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Teaching Vision

My approach to Earth-based teaching is informed by the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass. Struggling with the idea of how “an immigrant society could become indigenous to place,” she concludes that if they cannot be indigenous, they still need “to throw off the mind-set of the immigrant” and become naturalized to the lands they live on. To this end, Kimmerer introduces us to two non-indigenous plants that model this work. The first is garlic mustard, a plant that sprawls across the forests where I live. It expands its range by poisoning the soil and

spreading roots that crowd out native plants. Garlic mustard

mirrors colonial ways that are caught in a positive feedback loop.

The other non-indigenous plant Kimmerer lifts up is common

plantain. This plant grows in a rooted way that does not sprawl and

offers anti-microbial medicines that makes it useful as a poultice

for wounds. But as Kimmerer counsels, common plantain also has

cultural medicine as this plant finds a relational niche amongst the

land’s original inhabitants rather than taking up all the space. It is

not Indigenous, but it has become “naturalized.”

Following this story, my workshops and consulting with Canadians is informed by two interrelated acts. The first aims at decolonizing garlic mustard tendencies that need pruning within ourselves and the institutions we inhabit. The second act nurtures the naturalizing spirit of plantain in those pruned spaces so we can give our cultural gifts without trying to be “the gift”. I often work with Cayuga Elder Norma Jacobs who brings in Indigenous teachings.

Community Workshops

Organizer, Collaborative for Right Relations: “Conventional approaches to environmental action and collaboration are dominated by the ways of western organizations. The Two-Row Wampum offers a framework for collaboration and how conservation organizations, which come out of the structures and worldviews of the settlers, must prepare themselves and step into partnerships. Norma and Tim were instrumental in delivering the workshop that launched our Learning Journey and continue to advise us on how to approach cross-cultural collaboration in ways that advance equity and support healing. Norma offered teachings on the Two-Row and our responsibilities to ground in the values of Earth care and reciprocity... Tim played a critical role in explaining these teachings from the perspective of people from the ship and demonstrating how we, as settlers, can uphold our responsibilities in integrity.”

garlic mustard.jpg

Image: Garlic Mustard

Organizer, Renewing Relations with Glocal Lands: “The project involved staff and clients from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) as participants who had shown interest in gaining a deeper understanding of Indigenous worldviews and culture, treaty relations, colonial histories and practices and truth and reconciliations. The participants engaged in a series of workshops facilitated by Elder Gae Ho Hwako and Dr. Leduc. The workshops… used Two Row relations as a model to facilitate the learnings and reflections. Elder Gae Ho Hwako shared her Haudenosaunee teachings, while Dr. Leduc complemented the Elder teaching by offering his insights about Toronto's land histories, stories, and reflections on his French Canadian positionality. The participants were then invited to share their reflections via their positionalities, experiences and cultural and ancestral teachings. The Two row model offered a vital gateway to imagine how refugee communities can come into relationships with Indigenous Peoples and local lands beyond the realm of the Canadian nation-state… Many seeds were planted through this project.”

Below are a sample of workshops, and to the left some testimonials.

"Walking the Path of Right Relations", Collaborative Right Relations (Network of Conservation Organizations), Monterey, California

(co-delivered with Norma Jacobs)

"Renewing Relations with Glocal Lands: Exploring Indigenous-Refugee Relations", Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Toronto, ON 

(co-delivered with Norma Jacobs & Chizuru Ghelani)

"Land-based Education of Indigenous-Settler Relations", Canada EcoSchools (co-created with D. Bannerjee and High Park Nature Centre), 

"Decolonizing Certificate Module - Learning from the Land: Decolonizing & Naturalizing Relations ", Centre for Indigegogy (co-delivered with Cayuga Elder Norma Jacobs),

"Cultures, Climate, Care", Goethe Institut (partially co-delivered with Cayuga Elder Norma Jacobs)


Below are a sample of courses I teach:

"Eco-Social Work in Climates of Change,"

Ontario ECampus (Online course)

Relational Accountability: Social Work with Indigenous Peoples

Wholistic Healing (co-taught with Cayuga Elder Norma Jacobs)

​Environmental Education

Ecological Worldviews

Religion & Environment


Academic Courses

“We are in a time of changes when social work needs to re-learn the value(s) of rooting environmental justice and healing practices in the broader sociality of Earth relations, and that is the focus of Eco-Social Work in Climates of Change… Learning Objective #1: To utilize an Online globally networked education platform as a guide for going offline and learning about social work through re-connecting with the original web of natural relations.” – Course Syllabus


Image: Common Plantain


Image: Replica of Notre Dame de Chartres Labyrinth in High Park, Toronto. This labyrinth centres the last three chapters in my book A Canadian Climate of Mind, and is an example of how I approach decolonizing and cultural naturalizing land relations from a canadien position.

Labyrinths are, according to the park’s sign, “a universal, ancient symbol that dates back years,” a model we enter to “feel attentive and attuned to the sights and sounds around you.” Surrounding it are black oak savannah grasses, a fenced- off conservation plot, recreation areas for baseball and soccer to the north, a small pine grove and hill to the east, and to the south a rich patch of plants indigenous to Ontar:io’s threatened savannahs. And, while the ear is drawn to birdsong interspersed with the park’s slower car traffic, the sign’s sense of the labyrinth as a space for attuning “to the sights and sounds around you” is clearly bound to the materialistic factishes of the modern ship. Yet its maze-like passages were also traditionally meant to raise our mind to the cosmological mysteries of life and death, to renew “life through contact with the dead ancestors.” – A Canadian Climate of Mind (2016, 184)

Consulting & Counselling

As an educator and consultant, I am interested in helping guide people into a re-connection with the Earth through holistic practices that co-creates with you ways of bringing your experiences, cultural background and dreams into relation with the lands you live upon.


Guidance in Earth Healing/Education Practices:

  • ​Re-connect with and foster ongoing land relations

  • Develop cultural practices for sustaining land relations

  • Re-balance virtual and natural web relations

  • Learn about local colonial land relations & decolonial practice

Guidance in Renewing Culture-Based Earth Relations:

  • Culture-specific land teachers

  • Cultural crafts (e.g. writing or carving as healing practice)

  • Culture-based Decolonizing of land relations

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