Aniela (AAN YELL AH) Gottwald
I started riding horses before I could walk and grew up inspired by a connection with the wilderness. My parents shared a deep reverence for traditional culture and love of the wild. As a young woman I travelled all around the remote corners of the natural world, volunteering and exploring. From serving in small Kenyan villages, backpacking in the Australian Kimberleys, to studying shamanism in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal and the Amazon jungle of Peru so began my love affair with adventure. Through my deep connection to the natural world, native culture, and animals grew my dedication to preserving the wild.
I came across Wade Davis’s TED talk on The Sacred Headwaters 6 years ago. I was in complete awe of the remarkable beauty and wildness of The Sacred Headwaters, but most of all deeply moved by the Klabona Keeper’s sacrifice to protect a wise way of being in the world. I remember hearing an invitation through their message to join them, for beyond the Sacred Headwaters being the birth right to all future generations that it was indeed meant to be shared and protected for all citizens of the world.
Around the same time I lost my father to cancer. It was a hard time and caused me to reevaluate my values and purpose. It stemmed a pilgrimage into the wilderness with my dog Luna. There I found a deep sense of peace and stillness. And it was in that stillness that I heard the whispered messages of the wild and felt my purpose solidified. It was the story of these elders, the Klabona Keeper’s that inspired me move to action, follow my heart and make sacrifices for what I too believe in.
Over the last two years I have driven over 50,000 miles to serve the fulfillment of this dream. I have trained abroad in intensive filmmaking and horse packing courses. I have connected and developed my relationships with the Klabona Keeper’s, Tahltan and Gitxsan Chiefs. I have seen thousands of wild horses, selected my team and trained them. I have been tested and have learned from lessons that have challenged me most. And I have not given up and have slowly begun to see the results of my perseverance. It has all been worth it, because this journey is to be shared and inspire a part of everyone to remember where we’ve come from and who we are, and to ultimately protect our life on the planet.
Nodin the Wolf
Nodin (No-din), is an Ojibwe name which means “the wind”. He is a 8 month mid content wolf hybrid. He is a White German Shepherd/Timber Wolf mix. I have had incredible White German Shepherd trail dogs, and was inspired to get a hybrid because of the scale of this expedition. Wolves are born to cover great distances. When I first met Nodin, I walked into the farm house of where his previous owners lived. I saw a light blonde creature run directly towards me, hopping into my lap as if he had always known me. It was such a beautiful meeting. Nodin has a deep spirit. He is a very sensitive and loving dog. He is also very mischievous, and a total goof ball... Nodin will be coming along for comical effect. I am looking forward to see how the relationships between Nodin and my horses evolve. I've noticed that when I'm out with an interspecies team they have different gifts and communicate with one another. I am excited to learn from these relationships.