Our team members are compassionate and dynamic humans who offer support and guidance through the change process with nature as their co-facilitator. We aim to match you with a counsellor or Master’s level practicum student who fits your individual or family needs.
Executive Director – MA, RCC
Executive Director – MA, RCC (he/him)
David Segal has been providing therapeutic nature-based counselling for children, youth, adults, couples, and families for over 15 years. He is deeply passionate about the natural world and how strengthening human-nature relationships can enrich our collective and individual well-being. He has spent the last decade learning from a vast array of teachers (including the non-human natural ones) the tools and skills for guiding people to truly know their own inherent wholeness and how to work with the struggles of their life in order to both harness and harvest the gifts and learning available.
David completed a Masters degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, is registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and is a certified Somatic Transformation Practitioner and Emotionally Focused Therapist with specializations in working with couples/families and resolving trauma. When not counselling, he loves playing sports, exploring forests, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his family.
Eidel the Nova Scotia Duck Toller
Eidel brings with her an insatiable joy for life and contagious love for the present moment, sticks, and running in the forest. Eidel loves to join Dave on his adventures with clients.
Clinical Director – MA, RCC
Clinical Director – MA, RCC (she/her)
For over 15 years Katy has been discovering the joys of experiential and nature-based approaches to working with children, youth and families for the promotion of healing and growth. Katy holds a deep trust in the healing power of connection with the non-human natural world, and believes that each individual is born with an innate drive and capacity towards wholeness and health. Katy completed a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology, with a specialization in Wilderness Therapy, from Naropa University in Colorado. She is trained in Somatic Transformation, Emotion Focused Family Therapy and EMDR.
Along with her involvement in HNCS, Katy has developed and facilitated several group therapy programs for families and youth throughout the Greater Victoria Region. Katy’s passion is in creating innovative and accessible programming which are steeped in the values of connection, family, nature and community. Katy loves to share her passion for the exciting field of Nature-Based Therapy with others, and provides training, supervision and education on these topics in the hopes of encouraging other counsellors step beyond the office walls. Katy is a parent to two vivacious boys and a Registered Clinical Counselor with the BC Association of Clinical Counselors.
Ripple the Bernerdoodle
Ripple is full of love for all humans and fellow creatures. She loves exploring the beach, romping through the forest, finding giant sticks, and most of all, snuggles. Ripple is happiest when she gets to join Katy and her clients in the great outdoors (FYI – she is a gentle giant at 110 lbs!).
MA, RCC – Sooke & Westshore
Jordie Allen-Newman (he/him) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Sooke & Westshore
Jordie has practiced counselling with children, youth adults and families in health care and social services for 30 years. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and member of Human Nature’s Clinical Supervision Team. For over 20 years Jordie has worked with children who have witnessed violence using adventure therapy and he has extensive experience as a sand tray therapist with children struggling with grief, loss, anxiety and depression.
Jordie cares deeply about nature and people. He combines his knowledge of experiential, narrative and mindfulness therapies and teams up with nature to support innovative and personalized ways of healing and growing. As part of his practice he writes nature based narrative therapy letters to all of his clients and includes therapeutic photographs from the session — oriented to assist people to remember and further reflect on the important and challenging work they do in therapy.
In addition his clients have the opportunity to do K9 therapy as a nature based method through Indianna Jones the Labradoodle therapy dog.
Jordie enjoys his own connection with nature and has been a wilderness guide and instructor for the past 25 years, a long distance adventure kayaker and a rock climber/mountaineer. He lives with his life partner, Alysha Jones, in the traditional territory of the T’Sou-Ke First Nations.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Sarah Delroy (she/her/they) – MA, RCC – Greater Victoria – Registered Clinical Counsellor
Sarah is a third generation Ukrainian/English/Irish settler who grew up on unceded Algonquin territory. She uses a strengths-based approach to counselling to help generate a safe and compassionate space for clients to find connection to themselves, others and the living world. She has studied and worked in wilderness and survival skills since 2001, with a focus on connecting children, youth and adults with nature for the last 7 years. Sarah completed a stone tools, bow hunting, tracking and native plants apprenticeships with Eddie Starnator and Julie Martin. She also studied gakgung archery for several years while living in South Korea.
Sarah is especially drawn to rites of passage such as land fasts and working with LGBTQ2S+ folx and self-identified girls and women in particular. She has worked at the P.I.N.E. Project, Soaring Eagle Nature School, presented at Headwaters Skill Gathering and Hillside Festival and was part of the children’s staff and community hearth at the Art of Mentoring Ontario. She worked with the Guelph Outdoor School for almost 6 years and established the Lynx program for self-identified young women while there. More recently she started her own business called Path-to-Ground running programs such as fire making, tracking, weaving and storytelling. She recently completed her Master’s in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.
MA, RCC – Cowichan & Victoria
Sarah Duncan (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Cowichan & Victoria
Sarah is a creative, calm and respectful counsellor who feels privileged to have lived and worked on the traditional lands of the Quw’utsun people for over 15 years. She has worked in a variety of non-profit counselling organizations, VIHA, Cowichan Valley School District, Cowichan Tribes, and Child and Youth Mental Health. Sarah has an BA from Vancouver Island University in Child and Youth Care, and a Master’s degree in Counselling from City University.
As an avid outdoorswoman and someone who has integrated nature with her own healing path, Sarah understands how a healing journey that incorporates nature is an unquestionable match. Sarah values the infinite healing that can be done while engaged in a natural setting, be it out on a mountainside, in a local park, by the water or sitting in a favorite spot under a tree. Sarah offers individual, children, teens, and family counselling using safe, creative, and non-judgmental approaches. Sarah understands that we are complex beings linked to family, society, and community which all contribute to the creation of a system in which we learn how to navigate and make sense of our lives in the world.
MSW, RCC – Squamish-North Vancouver & Telehealth
Bonnie Dyck (she/her) – MSW, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Squamish-North Vancouver & Telehealth
Bonnie is a creative, supportive counsellor who believes that we learn and grow through relationship – with ourselves, each other, and our world. She believes it is through relationship that we are able to create meaning, health and wholeness in our life. Once we have an understanding of ourselves and our relationships we need to have opportunities for engaging in actions that support the change we desire.
For over 20 years Bonnie has been providing therapeutic adventure and wilderness based counseling for youth and families. She completed a Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2001 and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counselors. She works experientially with children, youth, individuals, couples, and families. To support client change she uses activities such as outdoor recreation, indoor climbing, problem-solving initiatives, mindfulness, and wilderness skills in combination with solution-focused and narrative talk therapy. This creates an opportunity for self-reflection and exploration of relationship dynamics, while allowing for shifting of patterns in the moment.
Bonnie has been engaging in the experience of parenting over the past 7 years, constantly learning and growing through her interactions with her little ones.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Elise Gilchrist (she/her) – MA, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
Elise is an enthusiastic, warm, and playful registered clinical counsellor who approaches client relationships with reverence, humility, and care. Elise offers a flexible and integrative approach to counselling (Narrative, Experiential, Solutions-focused, CBT), and she infuses her personality and sense of humour into her client work.
Elise has years of experience facilitating outdoor adventure activities, leadership programs, and therapy groups with kids, teens, and adults. She has also worked in community health for over a decade, and has assisted others as they navigate illness, addiction, and mental-health concerns. These experiences provided Elise with many opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
As someone who has personally found healing through her relationship with the non-human natural world, Elise acknowledges the therapeutic power of being in relationship with nature. In her work, she intends to team up with nature as co-facilitator to cultivate a carefully attuned relationship with each unique client and family unit.
Isla & Halle (left to right)
Halle (adult) and Isla (puppy) are lovable and curious goofballs who enjoy exploring the beaches and forests, chewing on sticks, and cuddling. Both Halle and Isla have very soft fur, and they do not bark unless they want to tell you that they would like to play. Halle is very well behaved, but Isla is still learning so she may jump up and try to give you kisses.
MEd, RCC – Westshore & Cowichan
Tensley Koontz (he/him) – MEd, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
Westshore & Cowichan
Tensley is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who, for over 14 years, has supported youth and young adults as an educator with the Greater Victoria School District, an outdoor instructor with Outward Bound Canada, a kayak guide, as well as working as a wildland firefighter. Intertwined with his own healing journey and background growing up in Alberta’s Kananaskis and the rangelands of BC’s Cariboo-Chilcotin, Tensley understands one’s connection to nature can be a powerful tool to cultivate self-efficacy and support healing, growth, and change. Further drawing from his background and Métis heritage, Tensley understands walking within two worlds and appreciates engaging with diverse peoples.
Tensley works from a lens of sensitivity, curiosity, and compassion, and his strength-based approaches emphasize mindfulness, experiential play, and the learning of outdoor skills to connect with clients and support their greater understanding of self, positive self-belief, and capacity for change.
RTC – Greater Victoria
Kelly Nakatsuka (he/him) – RTC – Registered Therapeutic Counsellor
Kelly has taken a bit of a meandering path to the world of Nature Therapy. He is a lifelong lover and explorer of the outdoors, with a childhood split between rural Northern Alberta and the West Coast. His professional life has taken him from forestry research in virtually every beautiful nook and cranny of BC, to cooking in downtown Vancouver restaurants, to running a music festival, to a 13 year career at CBC Radio. The common thread through it all has been his passion for working with other humans.
Kelly has always believed in people, in their brilliance, and in their ability and inherent right to grow and heal and thrive. These days he is a registered therapeutic counsellor with a background in family systems, EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), group facilitation, as well as nature connection work, along side both adults and children. He is a patient, curious, and deeply compassionate therapist who loves working with clients to discover their own healing path. Combining our innate ability to grow and heal, with the innately healing qualities of the natural world, has been one of the simplest and most profound experiences he has had as a therapist and as a human being. He his grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) people, now know as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, as well as the traditional and unceded territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ nations.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Sasha Routley (she/her) – MA, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
As an emerging counsellor, Sasha’s practice with children and youth is guided by a deep awareness and appreciation for the power of connection that exists between all beings.
From a young age, Sasha has felt a strong sense of kinship with more-than-human beings, which has nourished her sense of belonging in this world and fueled her passion for animal-assisted therapy, specifically in the ‘field’ of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) and Nature-Based Therapy.
Taking lessons from the horses who have been teachers, allies and friends throughout her life, Sasha has dedicated herself to helping others experience healing relationships, informed by principles of mutual trust, agency and reciprocity. Working from a strength-based perspective, Sasha believes that we all possess the natural, innate capacity for healing and growth. To cultivate this natural capacity, Sasha integrates principles of somatic therapy in which body awareness and intelligence hold a central role in the change process.
Sasha completed both her BA and MA in Child & Youth Care at the University of Victoria.
MA, CCC – Greater Victoria
Natasha Villeneuve (she/her) – MA, CCC – Canadian Certified Counsellor
Natasha grew up in the Okanagan Valley, in the territories of the Syilx Okanagan People. Her early memories of connecting with and through forests and lakes in times of grief, transition, and celebration instilled in her a deep awareness that she is never alone. As an urban dweller Natasha is enthusiastic about the ways that we can integrate accessible here-and-now moments with the nearby natural world that can deepen our relationships to supports that exist all around us.
Natasha has a Masters in Counselling Psychology, preceded by a decade working as a care aid in residential care that solidified for her a fundamental regard for human dignity, and the power of relational connection. In her practice, she prioritizes the dignity of clients through careful attunement and ally-ship. She approaches each relationship with warmth, empathic curiosity, and flexibility, and she brings a calm yet playful spirit to her work.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Katy Winship (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Katy is a registered clinical counsellor who offers counselling to children, youth, and families. Katy seeks adventure in the wilderness wherever she can find it, and values the rich narrative metaphors these experiences bring to add meaning to our lives. As an outdoors-person with values in Indigenous ways of knowing, cultural humility, and decolonized practices, Katy understands the importance of unique personal contexts and ongoing learning to better support her clients and community. With movement and play in mind, she also helps clients create space for reflection, expansion, and exploration of self.
Katy brings many years of experience in youth work, wilderness therapy, and experiential education as a nature-based practitioner. Through her roles as an outdoors leader and volunteer, Katy provides engaging experiences to her clients to promote growth and learning. Katy also currently works as a Policy Analyst for Mental Health for the Ministry of Education, supporting the mental wellbeing of BC’s K-12 students. She maintains a position on the board of South Island Climbers Association, promoting equity and accessibility in the outdoors. She holds a Bachelors of Family and Social Relations, a Bachelors of Education in Outdoor and Experiential Education, as well as Masters of Counselling.
RTC – Greater Victoria
Teresa Winter (she/her) – RTC – Registered Therapeutic Counsellor
Teresa (she/her) grew up in wild rose and coyote country, on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuut’ina, Stoney Nakoda, Cree, Anishinaabe, and Métis peoples. Raised in a large family that fostered nature connection through love of birds, tending land, and caring for animals, she cultivated her belonging while spending time in the forest exploring and discovering the wonders around her.
For the past 20 years Teresa has been providing a blend of land-based and mental health support programming. She is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with studies in relational somatic therapy, expressive play therapy, suicide intervention, and nature-based counselling. Teresa believes that everyone has the capacity to feel a sense of connection and aliveness, to heal, and feel a sense of wholeness. She loves supporting others to find their passion and connection to authenticity while pushing edges and discovering places and spaces of resiliency.
Over the past 4 years she has been consciously cultivating nature connection through mentoring children and youth in the ways of bird language, storytelling, and ancestral skills such as fire making, carving, basket weaving and plant medicine making. Teresa’s ancestry is of English, Scottish, French, and Germanic origins and she is known for her deep listening, compassionate nature, love of music, dance and playful spirit.
Osa, a 9-year-old Maremma sheep dog, loves to accompany Teresa during sessions and is famous for her skills as a regulating force.
MA – Greater Victoria
Kostas Zolotas (he/him/they) – MA – Registered Clinical Counsellor
As a teenager, Ko was exposed to a variety of outdoor adventures through the magic of summer camps in the Rocky Mountains. While having wonderful and fun, positive experiences, he also found that he was also growing as a person. He noticed that while he was learning the hard skills of what strokes to use in rough waters, he was also learning the soft skills of how to manage fear and anxiety. As he learned to track and sneak up to animals, he learned self-regulation. With knots, came patience. Since this realization, Ko has focused on gaining skills, both hard and soft, to add to his toolbox to walk with others on their healing journeys. This has led him to work with children and youth over the last 15 years through a variety of approaches, from teaching fire by friction on the west coast, to trapeze in Montreal, and everything in between!
He is an enthusiastic, empathic, and playful member of the HNCS team, with a Masters in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria.
Youth Workers and Non-Registered Counsellors
Robin Fagnan (he/him) Child and Youth Support Worker
Robin brings a depth of experience based in three decades of work in areas such as experiential education, adventure-based learning, professional outdoor guiding, youth justice, counselling, and extensive work with people of many abilities. Robin has come to see that connection is the basic recipe for supporting people in re-framing life’s challenges into opportunities for growth. Connection between people and with the natural world’s capacity to connect us to something bigger than ourselves.
Robin has a practical approach centred on both the efficacy of nature connection and developing present moment awareness to develop practical tools. On the foundation of developing therapeutic rapport he focuses on the simplest ways of developing and maintaining momentum for individuals to move forward (and, FUN is an integral part of the process too!). As a person with Type 1 diabetes, Robin also provides support to youth and adults with the challenges of living with a chronic illness.
Program Facilitator – Greater Victoria
Heather Quaite (she/her) – Program Facilitator
Heather is Lekwungen, known today as Songhees Nation. Most recognize this area as the City of Victoria, where Heather has lived her entire life, the land where the people have hunted and gathered for thousands of years. She values the importance of learning about the land, rich in resources, traditional practices, and the careful management involved. Heather has enjoyed employment and learning experiences in daycare, summer camp and youth programs as a youth worker, and program coordinator. She also brings insight from her role as the Songhees Education Facilitator and Liaison, working in classrooms and sitting on various committees.
Heather has a diploma in First Nations Community Studies, and wishes to express gratitude from the knowledge gained working with children and families, educators, community members, and elders. Heather greatly appreciates her community and continues to lives on reserve with her family, which includes her partner and their daughter. She loves being outdoors with her family and the activities they take part in together, such as exploring, outdoor cooking, and camping. She especially loves being on or near the water.
Heather is a lead facilitator with the Guam Guam Specums program within SD61 schools.
PhD Candidate – Cowichan & Greater Victoria
Daniella Roze des Ordons (she/her) – PhD Candidate – Child, Youth and Family Support Worker
Cowichan & Greater Victoria
Daniella’s love for nature began in her childhood growing up in the Okanagan Valley, and since then, the land has become an important teacher and friend. Her strength-based practice
recognizes inherent wholeness, empowers agency, builds resilience, and celebrates diversity. She engages relational and compassionate approaches that support others in navigating their challenges while honouring and living into their unique gifts. Daniella is committed to fostering reciprocal and healing relationships with nature and building just and sustainable communities.
Daniella is a PhD student within the Educational Theory and Practice program at Simon Fraser University with a focus on ecopsychology-informed education within a socio-ecological justice framework. She holds a Master of Contemplative Education and a diploma in Applied Psychology and Counselling. She draws on over 15 years of experience as an educator, facilitator, and ecopsychology practitioner, guiding nature-based education and therapeutic programs for both youth and adults. Daniella is the founder of Thriving Roots Wilderness School, has served as an instructor and researcher at several post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, and
presents to international audiences on ecopsychology and nature-based education.
MA Candidate – Greater Victoria
Trudi Smith (she/her) – MA Candidate – Non-registered Counsellor
Trudi supports creative curiosity with those she walks and sits alongside.
She is of Scottish and mixed European descent, born in Halifax in Miꞌkmaꞌki territory. Trudi brings an integrative approach to her counselling practice and draws together experiential, narrative, somatic and nature-based counselling approaches, holding a trust in the healing power of connection with the non-human world. Currently finishing her Masters in Counselling at CityU, Trudi is certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SPI) and is training in Sensorimotor Expressive Arts. She has learned from many human and non-human teachers and previously completed a BFA in Photography at Emily Carr University and a PhD in Art and Anthropology at the University of Victoria.
When she isn’t counselling, she spends time climbing and hiking, creative gardening, and working on community-based arts projects. Through this, Trudi brings attention to belonging and connection, impermanence and transformation.
Jasper the Golden Doodle
Jasper is full of love, and has a peaceful and calm energy. He loves to join Trudi on her adventures with clients!
Consultants and Supervisors
We offer advisement for counsellors in the modality of nature-based therapy. Our consulting associates are leaders in this growing field.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Sarah Frizelle (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Sarah is a registered clinical counsellor who offers holistic counselling to individuals, couples & families. She supports change and growth through therapeutic processes that attend to mind, body, emotions and spirit. She specializes in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, life transitions, family conflict and relationship issues.
In addition to office based sessions, Sarah offers nature-based counselling which blends her experience as a therapist with her 20 year experience as a wilderness guide and her practice of meditation and training in mindfulness-based stress reduction with her work as an educator. As a counsellor, Sarah guides with sensitivity and compassion, with the knowledge that a good therapeutic relationship can be like a compass in hand when feeling lost or disoriented – and can be one that supports a process of exploration and discovery. Sarah holds masters degrees in education and psychology and is in private practice in Victoria, BC.
PhD, RCC – Mill Bay & Cowichan
Nevin Harper (he/him) – PhD, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Mill Bay & Cowichan
Nevin draws on more than two decades of experience as an outdoor skills instructor, wilderness guide, youth and family support worker, and counsellor. Nevin is also a researcher, author and professor at the University of Victoria. He presents internationally on topics of outdoor and activity-based approaches to therapy and human development. While born and raised in northern Canada, and having travelled and lived abroad, he has lived in the Coast Salish territory since 1995.
Nevin’s approach to counselling is diverse but centers on client’s stories of self and supporting their desires for change through building supportive, authentic and trusting relationships. Being outdoors and active are key ingredients in Nevin’s practice along with strengths-based, narrative and somatic approaches.
Our dedicated and passionate practicum students are in the process of completing their Master’s degrees in either Counselling Psychology or Child and Youth Care. Their client work is closely supervised and supported by our directors, Dave and Katy, in addition to the ongoing learning and support from their educational institutions. Because of this learning process, we are able to offer sessions with students at a reduced rate of $30–60/hr.
MA Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology)
Gaby Emmett (she/her) – MA Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology) – Practicum Student
Gaby was born and raised in Victoria, BC, the traditional territories of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Esquimalt) and W̱SÁNEĆ People, and loves spending time outside, camping, kayaking, hiking and doing yoga. She has spent large amount of time outdoors and truly believes in the therapeutic benefits of nature.
She has a degree in Child and Youth Care and is currently finishing her Masters in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. Gaby has spent many years working with children, youth and families doing therapeutic adventure, adaptive recreation and working in mental health. She is a certified yoga teacher and doula and is passionate about weaving her knowledge of these areas into her work as a counsellor. She works from a person-centered, strengths-based perspective and her approach to counselling is rooted in mindfulness, play, and experiential learning.
Gaby enjoys working with clients of all ages and is skilled at adapting to individual needs of each person. She has experience both with personal counselling as well as group facilitation. Gaby believes in the importance of building a trusting relationship with her clients as the basis for effective therapy. In addition to her practicum at Human Nature Counselling, Gaby also work as an elementary school counsellor here in Victoria.
Tsuga loves to meet new people; she is full of love and enjoys snuggles and kisses. Tsuga is happiest when exploring in nature and enjoys joining Gaby on her adventures with clients.
MA Candidate (UBC Okanagan, Social Work)
Leanne Shafir (she/her) – MA Candidate (UBC Okanagan, Social Work) – Practicum Student
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Leanne grew up on the stolen traditional lands of the
Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga of the credit First Nation, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Leanne moved to Kelowna, the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan nation, to pursue a Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She finds herself as a practicum student in Victoria at Human Nature Counselling Society as the final chapter in her MSW degree!
After finishing a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree at the University of Toronto, Leanne began her career in the field of Social Work as a bilingual support worker for Francophone refugees in Toronto. She continued her work in the field of violence prevention programming and research by designing and implementing three youth violence prevention and wellbeing programs at various agencies. She also developed volunteer and facilitator training platforms for these programs and found her love for training and teaching others.
Since moving to Kelowna in 2020, Leanne further developed her love to work outside of the box (and outside!), fostering creativity and innovation in her practice. Leanne joined the team at Elevation Outdoors, a non-profit agency that provides access to outdoor recreation (snowboarding, hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking) for children and youth. Leanne works as the Program Lead, blending her love for outdoor exploration, Social Work and innovation. In this position, Leanne explores how access to nature in combination with physical activity can positively impact youth who have experienced trauma and mental health challenges. Furthermore, she helped implement a pilot outdoor school-based program for youth struggling to graduate high school in a traditional educational setting. She believes in alternative methods of education and is excited to see these programs continue as she finishes her practicum in Victoria. Leanne has a strong focus on restorative justice, trauma informed care, mindfulness approaches and neurobiology as a part of her relational social work practice. She is also certified in MSBR and Restorative Justice Conference Facilitating.
When not in school or at work, Leanne loves to play music, make and eat food, rock-climb, kayak and go on adventures! She is very excited to be a part of the Human Nature team for the upcoming months and absorb everything she can about nature-based therapy and how she can integrate this knowledge into her current work and practice.
MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Child and Youth Care)
Calvin Walker (he/him) – MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Child and Youth Care) – Practicum Student
A settler of Scottish and English descent, with a touch of Southern drawl, Calvin was born and raised in southern Ontario on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Drawn to Victoria for school, he has been an uninvited visitor on the unceded, traditional lands of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples for the past three years.
Calvin centres safety, dignity, and empowerment in a person-centred and strengths-based approach that is sincere, playful and creative. He brings experience providing care in a variety of roles across education and therapeutic programs, often involving supporting youth and young adults with diversabilities and complex needs. These programs have largely been outdoors, including teaching at the Boundless School, as well as a long history with the summer and spring programs at RKY Camp. He has also spent time providing care for youth in emergency shelters and group homes.
Calvin completed his undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology at the University of Guelph, and is approaching the end of Master’s degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. In addition to his current placement at Human-Nature, he continues thesis research inviting organizational leadership in Outdoor Education to collaborate towards anti-colonial change in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action (2015).
Program Manager (he/him)
Westshore & Cowichan
Tensley is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who, for over 14 years, has supported youth and young adults as an educator with the Greater Victoria School District, an outdoor instructor with Outward Bound Canada, a kayak guide, as well as working as a wildland firefighter. Intertwined with his own healing journey and background growing up in Alberta’s Kananaskis, and the rangelands of BC’s Cariboo-Chilcotin, Tensley understands one’s connection to nature can be a powerful tool to cultivate self-efficacy and support healing, growth, and change. Further drawing from his background and Métis heritage, Tensley understands walking within two worlds and appreciates engaging with diverse peoples.
Facilitating impactful and positive experiences for individuals through intentional group experiences in nature enlivens Tensley. As Program Manager, Tensley is grateful to support the talented HNCS counsellors and child & youth support workers in bringing to life a growing diversity of group programs to support our communities and community members.
Office Manager (she/her/they)
Alison is passionate about community and the nonprofit sector’s role in bringing us together. She has a background in nonprofit management and business administration with a Diploma in Business Administration and is pursuing further studies in Nonprofit Management. She is a lifelong volunteer and currently sits on two boards as Treasurer, where she spends her time working on spreadsheets, governance, and community and mental health advocacy.
Alison grew up on the unceded territory of the Qualicum, Sna’naw’as, and Ko’moks First Nations (Qualicum Beach and Parksville) and has been an uninvited guest on the unceded territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations (Victoria) for 17 years. When she isn’t organizing community events, she spends her time practicing yoga, hiking, and swing dancing.
Communications Manager (she/her)
Melissa has a background is in theatre and creative writing, and she has worked professionally as an actor and playwright across Canada. She has a passion for mental health awareness, education, and increasing accessibility to services. Since childhood, she has felt a deep connection to nature and the outdoors, which she credits to growing up on the West Coast in beautiful Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory.
She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from the University of Victoria.
Board of Directors
Tessah is a settler living on the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum and Lkwungen peoples. She has 7 years of experience in the communication and non-profit sectors collaboratively planning, organizing, and coordinating complex projects that include multi-faceted stakeholder consultations, negotiations, and reconciling conflicts. She currently has her own company, Tessah J Clark Consulting. She holds a Master’s Degree in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University and a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Anthropology and a Minor in Applied Ethics from the University of Victoria.
She has a special interest in learning about cultural perspectives on well-being. She is passionate about health equity and volunteers with the Patient Voices Network and Island Health. In her downtime, she enjoys hiking with her dog, Molly, and doing yoga.
Mark and his family live in Victoria, BC and Los Angeles, California, where Mark leads Halpert CPAs, an accounting firm dedicated to serving non-profit organizations. He appreciates that his work allows him to support the efforts of many inspiring people and organizations.
Mark is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), registered in California and Alberta, and has worked with non-profits and small businesses since graduating from the University of Western Ontario’s Honours Business Administration (HBA) program. He volunteers in his children’s activities and is an amateur musician on a set of Indian drums called tabla. Mark is also the author of a memoir titled Saturn Return. He’s proud to support the mission of Human-Nature Counselling Society in the role of Treasurer.
*Mark will be officially commencing his Treasurer role as of May 2022
Living on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-wathuth First Nations, Kendra is the Vice President of Clinical Improvement and Transformation at the Provincial Health Services Authority, with areas of focus including virtual health, health improvement networks and transformation leadership. Kendra is focused on change leadership and the health of the health care system and has a deep understanding of issues impacting the continuum of care as well as insights into what it takes to achieve and sustain strong gains in efficiency, patient care and clinical outcomes. Kendra is deeply committed to addressing inequities and Indigenous-specific racism and contributing to a shift where all ways of knowing help advance good health for all people, the land, and the planet. Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Nutritional Sciences from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Healthcare Administration from Seton Hall University, and numerous professional certifications.
In her free time, Kendra enjoys song writing, learning, exploring, spending time with her family and breathing fresh, clean air while walking in the wilderness, the mountains, or along rocky, tide-swept beaches. Kendra acknowledges with gratitude the many gatherings that occur on the traditional, ancestral and unceded of many BC First Nations who have cared and nurtured this land for all time and give thanks for allowing us as visitors to live, work and care together. She also acknowledges that there are other Indigenous people that live on these lands that originate from their own respective territories outside of these lands, the Chartered Communities of the Métis Nation B.C., and Inuit.
She is honoured to be a member of this board and work amongst caring, nurturing and service-oriented individuals, committed as a team, who make such a difference in so many people’s lives.
Michael hails from Victoria, British Columbia, where he can be found poking around the forests, islands, and beaches of Vancouver Island. With over 35 years of experience guiding and coaching paddlesports enthusiasts across Canada, he’s still attracted to a life lived in and on the water. Over the years, he’s participated in the leadership of the Canadian outdoor field through a number of roles.
Since selling his training business in 2009, he has applied his skills and knowledge to post secondary education. In addition to integrating the principles of adventurous learning to business education at Royal Roads, he has also helped establish and run the new Adventure Education graduate program at Camosun College.
Based in Victoria, Alkarim brings over 16 years of board experience in the international not-for-profit sector with diverse experience in strategic planning, board governance advisory, program and financial management, training and facilitation, and key stakeholder dialogue. He has extensive experience leading and working with diverse teams in complex assignments in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe, and Canada, implementing organizational change management, emergency relief responses, cross-functional audits, and case management of incidents under child safe-guarding, integrity, and compliance. Alkarim is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA-UK).
As an outdoor enthusiast, Alkarim also has over 15 years of hands-on experience leading teams up various mountains in East Africa through his tour agency based in Kenya (www.routesandboots.com), extensive experience in developing and facilitating youth outdoor education programs, team building and wellness programs, and managing cause-related fundraiser multi-day expeditions. He holds certifications with the Outward-Bound Mountain School in youth outdoor leadership development, minimum impact bushcraft, campcraft, high altitude mountaineering and experiential training in wilderness first aid, technical rock climbing, and search and rescue.
In his free time Alkarim loves to adventure out on long hikes, rock climb, and paddle.