i3 Innovator Kim Wheatley and Amber Sandy

Reclaiming Ancestral Traditional Harvesting Knowledge

Indigenous Innovator Announcement | Meet KIM WHEATLEY and Amber Sandy

Kim is an Anishinaabe Cultural Consultant and is Turtle Clan from Shawanaga First Nations Reserve who carries the spirit name Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen (Head or Leader of the Fireflower). She is of Ojibway/Pottowatomi lineage and is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Mother and Grandmother. Amber Sandy is a member of Neyaashiinigmiing, the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation and an Anishinaabe band member of Cape Croker. 

Kim Wheatley weaves historical and contemporary truths through song, storytelling and traditional teachings. She is a multi-award winning presenter with 3 decades of experience who has travelled locally, nationally and internationally sharing traditional knowledge practices to a diverse array of groups, organizations and educational institutions through television, news articles, radio programs and her books. 

Amber Sandy brings over a decade of immersive experience in project management, design and delivery focused on Ancestral Knowledge of Anishinaabe people delivered both on and off reserve with a wide range of organizations, institutions and special interest groups. Amber carries a deep commitment to land and water preservation, knowledge and connections leading numerous groups, organizations and institutional leadership workshop explorations utilizing diverse traditional teaching methodologies. 

i3 Innovator Template image - Kim and Amber

Reclaiming Ancestral Traditional Harvesting Knowledge 

This physical immersive program and practice focuses on reclaiming ancestral harvesting practices for Indigenous women’s/2SLGBTQQIA+ roles that support food sovereignty, reconnection to lands & waters and restoration of seasonal harvesting practices specific to Indigenous Ways of Knowing. It addresses the colonially diminished roles within Indigenous communities with the potential improvements in food sovereignty and sustainability, traditional relationships to the lands and waters reclamation and teachings, knowledge resurrection, and ceremonial guidance. This intergenerational knowledge sharing will contribute to economic independence for participants through their developed and highly marketable experiential skills.


“This project is looking to ancestral ways of knowing and being, and to the wisdom of local Elders and Knowledge Keepers to identify seasonal harvesting practices that support the current context of Indigenous communities. This is a shining example of reclamation and Indigenous innovation in action.”

- Sara Wolfe, Director, Indigenous Innovation Initiative


A multi-generational and matrilineal focus is innovative in these modern times as there is a distinct gap of inclusion with both water and land harvesting practices taught or led either on or off First Nation reserves by Indigenous women/2SLGBTTQQIA+. Our educational institutions will benefit with an authentic voice grounded in Indigenous knowing and re-imagined educational resources in the areas of outdoor education/science/health/history/social studies.


In addressing the Government recognized harvesting rights of Indigenous Peoples this innovation supports Traditional harvesting practices within Treaty Territories as enshrined in the Canadian Constitution of Aboriginal Rights. This project integrates Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being by grounding the project in Traditional practices, ceremonies and guidance by an experienced team of Indigenous Advisors in the fields of traditional knowledge, traditional environmental knowledge and western science modalities that are Indigenous knowledge - community focused.