Fall 2020 Buckskin Revolution Online Gathering by Woniya Thibeault
Enrollment is closed

Fall 2020 Buckskin Revolution Online Gathering

A learning experience offering instruction in Ancestral and Land Based Living skills. Because there's never been a better time to boost your capacity, your resilience and your sense of connection.

8 weeks of supported, in depth learning, beginning October 12th.

Includes classes, downloadable resources, weekly interactive Zoom Circles, and access to an ongoing online learning community.
Enrollment is closed

Feel more connected, confident and capable as you go through your life; be it in the wilderness, the backyard or the office.

The Buckskin Revolution Online Gathering (BROG) is an exploration of skills to help you gather, grow and make more of things you need to live. You will deepen your connection to the living world around you and better understand how these practices relate to the human experience, now and throughout evolutionary history. 

This is a unique online experience. The lessons are designed not as a deep dive into one specific topic, but a curated collection of classes that build upon one another in themes related to ancestral and bushcraft skills, wilderness living, wild foods, handcrafts, and more.  

This gathering will cover a range of skills, with particular focus on those related to the Fall season.

In 3 words, the goal of the course is to empower, inspire, and connect. We hope you'll join us.

“I keep looking for the silver linings in this pandemic, and this was one of them for me...  Whatever I was expecting, this totally exceeded my expectations. The zoom sessions really felt like I was not alone in this. And gave me a chance to ask questions. I try to describe the people I meet in gatherings to others and they are impossible to describe - but overwhelmingly positive. Overall, I was amazed.” —  Karen Stewart, Summer Gathering Participant 

Who This Course is For

Beginners

The course is designed to accommodate all levels. Beginners have reported finding the presentation style welcoming and less intimidating than other mediums for learning these subjects. The interactive calls and online community create a space for advanced students to share their experience with beginners, deepening the learning of both. 

Experienced Enthusiasts

Veteran skills instructors have participated in these gatherings and been thrilled with what they have learned. If you have a lot of background in these skills, this is a chance to take a deeper dive and learn more nuances. The instructor's interactive guidance and community forums give opportunity for experienced practitioners to take their learning to the next level, as both students and mentors.

Young Learners

The online gathering is a wonderful way to enrich the curriculum of home schoolers, distance learners, and any kids who want a more hands on learning experience than their school books can give them. While the regular version of the gathering is not specifically designed for children, children participated in the Summer 2020 version and loved it. 

It's for you if:

🥬   You want to have a deeper connection to the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the physical goods in your life

💪  You want to learn how to be more self-sufficient and resilient.

🧺  You are eager to begin or deepen your relationship with Ancestral, Off-Grid, Homestead, and Land based living skills.

🏞️  You’re ready to have more understanding of and connection to the natural world around you.

🏹  You feel drawn to skills that have been around since before life got so technical and complicated.

🌎  You care about lowering your carbon footprint and lessening dependence on store-bought and industrial goods. 

💞  You want to know that you aren’t the only weirdo out there who is into these things.

🦌  You’re ready to dive into the skills humans evolved to practice and to be an active part of The Buckskin Revolution!!!

What's included?

More about what you get and what you can expect from the 8-week gathering. 

8 Exclusive Modules Accessible Anytime

Video lessons released weekly by theme ranging from Ancestral and Bushcraft Skills to Wild foods and Natural hide tanning. View the pre-recorded classes on your own schedule and as many times as you'd like during the course of the gathering.

In addition to the classes, every week will feature nature footage and nature connection practices and prompts.

Weekly live Zoom Calls

Get to know Woniya and fellow students in live meetings with opportunities for Q&A and show and tell. The community connections and camaraderie with other students makes a huge difference in motivation and in continuing to practice the skills.

Live calls are Mondays at 5pm PST, 8pm PST and recordings sent to those who can't make it. 

Online Skill Sharing Community

In addition to the live video calls, you'll have access to a private online community where you can connect with other students and experts in a friendly and welcoming space. Get the opportunity to ask questions and get personalized instruction on projects, multiplying the learning potential of the classes themselves. 

What students have said..

“Hey Woniya, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for that off-grid living course you did years ago. Yesterday one of my employers shut down because of the virus, and I was thinking about how different my anxiety levels would be if I had not taken your course. I don’t have the same sort of existential fear I think I might have if I didn't have the confidence that I could grow food or make what I need. Thanks for sharing your skills”  — Brit Keeton

“I feel very lucky to be entering into this more natural and grounded world at my age, and to be able to draw knowledge and spiritual guidance from you and everyone in this community. I will work to preserve these skills and this mindset that I have been taught, so I can hopefully teach others in the future. Sorry for the rant, but I feel so grateful for the work you have done for this gathering and everything you have taught. This was my first of many primitive gatherings and I had such a wonderful time. Thank you.” — Darren Glover, 16

What You'll Learn

Week 1 - Intentions, Context, Connection ...and birds, birds, birds.
We get started by establishing the context of why these skills matter and laying the foundation for you to take them and run with them. The way we learn is as important as what we learn, so we’ll talk about how to broaden your awareness and mindset, connection practices, and how to choose and maintain one of your most important tools - your knife!

Week 2 - Ancestral Skills and Bushcraft Basics
What do we even mean by ancestral skills and by bushcraft? You’ll connect to the history and learn the building block skills that help you feel more capable and comfortable wherever you are. We’ll cover practical knots and lashing techniques, how to make a camp kitchen, principles of friction fire and how to harvest and cure materials for it.  

Week 3 - Working with Plants

Wherever you live, getting to know the local plants and how to work with them for food, medicine and other resources is one of the best ways to feel more connected to the land around you. You’ll learn about plant biology and some tending and harvest practices. You'll be introduced to several important plant families, learn the basics of plant ID, and start building a closer relationship with the green world around you. 

Week 4 - Wild Harvest

Fall is a time of abundance and celebrating the harvest, and of filling the pantry for the coming winter. You’ll learn to harvest and preserve the abundance of the season’s fruits through drying, canning and fermenting. You’ll also learn about plant medicine by making your own cordial and tincture and about fiber by making your own cordage. 

Week 5 - Honoring Animals and Stocking the Larder

Whether you are a hunter, a roadkill scavenger, or buying your meat from local farmers or butchers, fall is a traditional time for butchering and processing. Making use of every part of the animals and knowing how to preserve the meat long term are ways both to honor the lives taken and keep yourself strong and well fed. You’ll learn some basics of home butchery and how to pressure can meat for long term storage.

Week 6 - Natural Hide Tanning
Using the hide of the animal is an important way to honor the animal and all its parts. Not only do you learn about the life history and the biology of the animal in the process, but the outcome is one of the most amazing materials on earth, far superior to any industrially produced leather. This week you’ll learn the history of brain tanning buckskin and how to use the process to tan buckskin and furs.  

Week 7 - Handcrafts

Brain tanned buckskin is lovely to have around, but it is most useful when you know how to make something out of it! This week you’ll be invited to learn the basics of buckskin sewing with a small buckskin bag project.  We’ll also cover drop spinning and spinning wheels for making your own yarn to bundle up for the coming winter 

Week 8 - Bringing it all Together

All of these skills are wonderful individually, but it is our ability to bring them together and apply them to our lives, in the wilderness or in the living room, that really changes our world. In week 8 we’ll look at the bigger picture and how we can enrich our wilderness trips, our wardrobes and gear, our lives and our communities with them.

Each week also includes bonus lessons for more advanced students, such as lessons on stone tools, making Hoshigaki, headcheese, harvesting bark and bark tanning and making the sweater I wore on Alone!

“She loooooves it. She’s been telling everyone she sees that she can make fire. We haven’t actually tried fire hands-on yet, but she “knows how” so we’re going to try together this weekend. :) And she had me buy her a tarp to build a shelter in the woods behind our house. Lol.”
A mother, referring to her 10 year daughter in the Online Skills Gathering

About Woniya

Woniya Thibeault has been teaching ancestral skills for over 20 years. She has spent a lot of her adult life living off grid, growing and gathering as much of her diet as she can, tanning the hides for the clothes she wears, harvesting the willow for the baskets she gathers food into and more. She has both decades of experience with wilderness living, and a formal education with a Masters Degree in Environmental Science, and combines these to teach in a way that brings a knowledge of and love of the living world around her. She has put these skills to the test in her many adventures living in a variety of wilderness locales, and on the big screen as a participant in and runner up on Season 6 of Alone on the History Channel. She is passionate about offering her knowledge of the skills she used there to the many people who were inspired by watching her journey. She looks forward to bringing the "Buckskin Revolution" to a world of people hungry to revolutionize the way they live their lives.
Learn more →

Pricing

We work hard to make gatherings accessible to as many as possible. We believe in the value provided and the work that's required to put on such an event. We hope you do too. And we hope this feels like a wonderful investment in a future enriched by all you’ll learn! 

Included: 
  • 8 themed lessons crafted and filmed by Woniya. 
  • 8 live Zoom calls where you'll connect with Woniya and other students about course content, nature connection practices, skills related topics, and more.
  • An online community for 24/7 support.
  • Access to all course content online during the course and for an additional 3 months.

Gathering Registration: $285
Early Bird Discount Price (thru Sept 25): $225 

Scholarships

Buckskin Revolution wants these skills to be available to everyone. If cost is a barrier, we invite you to apply for a full or partial scholarship. In the spirit of equity and reparations, scholarships are also available for indigenous, black and transgender or gender non-conforming people.

We will be funding at least 10 needs-based scholarships and 10 inclusion scholarships. We also invite other gathering participants to contribute to the scholarships to fund even more participation.

If we receive more donations than we have applications, the remaining donation will be the start of a fund towards a grant program supporting indigenous people pursuing their traditional crafts. 

Apply here →
"Woniya has been teaching ancestral skills for decades. Her teaching style is upbeat, clear and competent. Her emphasis is always on spirit and connection. Great for beginners as well as more experienced folks.“

Alice Tulloch, veteran ancestral skills instructor for over 25 years

FAQs

What’s this gathering about?
The gathering is intended to give a foundation in fundamental skills for living a life more grounded in doing for yourself rather than relying on modern technology and industry. Wild and home grown foods and food preservation, hide tanning, and related skills are just a handful of the topics covered.

What sets this gathering apart is that the physical skills are just one part of it. The bigger picture intention is to help you feel more connected to the natural world through being more in touch with your own hands and how they work with that world to help you find materials for food, fiber, shelter, and more. It is also very much about connecting you with a greater community of people interested in similar things so you have support and camaraderie in your learning journey.


It is online classes, why call it a gathering
We call it a gathering because, while you can view the pre-recorded classes on your own schedule, the interactive live conference calls are a big part of the learning experience. They build a sense of community and group learning that multiply the value of the course content. 

In addition to the scheduled weekly live group conferences, you’ll be able to access the online experience any time you like. You can interact and ask questions on a range of topics, within or outside of the course content, and share projects, knowledge, and more.

It is a “gathering” as opposed to a focused “course” because it is designed as an immersive experience covering a broad range of topics, not a comprehensive course on just one topic.


How does it work? Is it one lesson per session?
Every week will have classes on a particular theme that you can watch on your own schedule. They will begin with an introduction to the theme- the history and background, how it is relevant today, and basics terms and concepts. Then there will be 3 lessons, all related to those themes. Some will be longer and more detailed than others. The longer lessons will be broken up into shorter, more easily digestible modules. 

Where applicable, you will also be given outlines and related resources for the individual classes. For those who are already familiar with the topics or are hungry for all the information they can get, there will also be “next level” classes available to supplement the 3 core lessons.


I don’t know anything about wilderness living, is this right for me?
Yes! The classes are designed with beginners in mind with plenty of background on the skills and context to help you understand why we chose to include particular subjects. The live calls and online skills community are a wonderful resource for you to ask further questions of both Woniya and fellow students. The additional lessons, calls and online community are also a great place for more experienced students to get support in diving deeper. The community nature of the gathering means beginners benefit from the questions and experience of the advanced students and the advanced students benefit from the more detailed mentorship from Woniya, and from providing mentorship and advice to the beginners. 


I live in a city without much access to nature, how will I be able to take advantage of the skills I learn?
Even if you live in an urban environment, there are a lot of ways to apply these skills to your life. That is part of what we mean when we say “it is about how you learn, not just what you learn, and how that learning changes you.” We include nature footage as part of every week’s offering, so you get to experience the wild places even if you can't get to them, and the classes will take into account the fact that some people will be doing this course in city apartments, not the woods! 


I have a busy schedule, will I be able to work this course around it?
Yes! The classes themselves are all pre-recorded so you can watch them whenever works for you, and you’ll continue to have access to them for 3 months after the gathering itself. The interactive calls are scheduled ahead of time, so you’ll be able to plan for them, and if you can't make it live, they will be recorded and shared so you can still experience them. There is also the Online Skills Sharing Community, so even if you can't make the calls you can still ask questions and interact with Woniya and the other students.


Does this course appropriate indigenous culture? 
There is a big and important difference between using the resources in the wild land around us and appropriation. At Buckskin Revolution, we believe that being in right relationship to the land and connecting with it through tending, harvesting and giving back is important and is part of our birthright as humans. That is different from appropriating specific traditions from specific indigenous people, and we are mindful of not doing that. There is no doubt that it can be a slippery slope, and all will have their own opinions about where to draw the line.

We are also committed to social justice and reparations. We offer scholarships to BIPOC (black and indigenous people of color), and transgender and gender non-binary participants. We also donate to groups working toward social and environmental justice like the Standing Rock movement, NAACP and others. We are working to build a grant program to support native artists pursuing their traditional ways. Your donations towards the scholarship fund support both of these things. 


How much time will this take?
Each week there will be 1-2 hours of lessons for you to do on your own time and one 60 minute live zoom call. There will be “next level” lessons available to those who want even more details and information. You will also get more out of the gathering if you put aside an hour or two a week to reflect on and/or practice what you’re learning. 


Where does this information come from?
The information in these classes draw from Woniya’s experience of over 20 years studying traditional skills and making them a way of life. She has applied these skills in wilderness living situations, including 2 ½ months living off the land near the arctic circle on Alone Season 6, as well as in homestead and other settings. She has spent decades living off grid in a variety of places and climates, growing, gathering and preserving a lot of her food and making her tools and material goods herself. 

She also has a formal education in biology including a Masters degree in Environmental Science, with a focus in Botany and Entomology. 

She combines her background in science and her hands on living skills for a well rounded, thorough, and engaging teaching style.


How do you determine the cost of this gathering?
Putting together such an event is a huge effort and a labor of love. We have priced the course well below the suggested value for courses of this kind because it is important to us to make it more accessible for more kinds of people. After the first Buckskin Revolution gathering, the student’s feedback was that it was more information than they had expected, and cost less than they would expect to pay for such an experience. If the cost feels prohibitive to you, please read about our scholarship programs.


Do you offer scholarships?
Yes! We have 2 different scholarship programs. One is designed to help those with financial need be able to attend. The other is designed to increase diversity in a field in which people of color and people outside of the binary gender spectrum have typically been under represented. Buckskin Revolution is funding a minimum of 20 such scholarships, and is collecting donations toward more scholarships to increase how many we can offer. 

We hope to not have to turn anyone away because of financial hardship and to have a student body truly representing the diversity of people in our culture.

You can apply for either category of scholarship using the same application. Scroll up for the link!


What happens on the live calls?
The live calls are one of the most potent parts of the gathering for those who participate. They are not only a way to connect with and get to know the other students and Woniya, but they offer an opportunity to dive deeper into the subject matter, get your questions answered and hear the questions of the other students.

Everyone is encouraged to attend whether or not they are up to date on the classes of the week. It isn’t unusual for people to work through the course on their own timeline, and still to participate in and get a lot out of the weekly calls. They are a great way to learn more, be inspired, and be supported in your learning.

They are not required and most students don’t make the calls every week, or even at all, but those who do are those who get the most out of the experience and integrate most thoroughly into their lives. 


How much interaction will I have with Woniya?
The live Zoom calls will all be hosted by Woniya, and she will be regularly checking and providing feedback in the online community as well. The online community and calls provide an avenue for questions and feedback where multiple students can benefit from them. Since we typically get a high volume of messages and questions, this is the best way to ensure everyone is heard and the group can also benefit from their question. It also provides a way for students to communicate with and get support from one another. This is one of the intentions of and strengths of this being a learning community, not just a teacher and student learning experience!

Is this course appropriate for kids?
Yes! While the gathering was not specifically designed for kids, the subject material is appropriate for children and we not only encourage their participation, but see it as very important. 

Imagine how different your own life might be if you had been given a foundation in these skills as a young person and had had the sense of empowerment, capability and connection that comes with them early on!  

We have had children as young as 10 and as old as 16 participate in the gathering, and they have been some of our most enthusiastic participants, to the delight of their parents. The classes are also set up in a way that can dovetail beautifully with homeschool and distance learning curriculums. We already have some parents planning to incorporate the gathering into their children's schooling, so if you choose to do so, you’ll be in good company!


I see this isn’t the first time you’ve offered a gathering. Are they all the same?  
This is the second Buckskin Revolution Online Gathering. The first was meant as a one time event to offer skills in the only way we could during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. It had such a positive effect on so many lives and began such a vibrant skills community, we decided we needed to continue offering them and supporting the students in an ongoing way. This will be the first gathering offered in this new style and format. The improvement will be significant, as we learned a lot about how to make it even better with the first version.

The gatherings are different, though they offer classes related to similar themes, such as ancestral skills and bushcraft, wild foods, hide tanning and leather work, tending to our own health, etc. The classes from the different gatherings work well independently, but also build on each other, so having participated in one will allow you to get more out of future gatherings and take the learning further. Some of the classes from past gatherings will be available in the “next level classes” in the different themes, so students will have some opportunity to sample from classes from past gatherings as well to take the experience deeper. 


Deer hides? Dogbane? Spinning wheels
? What if I don’t have access to these materials?  Or don’t even know what they are? Will I still be able to participate and learn?
Absolutely! There is a wide range of classes offered. Many have no materials involved, many have a few simple ones, and some involve materials that can be a little tricky to find. 

Regardless, you don’t need anything at all to participate in the gathering, you will learn a ton just by watching the classes. If you want to take your learning to the next level and follow along with them in a hands-on way, that is great too! Students will receive a materials list after they register, as well as some suggestions on how to go about finding the more obscure materials.

In the past gatherings, some students have participated hands-on in only a few classes, and most have participated just through watching the videos. All have reported learning a tremendous amount regardless.


More questions?
Feel free to email us at team@buckskinrevolution.com if you have further questions. Keep in mind that we get a lot of email these days so it might take some time to get your reply!


“I love your 'coyote mentoring,' how your eyes catch a lizard climbing a tree, a bird, a song, and you let these interrupt the linear movement of your narrative in the videos. When I was walking in the woods yesterday with my grandson I noticed how much he did that (he's 6). It's a kind of delightful meandering and attitude of wonderment. Thank you for modeling how adults can meander and be in wonder too!” 
Sarah Pike