As a pre-teen he was a trouble magnet - and the above predictions were made about him. But then, partially because of his interest in traditional culture and living skills, and partially because the Creator never gave up on him - his interests began to shift to spiritual understanding and growth. With no understanding of what he was doing he began to speak to the Creator/God.
Soon a small band of friends invited him to meet outdoors (weekly) to sit around a campfire and have long discussions about spiritual topics and their hopes for the future.
This same tribe of teenage adventure sports freaks (windsurfing, bmx, rock climbing etc.) - began using sports to meet and help their peers deal with personal problems.
Transforming from a deeply hurting teenager to a "wounded healer", Dave became passionate about helping teenagers in need. He began to ride his bike to neighboring communities (up to 100km/day) in the hopes of reaching out to and helping other marginalized teenagers. Often sleeping on the side of the road and eating wild plants.
(South Saami-Anishinaabe-Swedish and Scots-Irish)
MY ETHNICITY INFO FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO KNOW:
For those who need to know, my family's heritage is South Saami-Swedish (mother), and Swedish-Scots-Irish (father). And we are adopted by the Waswa family of Eabametoong First Nation (Anishinaabek).
I am told my mother's family migrated to Canada from Aarjel-Saepmie. Because of persecution and forced re-locations we last lived near Harjedalan, Sweden. From this location we moved to Canada to become professional forest homesteaders or farmers.
My father's side is Swedish-Scots-Irish and were border reivers (border raiders) turned farmers when we moved to County Down, Ireland. After migrating to Canada we became mountain homesteaders in the area of Sherbrooke, Quebec in Canada. My parents met in a town near Hamilton, Ontario were I was born.
I'd like to include a statement about my traditional Gaeptie/Regalia. Anyone with knowledge/training who looks at my traditional clothes in some of these pictures, and at ceremonies I attend, will notice that some things seem "a little off". I want to honour all my traditional cultures - so for that reason I tend to wear a combination of these cultural treasures (which have been either made myself or were passed on from family members) ... so please don't be haters what you see is intentional. I'm always willing to answer any questions.
Now in his early 50's Dave has taken his three favorite things 1) Spirituality, 2) Nature, and 3) Art and his passion - making a difference in peoples' lives - to give back thru offering eldership sessions on their homestead. So its not surprising that Dave spends his freetime time hangin with his family, making traditional folk art, practicing bushcraft and homesteading skills, and developing their forest homestead.
Dave is NOT claiming to be an elder for the people of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
What follows is a tiny snapshot of his journey:
Dave's childhood was an endless barrage of abuse and instability. So, this barefooted wild child spent as much time as possible retreating into nature. To this day he is quick to thank the Creator/God (and the natural world) for his protection, survival, and well-being.
Born into a desperate situation, and labelled "psychotic"as a pre-teen, it was predicted Dave would end up homeless, addicted to drugs, in jail, or dead before he was twenty. HOWEVER, those predictions were never fulfilled.
Rather than meet that fate he was rescued and EMPOWERED to make a difference in the lives of others; for over 30 years he has gone on to coach people in need and emerging leaders.
His story is inspirational, motivating, and empowering.
In his 20's Dave directed a wilderness adventure camp located on 50 square kilometers of wilderness. Their campers were multi-cultural (and at-risk) inner-city youth. During this time he discovered how to use experiential education and story-telling as powerful cross-cultural teaching tools. He also began to seek out and learn from some of the world's best traditional elders and life coaches; beginning his journey into eldership.
Dave's 30's and 40's were spent serving in some of North America's most violent, poor, and suicidal communities, helping people with mental illnesses and addictions. As well as learning how to identify, empower, and guide young emerging elders. Starting a family, and being diagnosed (and getting help) with his Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At the same time he, and his family, began to develop their own traditional homestead, and worked at mastering many self-reliance skills. But when their off-grid homestead was robbed (of all of their equipment) they moved to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and started all over again).
While Dave is widely known publicly for his volunteer work with different Indigenous organizations and communities...but he is equally known for his work with marginalized, fringe, and counterculture individuals/groups...
Is this you? Need help? ...CONTACT US
There is no greater freedom and joy than knowing
you areLIVING AUTHENTICALLY.