Ben Wride is most at home travelling without a plan through the expansive boreal forests of Turtle Island. He grew up off-grid near Flin Flon, Manitoba and is a member of Kinosao Sipi (Norway House) Cree Nation in Treaty 5. Coming from a family of skilled and creative artists, healers, hunters, travelers and communicators has provided necessary lenses and inspiration to make sense of the confusion that comes with living at the intersections of culture in modern Canada.
By accessing opportunities of travel not available to recent generations of his family, Ben has begun making cross cultural connections with distant cousins and newcomers throughout Turtle Island and beyond to Peru and Ecuador.
Private stories of trauma, displacement and uncertainty carried in his family have shown Ben the resiliency of people and culture and is deeply moved by the efforts of others to maintain and protect the pieces of understanding that are important for the unanswered questions he has about life, the natural world, time, the universe, how it all fits together, and where his place in it is.
Growing up familiar with the tastes and preparation of wild food and medicines like wísahkécáhk omihkí (chaga), before their popularization has been an important insight into the ever-changing fascination, dismissal, and celebration of Indigenous cultures and knowledge around the world. His interest in plants and traditional medicine took a strong hold after finding relief from serious effects of concussion, and carbon monoxide poisoning with lion’s mane mushroom and psilocybin, and drew Ben to attend the 2019 Spirit Plant Medicine Conference. Ben’s vision is focused on finding ways to reopen historic pathways for the movement of people to share medicines and insights in good ways, which he believes is crucial to creating and maintaining the collective understanding necessary for mino pimatisiwin, to live a good life.