate to be able to spend some time with Mother Teresa. More recently her travels have taken her to Central and South America where she has been focusing her attention on some of the traditional forms of healing. Gudrun’s commitment to the Earth and humankind prompted her to create Bach Flowers Unfolding, an innovative publication on the Bach Flower Remedies, the instructional DVD Herbal Pharmacy for Everyone, A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Herbal Preparations and two award winning books, Healing Spirituality – A Practical Guide to Understanding and Working with Bach Flowers and Healing with Bach Flower Mandalas. Her clients see her as a compassionate professional, mentor and friend who provides them with support on their journey to health. Leading by example, Gudrun inspires others to live their lives to their full potential. www.rainbowhealing.ca www.herbalinstructions.com www.healingspirituality.com
John Redden is a Western Medical Herbalist with an eclectic background. He has over thirty years experience growing and wild crafting herbs, manufacturing remedies and clinical practice. As a member and former vice-president of the Ontario Herbalists Association, he co-founded “A Celebration of Herbs”, Toronto’s largest herbal event. For six years, John served as the editor of the Canadian Journal of Herbalism, the national herbal medical journal for professional herbalists and interested lay enthusiasts. He is a hands-on teacher of numerous aspects of holistic herbal medicine and teaches popular and advanced classes in his workshop / laboratory and at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. John is a member of the professional advisory board for the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association and a founding author of the Canadian General Standards Board on Organic Agriculture co-authoring Canada’s laws on organic farming and manufacturing. John’s studies in the U.S., Britain, and Canada have culminated in the founding of Viriditas Herbal Products, whose clients include professional herbalists, naturopaths, and medical doctors. Clinical consultations for patients are available at his office in Toronto. John also enjoys collaborating with NDs to produce patient specific remedies extemporaneously. Post-graduate herbal studies in Scotland and Spain along with naturopathic continuing education with oncology expert, Dr. Neil McKinney ND have helped John become effective in treating patients with complex medical conditions including cancer. In the late 1970’s John spent about a year at Findhorn in Forres, Morayshire, Scotland. It was here that he began an ongoing dialogue with the life-beings and light-beings of creation. The Vis was no longer a theoretical “Gaia hypothesis” but became a reality. The business name “Viriditas” comes from a Medieval Latin compound word that loosely translates as “The Power of Green.” Hildegard von Bingen coined the term to describe the life-force (Vis), which not only heals like green herbs but also directs, balances and harmonizes all living things. Viriditas is a cosmic force. Viriditas Herbal Products manufactures herbal tinctures and salves that respectfully transmit the healing power of green from the plants of the Earth to the user. John has been recognized for his years serving the herbal community by being awarded by the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations the status of Herbal Elder of Canada. John has personal interests in the history of science especially medicine, gardening, Gregorian chant and wild crafting in nature. He has been studying and practicing meditation for over forty years and has been a vegetarian for over thirty-five years. https://viriditasherbalproducts.com
Andrea and Matthias Reisen
Andrea and Matthias Reisen have been community herbalists for over 25 years, they co-founded Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. Healing Spirits Herb Farm and have been producing high quality certified organic medicinal herbs both fresh and dry for shipment throughout the United States and some foreign countries. They have created their our line of valued added products under the Healing Spirits label and also produce Rosemary Gladstar’s line of quality valued added products on the farm.They have recently started a line of powdered medicinal mushroom extracts. They are former Peace Corp volunteers in the Philippines. Matthias has consulted overseas in Belarus, Nepal and Jamaica regarding medicinal and aromatic plants. Andrea & Matthias has studied numerous body therapies and are certified as a Zero Balancing Therapist. Together they have raised five children, there are three generations living on the farm. Their goal is to live and work in balance and harmony with mother nature and humankind. www.healingspiritsherbfarm.com
Aku Dunyo Richter
Aku is a member of the Ewe tribe of West Africa from the village of Dagbamete, in the Volta Region of Ghana. The daughter of a village priest who is also a prominent traditional psychic herbalist, Aku moved to Canada to join her husband, Conrad Richter of Richters Herbs, in 1996. She was a member of Kekeli, an African traditional drum and dance ensemble based in Toronto. She is the greenhouse manager of Richters Herbs in Goodwood where she lives with her husband and three children. In 2013, Aku was initiated as Queen Mother of her village in Ghana by the elders in an elaborate ceremony. www.richters.com
Conrad Richter is president of Richters Herbs. He has been involved with Richters since its inception in 1967 when he was still a child, helping in the greenhouses and in the fields after school and on weekends. His interest in herbs took flight when he helped his father prepare the first Richters herb catalogue in 1970. He has worked on every Richters catalogue since. Through his efforts many herbs new to gardeners in North America have been introduced for the first time. Conrad is responsible for the introduction of famous Richters varieties such as Orange Spice™ Thyme and Profusion® Chives. Conrad has served on the boards of the International Herb Association and the Ontario Herbalists Association. He also served as director of a Canadian registered charity for 25 years. He has a Master of Science degree in botany from the University of Toronto. www.richters.com
I’m a practicing herbalist, a wild plants enthusiast, herb gardener and a teacher of plant medicine. I work from my farm, called New Moon Farm which is based in Prince Edward County. There I run an herbal clinic and apothecary, and from that land, I harvest most of the medicines used in my practice. I believe that the state of our health is deeply connected with the places where we live and the stories of our lives, and that the medicine we need is more often than not, found right in front of our noses if we just know how to recognize it. For this reason, I am committed to using local wild plants or “weeds” as both medicines and foods as much as possible. I find tremendous inspiration and joy, teaching and writing about plant medicine, but I am continually humbled by the endless path of learning that is the herbalist’s path, and which for me, comes mostly from my favourite teachers of all–the plants themselves. You can learn more about me and my work in the herbal realm on my website at www.hawthornherbals.com
Janna Shapero is a Clinical Herbalist, Yoga Instructor and Holistic Massage Practitioner empowering the stressed and weary urban dweller towards taking better care of themselves. She has run a successful holistic health practice for the past 15 years, currently operating in the city of Toronto. Her approach focuses on bringing the experience of ‘care’ back into healthcare. Janna has been working with plant-based medicine for the last 25 years, offering health consultations and community-based health programs. She is passionate about connecting people to the healing power of plants. https://janna-shapero-8nhs.squarespace.com
I am a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, founder of Anarres Natural Health online store and Anarres Apothecary storefront in downtown Toronto, Ontario. I offer Apprenticeships, Aromatherapy Certification, as well as professional, introductory and community workshops teaching healthy, affordable plant-based bodycare. I carry on a family tradition in the healing arts. My grandmother, a nurse, farmer and natural healer, treated diabetes and polio with therapeutic massage and wholistic nutrition, and was recognized as Canada’s first physiotherapist. My mother was an internationally recognized health & sex educator and occupational health nurse. In my five years living at the inner city anarchist community, Kathedral B, I added the therapeutic use of herbs and vegan foods to my knowledge of folk and wholistic medicine. I have an extensive background in physical therapies and the healing arts. I am recognized by the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners as a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, Registered Aromatherapy Health Practitioner and Certified Reflexology Health Practitioner through The School of Holistic Studies, Institute of Aromatherapy under Jan Benham. In the summer of 2016, I completed a Green Goddess Apprenticeship with Susun Weed in the Catskills, New York State, USA. I was initiated as a Green Witch. In spring 2017, I completed Permaculture Design Certificate and Earth Activist Training with Starhawk and Charles Williams at The O.U.R. Ecovillage on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I look forward to expanding my teaching practice to communities outside of Toronto, and to finally writing a book about natural bodycare. http://www.anarreshealth.ca
Terry Vanderheyden, ND, RH, is a 1994 graduate of Toronto’s Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and has a naturopathic medical practice in Barry’s Bay, ON, with a focus in herbal medicine. He also acts as a consultant to the botanical manufacturing industry, working in product development, regulatory affairs, and general medical consulting. He is a board licensed ND with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario and a Registered Herbalist with the Ontario Herbalists Association. His is a general family practice with a minor emphasis on cancer treatments. As well, Terry is a contributor to several natural health-focused magazines, including Integrated Healthcare Practitioner, Alive magazine, Sage, and others. He is a peer review board member of IHP. He has done post-graduate training in herbalism and homeopathy. Terry also sits on the Natural Health Product Regulatory Advisory Council for the Canadian Health Food Association. www.stfrancisherbfarm.com
Nicole is a multidisciplinary artist telling stories of ecological and personal consciousness through her works. She works under the label Spontaneous Atelier, crafting natural pigments and operating a nomadic bioregional dye studio, which serves collaborative clients, personal works & experiential based learning. Her personal practices of vipassana meditation, ayurvedic healing & sound therapy are highly influential in her works and life. Nicole has studied at Fashion, George Brown College, Toronto. Fine Arts at Richmond University, UK. Chartered Herbalist Diploma, Dominion Herbal College, BC. & Ayurveda Clinical Foundations, Dhyana Center, California, USA. www.spontaneousatelier.com
Michael is a Western traditional herbalist who has been practicing since 1986. He is the founder and director of Living Earth School of Herbalism, which offers in-class and online classes and workshops and a clinical diploma program in Western herbal medicine. Michael developed Four Elements Herbal Therapy, a system of Western herbalism that integrates the physiological approach of modern European and North American traditions of herbalism within the broader holistic and spiritual paradigm of traditional earth-centred healing traditions. He has also done extensive research on medicinal herbs that are native to and naturalized in northeastern North America, many of which are no longer in common use. Michael has long been an advocate for herbs and the practice of herbalism. In the 1990s he was appointed by the federal Minister of Health as a member of the Advisory Panel on Natural Health Products and the Office of Natural Health Products Transition Team. He has served on the boards of directors of many practitioner and industry associations and is and is a past director and president of the Ontario Herbalists Association and the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations.
Facilitators for Morning Activities
Still being finalized/updated, check back again as we update this page.
Jenna Street is a barefoot walking, forest exploring, herbal concoctress and spiritual seeker living in Guelph, Ontario. Her professional journey has evolved from studying holistic nutrition and managing farmers markets, to running her own natural body care company, and she is now training in psychotherapy. With her own practice as an intern therapist, Jenna works with existential and transpersonal concepts, as well as somatic and archetypal psychology. Her passion is connecting her work with the animism of the natural world. It is her deep belief that reconnecting to the Earth, and working with plant allies, is medicine that our souls require on the path towards healing and wholeness.
Jenna will be running morning activities on both Saturday and Sunday at the Gathering “Love Me Dew – Morning Meditations”
Lianna is a herbalist and artist whose focus has been on getting to know the local plants, connecting with Nature, and getting back to the basics in hopes to help forge a more sustainable future. She received her formal clinical training under Diane Kent’s Clinical Herbalism Program, and studied in the field with Living Earth School, where she learned to identify and harvest wild plants, and connect with them on a deep level. Lianna continually seeks to deepen her understanding of working with plants through engagement with the natural world. She has many interests and skills she has been developing alongside her training in herbal medicine such as wildlife tracking, organic gardening and traditional crafting methods. She also does websites and renovations! www.growingwild.ca
James Pinesii Whetung is a Michi Saagig Anishnabe. His mother’s clan is Otter and his father’s clan is Black Duck. He was born and lives in Oshkigamong where he learned from his elders and relatives how to live well in the bush.
Whetung is a graduate of Trent University where he earned a BA in Native Studies/Cultural Studies. He published “The Vision Seeker” in collaboration with artist Paul Morin and published an academic article in the Journal of Canadian Studies.
As a teenager, Whetung’s uncles introduced him to Manomin miikanan as they hunted, fished, and trapped in the disappearing wild rice beds in their area. As an adult, 35 years ago, he began an intensive, long term relationship with the plant Manomin. After learning how to traditionally gather and process enough wild rice to feed his family, Whetung learned from elders in his and other villages how to process the seeds into food for many people. He learned to gather and plant the seeds in places his elders told him where wild rice once grew to reestablish the Manomin garden in his area.
Whetung believes that ignorance of Anishnabe culture was a main factor in the eradication of wild rice around his and other reserves in Ontario. What had once been a staple had become only a memory for most band members in his village. He also noticed that as access to traditional foods in Anishinabe communities declined so did their good health. To help facilitate the rehabilitation of wild rice Whetung started a community scaled business called Black Duck Wild Rice. Its work is three-pronged. First is the protection and re-establishment of the wild rice beds and the harvesting of their seeds for foods. Second is providing educational experiences for schools and community groups to learn about Manomin. And third is providing viable seeds to other communities that are seeking to re-establish their relationship with Manomin and to assist them in processing their Manomin.
Whetung’s long term goal is to Put the rice back in Rice Lake!
At one time, Rice Lake and the Kawartha Lakes were the rice bowl of North America. Whetung has learned that an individual will never put the rice back in Rice Lake alone. This job will take community to accomplish, and not just Anishinabe community but mainstream society in Ontario as well. He sees that awareness of Manomin and its requirements – clean water and caretakers – are spreading. He believes that the term “wild rice” is a misnomer. Wild means that something exists on its own. A Manomin garden includes people, bugs, flyers, swimmers, and four leggeds. Awareness of all those components in the garden will help facilitate the regeneration, the protection, and the enhancement of Manomin.
From my personal and dynamic work experience, travel, and professional education, I offer you an enhanced opportunity to embrace Holistic Wellness at the very core of your being. I and am deeply passionate about embracing a holistic lifestyle, and offer you support in discovering daily practices that engage your being from the inside out. I value the experiences that have personally led me to actively build a foundation for optimal health, and I am constantly engaged in my own healing potential. I see the foundation as individual, and by discovering various healing modalities and how they manifest for you, can help to unravel and discover the deep truth of yourself, your needs, boundaries, and willingness to achieve your full potential in all aspects of life. Since the beginning of my Yoga practice I have studied and completed over 400 hours of training, and will continue to be a forever student of yoga. I have studied Yoga for the Nervous System with clinical Psychologist Bo Forbes, Restorative Yoga at the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies, and I am also a certified Relax & Renew® facilitator with Judith Hanson Lasater. I completed my 200hour Cross-disciplinary training with the Deva Tree School of Yoga, and various courses with Radiant Child Yoga and Yoga Kids foundations at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. My studies continue to evolve with a focus on ‘Mindful Strength, Functional Movement and Trauma Informed to further enhance my personal practice and teaching offerings. I believe that wellness is not a destination, but rather a constant journey and opportunity to deeply embody the gift of life. I believe within us exists a well of nourishment and NOW is the time to be LIVING TRUE to that potential. www.saiholisticwellness.com
Tracy will be running morning activities on both Saturday and Sunday at the Gathering “Earth Inspired Yoga Flow”