North Star Wilderness Skills program

‘’We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it of its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit. ‘’ – Tom Brown Jr.

This program offers adults a chance develop and hone their wilderness living skills. Our guiding north star is the vision of total freedom to walk into the wilderness with nothing but the clothing on our backs, and thrive.

Participants will be profiled through a short questionnaire after registration for the staff to tailor instruction around their experience, passions, abilities and interests. If it’s getting comfortable with starting a basic match fire, carving skills, setting up tarps and shelters, or if it’s crafting a friction fire kit that you can use gracefully, or developing confidence in the art of safely gathering sufficient calories from the wilderness – this program is for you.

Often times, these skills aren’t made accessible to people because they are either considered ‘for men’, can be confusing or expensive to get acquainted with, or can seem intimidating. If you are new to camping and living outdoors, this program will be a deeply satisfying initiation into these skill sets.

Going deep with these skills can be a surprisingly rich experience. Our instructors put these skills into practice in their daily lives and have put a lot of dirt time into honoring these ancient and profound arts.

The program will end with a two-night immersion experience in a nearby wilderness area where we will put our skills to the test.

Topics will likely include:
– Shelter – natural shelters, tarp and knot skills..
– Fire – structures, kinds of fire, fire by friction..
– Intro to wilderness first aid
– Edible and medicinal plants
– Sensory awareness skills
– Traditional survival tools
– The art of staying warm in any weather
– Teamwork !
– … And much more

Get ready to get your hands dirty! We want this to be a precious and unforgettable experience. Having routine time to “skill it up” with others can really root these skills and connections deeply in all of us.

Kawisente McGregor’s beautiful backyard forest in Kahnawake.
** Location of weekend retreat still to be determined. Will be within a two-hour drive of Montreal.

Two Saturdays per month, 9am – 3pm, and a weekend retreat in December:
Sept 16, 30, October 14, 28, November 11, 25, and December 8 – 10.

** Note that the content of first Saturday of each month will be tailored to the North Star participants, but the second Saturday per month is a workshop that is also open to the public. See the skills workshop topic line-up here.

1 season (6 days + 2-night weekend retreat): $480
If you need financial assistance, click here.

To secure your spot in the program:
You must fill in both the registration form here and pay a minimum of the deposit.  Payments can be done online below, or via cheque sent to:

Programmes Coyote
3712 Ave du Parc
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 2J1

We will confirm receipt of your cheque as soon as it arrives.

Lastly: we will send a welcome email one week before the first day with all the details you will need for participation (e.g. directions, gear list, preparation if needed..)

Payment in full is due 1 week before the first program day (we will send a confirmation email and reminder 2 weeks before), please confirm via email if you will bring a check in person on the first day, this is acceptable as well.

Online Payment