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James Nowak

James is a visiting instructor, story teller & map maker. His connection to nature is rooted in his childhood explorations of the West Credit River tributaries. At 14, James began an apprenticeship to a local traditional woodworker who worked exclusively in reclaimed lumber. As well as mentoring him in old world craftsmanship, this man told James stories of the ancient old-growth forests of southern Ontario and what had happened to them in the last few hundred years, instilling a deeply rooted sense of responsibility to the living earth.

James has worked with grassroots social justice and environmental groups, for the Ministry of Natural Resources, and spent many summers on organic farms. Since 2010 he has focused on connecting directly to nature by learning wilderness skills and nature awareness. He’s instructed at primitive skills gatherings, designed and facilitated outdoor youth programs, and taught nature awareness and survival skills classes for adults. He studyied Old English at the University of Toronto, and now lives in Golden Lake at the Orphan Wisdom School.