Meet our team

Steve Leckman

Director, instructor

Steve finds a lot of hope from the magic of connecting deeply with the natural world in community. He has studied at the Tracker School, Past Skills, McGill University, and was an apprentice at the Wilderness Awareness School. He is an accomplished wildlife tracker and passionate earth skills practitioner. He has guided canoe expeditions and wilderness excursions for many years. He has been coordinating and leading nature connection and mentoring programs in the Montreal area since 2011. You might catch him sitting in his backyard listening to birds, tending the garden and bees, breaking rocks for stone tools, crafting bows and arrows in his garage, beat-boxing or pretending to be a raccoon.

Kawisente McGregor

Kahnawake Site Director, instructor

Her Kanien’kehá:ka (People of the Spark or Flint) name is Kawisente, meaning ‘Icicle Melting’. She has been a long-time supporter of nature connection programs on the native reserve she calls home, Kahnawake (meaning – by the rapids). A mother of two and an avid supporter of social and native justice issues, she always finds time to go where she’s most needed to lend her voice. She is the site director for Coyote Programs’ camp in Kahnawake, and a regular visitor to the youth and adult programs. Kawisente is always happy to share stories and information about her culture both during and out of program time, and she is always open to learning about other cultures as well. She does this with a deep sincerity and wicked sense of humor that keeps our team and participants on our toes.

Julia Monkman

School contracts coordinator, instructor

Julia grew up in the traditional Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Territory (Peterborough and the Kawarthas) – hunting for spring peepers and salamanders, freezing on winter bird counts with her Dad and savouring the smell at the surface of the lake on a summer swim. Trained in biology at the University of Guelph, the forest is where she feels at home. Julia spends her time taking her three kids camping and cross-country skiing, tending to new parents as a postpartum doula, obsessing about food and cooking and making crafts from wool and fiber. The Nature Mentor Training and discovering the work of 8 Shields was instrumental in deepening her knowledge and learning clever and playful ways of sharing about the natural world.

Jérémie Vienneau

Youth programs coordinator, instructor

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jérémie has been proudly calling Montreal home since 2013. His journey into the more-than-human world unfolded gradually – from university studies in environment and sustainability, to urban agriculture, community projects, volunteering, farming and herding goats across Canada, and a transformative Nature Mentor Training with Coyote Programs in 2018 and Art of Mentoring in Vermont in 2019.

Jérémie brings a blend of kindness, curiosity, music, and a touch of silliness, and his extensive community facilitation background, to his work as nature connection guide. As an avid birder and naturalist, he’s always working at more deeply developing skills in the art of wildlife tracking through the Vermont Wilderness School’s Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship. He currently holds a Cybertracker Certification (Level 2).

Since 2019, Jérémie has been part of Coyote Programs, wearing various hats, and he’s currently helping to steer the ship for the youth programs! 🌿🦊

David Mccomber


David has been a high school teacher at the Kahnawake Survival School for the past 30 years. He enjoys working with people and learning from anyone. He is passionate about wilderness skills and nature connection and enjoys seeing people have successes. He is over half a hundred and keeps his sense of humor as sharp as his chainsaw.

Sophie Scott


Sophie has been an avid nature lover since a child, searching with friends in the forested slope behind her community centre for ever so precious salamanders. Growing up in Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan has given her a deep appreciation for the various critters, creatures and plant life that abounds these ecosystems. Having completed a B.A. in geography, worked for national conservation organizations as well as worked at a forest school in the Ottawa area, Sophie has developed a deep connection to the land that we call home and loves seeing the joy and power nature sparks in youth. You can find Sophie scouring the city searching for plants and critters, inventing stories and learning to love urban trees a little bit more.

Cleo Da fonseca


Cleo is from the hot sunny coast of southeast Brazil and has been slowly getting to know and appreciate the vast beauty of winter in these lands she now calls home. Nature education blossomed in her life alongside theatre & theatre education, puppetry, music, folklore and storytelling. She is keenly interested in meeting life on Nature’s terms : small and big, near and far, old and young… and all (so much!) in between. She studied in Communication Studies and has been a puppeteer and theatre performer since 2018. You might spot her basking in the sun by the water at all times of the year.

Benoit Berard


Benoit has a Bsc in Environmental science with a specialization in Wildlife Biology. He took our Nature Mentor Training a few years ago, and after some adventuring all over Canada for a year, he ended up volunteering with the Coyote Programs when he got back. He has worked at the Fauna Foundation, a chimpanzee sanctuary, for 7 years, in the gardens as well as in animal care. He has a great love for ecology and exploring the interconnection of all things, which has fuelled his interest in permaculture, including classes on the self-fertilizing garden. He has great hope for the future because of all the awesome humans he keeps meeting, and feels that reconnecting our youth with Nature is an essential ingredient for creating strong leaders who are resourceful, resilient and happy humans.

Patrick Gravel


Patrick Gravel is an ecologist, botanist, trapper, tracker, crafter, storyteller. He is well versed in plants: the edible, medicinal and crafting kinds. Having spent many long-term experiences in the wilderness, he is passionnate about ancestral knowledges and their practice. He has been teaching and sharing his knowledge of nature for almost 20 years.

Muriel Bontemps


Muriel is a mother and a teacher who loves to find nature in the city. She grew up riding her bicycle around her neighborhood, going on Girl Guide trips and working as a camp counselor. After completing teacher training at McGill University, she furthered her education with Coyote Programs’ Nature Mentor Training and The Lion and the Mouse’s Forest School/Playwork trainings. Coyote Programs have helped her develop a better understanding and love of nature and she believes this connection should be accessible to all. Muriel loves to sing, to ice skate outdoors and to read with her three boys. She can often be found working on a Land Art project at the neighborhood park.

Hubert Gonthier-Blouin

Administrative coordinator

Hubert handles the background of Coyote Programs so that the foreground activities may take place seamlessly. He studied music, philosophy and translation and has travelled extensively. All of which have fuelled his personality and his take on life. His interest in survival skills and nature was ignited at Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature. This experience is the main reason why he is now part of Coyote Programs. His passion for music seeps in every area of his life. Indeed, he sees himself as the groove regulator who holds the rhythm so that the rest of the team may shine.

Contact us if you have any questions or comments!!

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