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 TrackerSchool, 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 for the last 6 years. 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.

Stefanie Dimitrovas – Instructor, administrator

Stefanie is an enthusiastic human that loves to sing, dance, play, craft, and marvel with others in the out-of-doors. She has worked as an artistic / cultural director with the p.i.n.e. Project in Toronto for the past several years, as a youth program mentor at the Ontario Art of Mentoring, and as a multi-purpose coordinator at the Concordia Greenhouse. She graduated with honor from Concordia University with a BSc in Environmental Science, and is particularly passionate about birds, plants, wood crafts and song. She believes that it can only be through the heart that future generations will come into a role of stewardship of, and not dominion over, the natural world.

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.

Jesse Grindler – Instructor

Jesse is from the rocky coast of BC and grew up climbing the trees and eating the fish of that beautiful region. He is a passionate explorer of the play instinct and loves blending the arts with nature connection. He has trained in and practiced Arts-Based Facilitation, Puppetry, Physical theatre and Clowning for over a decade and sneaks these things into his work with youth in nature. Always curious about how stories shape our world, he sees this work as a way to transform lives and cultures towards a state of connection, integrity and creative possibility. Jesse enjoys making things with his hands and exploring the natural world– he makes musical instruments and carves, eats wild plants and loves to tend a good fire.

Emma Anders – Instructor

Emma is an adventurous and creative soul who grew up loving to run barefoot in the woods. She discovered her dream job while spending summers at YMCA Kanawana as a teenager, animating youth and leading canoe trips. Since then, she has worked as an outdoor instructor, nature connection facilitator and wilderness expedition guide in Canada and abroad. Whether she is cycling her way 5000 km across the USA or paddling remote rivers, she always has her guitar with her. She loves to share the magic and beauty of nature through various forms of art. You can find her writing poems on birch bark, crafting herbal remedies, carving away at a piece of driftwood, recording sounds by a marsh or jamming around a campfire. She is very passionate about community and greatly values the exchange of knowledge, wisdom and skills across generations and cultures. She is very grateful to be part of Coyote Programs! 

Benoit Berard – Instructor

Benoit has a Bsc in Environmental science with a specialization in Wildlife Biology. He took our nature mentor training course 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.

Hubert Gonthier-Blouin – Administrative coordinator

Hubert handles the background of Coyote Programs so that the foreground activities can 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 stint is the main reason why he ended up at Coyote Programs. His passion for music seeps in every area of his life. Indeed, he sees himself as the groove regulator that holds the rhythm so that the rest of the team may shine.