"We appreciate the vision you had in starting such a school." -- Past Hooksum participant "

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Steve Charleson: A member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Steve has lived in the Hesquiat area all of his life. A commercial fisherman and former Chief Councilor, Steve brings a host of experience, practical and traditional knowledge to Hooksum Outdoor School. Steve has over fifteen years of experience working with both youth and adult wilderness-based programs in the Hesquiat area. Steve is a certified BOAT instructor/examiner and a certified Maritime Radio Course instructor/examiner.

Karen Charleson: MA (Integrated Studies) Also a member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Karen has organized and undertaken numerous successful wilderness camps and training programs in Hesquiat Harbour since the early 1990's. Having lived in the area for over forty years, Karen brings a wealth of local knowledge and expertise to Hooksum. Karen has cooked for thousands of people in Hesquiat Harbour and is popular for her great meals, baked goodies, and attention to diverse tastes and needs.

Daniel BurgiDaniel Burgi: (MA, Disaster and Emergency Management) Danny has been a trainer in aquatics for over twenty-five years. His knowledge and experience of procedures and skills is extensive, and his ability to create dynamic learning environments is what sets him apart. He loves teaching. He loves his material and he loves learning. It shows in his teaching and it shows in his students' success. As a professional first responder, Danny is a confined space and high angle technician. He has swift water rescue training and is a First Aid Instructor Trainer. He lives in Maple Ridge with his wife and four children and thrives on the west coast. In his spare time you can find him on extended biking and hiking trips, kayaking with his kids, or training for his next triathlon.

Mariah Charleson (BA First Nations Studies, BEd): A member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Mariah grew up in traditional Hesquiaht territories. Mariah is a lead guide, an avid athlete and championship basketball player. She has organized major provincial and community events. Mariah has led numerous youth and adult groups hiking, kayaking, surfing, and canoeing around the Hesquiaht area. She is also a past graduate of the West Coast Outdoor Leadership Training program.

Joshua Charleson: Josh is a member of the Hesquiaht First Nation and grew up in Hesquiaht traditional territories. Josh is energetic, enthusiastic, and active. You can usually find him sea kayaking, hiking, surfing, gathering seafood, fishing, or touring guests around his home area and other parts of Clayoquot Sound. Josh is a Paddle Canada sea kayak instructor, the owner/operator of Kaaxna Adventures, and a past graduate of the West Coast Outdoor Leadership Training program.


Alex Jules, hooksum staffAlex Jules (Diploma Tourism/Recreation Studies): A member of the Kyuquot First Nation on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, Alex also has roots in the Hesquiaht First Nation. Alex is a past graduate of the West Coast Outdoor Leadership Training program. He has guided and led youth and adult groups at Hooksum Outdoor School since the School opened in 2000. Alex currently words as an Aboriginal Support Worker for the School District in Courtenay-Comox.


Not all Staff members may be present at every session or program.

"This wilderness experience has allowed me to see the light and balance that nature provides."

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Hooksum - An Experience Like No Other