Our Commitment to Equity

Please read our statements #InDefenseOfBlackLives (2020) and One Year Later (2021).

Who We Are

Two Coyotes Wilderness School is a non-profit nature mentoring organization that connects people to nature, community, and self. We design interdisciplinary programs that provide a dynamic environment for students to face challenges, engage their natural curiosity, and cultivate an intrinsic love for learning that they bring back into the classroom and the rest of their lives.

We believe that nature connection is our birthright, and that catching frogs, muddy knees, and exploring wild places are essential to growing up strong and healthy. We believe that long-term nature mentoring can help children to thrive and navigate the many stages of their lives. Our mentors help children understand who they are, what their gifts are, and how to bring them to the world. We believe that this work is essential to creating a healthier, more connected future.

Why We Do This Work

Two Coyotes Wilderness School was founded in 2000 to help young people foster a connection to nature and their environment. Our work is a response to a history that began, on this continent, with the forcible removal of indigenous people from their land, continued as nature and wilderness environments became white spaces in America, and persists today as many urban residents lack easy access to safe outdoor spaces in their community. In addition, today’s youth, regardless of their racial background, socio-economic status, or zip code spend more time indoors and in front of screens than any other generation, whether at home or in school.

Given this history, we believe that nature connection is fundamentally an issue of social justice. Two Coyotes is embarking on a process of raising our awareness, engaging in deep listening and connection, and inviting transformation to our programs and organization in solidarity with the larger movement to undo, repair, and heal centuries of historic harm. We are committed to offering programs that are welcoming, inclusive, and reflective of all children and families in Connecticut, and to creating an environment that is safe and free of harm for all people, regardless of their color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, heritage, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. 

In order to achieve this vision, Two Coyotes is exploring issues related to advancing equity, inclusion, and decolonization within our organization and our programs. We are examining our work in the context of Connecticut, as members of the national Nature Connection Leadership Network, and as participants in the global movement to foster deep nature connection.

Under the guidance of our Equity Committee, formed in March 2019, we are furthering this commitment by:

1. Establishing and renewing reciprocal relationships with communities that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC);

2. Ensuring all children are safe, welcomed, and reflected in our programs, regardless of their identity, origin, abilities, or personal history; and

3. Providing an equitable work experience for all staff and care for staff as whole humans, as we do for the youth in our programs.

We are on a learning journey in our effort to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across our programs and the organization as a whole. We will do our best to address challenges that arise along the way, and we know that we will not get it right every time. We welcome accountability in this process and invite you to join us in this essential work. Please contact our Executive Director, Maggie Gotterer, at Maggie@TwoCoyotes.org with your feedback, questions, or concerns at any time.

March 2020