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




Contact Us

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 thirty 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.

Dwayne Collins: BEd. Dwayne has worked extensively on the development of emergency response training and safety assessments for wilderness based programs. He has provided instruction to hundreds of individuals and has developed a teaching methodology and curriculum effective for all styles of learners. Dwayne has worked as a paramedic for the BC Ambulance Service for over 15 years and is a paramedic trainer/instructor. He is a past member of the Lions Bay Search and Rescue Team, has spent 12 years as a professional lifeguard, and is the owner/instructor of Fundamental First Aid.

Rowan Gloag closeupBeth-Anne Masselink: Beth-Anne has been a sea kayak guide and sea kayak instructor since 1997. She has guided in Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and Canada. Beth-Anne combines her knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, and positive energy to provide a great learning environment for her students.

Beth-Anne is both a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor and a SKGABC Level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer.


Estella Charlson closeupEstella Charleson: (B.A, J.D). A member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Estella holds a law degree, has served as an elected councillor for Hesquiaht, and has international experience in outdoor Indigenous education. She has presented at several national law conferences and is an ardent advocate for Indigenous rights. Estella is also a traditional weaver, ethnobotany enthusiast, avid hiker, canoeist, and kayaker. She has led various group programs and assisted with Hooksum Outdoor School’s West Coast Leadership Training Program since the early 2000’s.

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): 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.



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


email: info@hooksumschool.com -
Hooksum Outdoor School, Hesquiat Harbour, PO Box 352, Tofino, BC, Canada V0R 2Z0