Staff & Partners

Ilarion “Larry” Merculieff bio photo GCILL
Ilarion “Larry” Merculieff has almost four decades of experience serving his people, the Aleuts of the Pribilof Islands and other indigenous peoples in a number of capacities, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. For his entire career, Larry has been a passionate advocate for indigenous rights/wisdom, and harmonious relationship with the Earth Mother. As an Aleut traditional messenger, Larry’s purpose is to share indigenous elder wisdom and the messages of indigenous spiritual leaders with the world. In these prophetic times, where human beings are pushing the Earth Mother’s life support systems to the brink, it is imperative to do whatever is possible to elevate human consciousness. We must heal the separation from self, others and Mother Earth. Learn more about Ilarion Merculieff
Sharon Shay Sloan is a council trainer, project manager and rites of passage guide. She is a bridgeperson dedicated to Earth and community stewardship and often works at the intersection of indigenous and Western lifeways worldviews. Her profound love of the wild and wilderness has been very influential on her and an essential driving force for her activist and personal work, bringing her to work internationally in project management, including with Bioneers, the United Nations in Canada and in Mexico with the World Wilderness Congress and Native Oceans. Currently, she is the project manager for the Native Wild Lands & Seas Program for The WILD Foundation, a council trainer affiliated with Center for Council Practice of The Ojai Foundation, a wilderness rites of passage guide with Wilderness Reflections and a part-time steward in the Owens Valley. Ilarion and Shay work cooperatively on projects, including with Bioneers, The WILD Foundation, GCILL and in other places when asked.

kate bunneyKate Bunney began working in charitable and social organizations in 1989. Her career has included being a service provider and training coordinator on domestic violence issues, a consultant for local authorities in services for adults with learning difficulties, including developing music programs in schools, and a policy and organizational consultant to NGOs. Originally from the UK, Kate moved her operations to Tamera peace research center in Portugal in 2000. For twelve years, she co-managed the Global Outreach office, working with community projects and NGO’s from all over the world. She had a special emphasis on producing educational programs and events in conflict areas, including fundraising and organizing pilgrimages in Israel/Palestine, Colombia and Europe. Kate has been a great help in establishing GCILL.
Sumner MacLeish
Sumner MacLeish is a writer and editor who has worked on Alaska Native issues and marine ecosystem concerns for over 30 years. She is the author of Seven Words for Wind: Essays and Field Notes from Alaska’s Pribilof Islands and The Bering Sea Ecosystem: A Marine Call to Action (Russian language edition available). Clients have included The World Wildlife Fund, The Ocean Conservancy, Russian Conservation News and the Russian Academy of Sciences. MacLeish has produced documentaries for National Public Radio and been a commentator for the Alaska Public Radio Network.
Fiscal Sponsor
The WILD Foundation, Conservation Communications Partner
WILD10, the 10th World Wilderness Congress, will take place in Salamanca, Spain, October 4 – 10, 2013. Join the global community dedicated to preserving and protecting our world’s wild lands and seas, and the people and lifeways connected to them.

The WILD Foundation began in South Africa during the apartheid era, through decades of personal friendship and shared conservation work between acclaimed international conservationist Ian Player and his Zulu mentor and brother, Qumbu Magqubu Ntombela. Their work not only saved the white rhino from extinction, it also pioneered multi-racial environmental experience programs in South Africa. From this experience, WILD was established formally in 1974 in the United States.
Building on those decades of experience in Africa, WILD built a reputation and track record as a progressive leader in wilderness conservation worldwide, using its signature style of collaboration and cooperation in a wide network of contemporary and traditional partners and collaborators to achieve results for wilderness and people.
WILD’s vision is Nature Needs Half™, a call to protect and interconnect at least half of the planet – land and water – because wild and natural areas provide essential social, cultural, spiritual, biological and economic benefits. We work collaboratively to achieve this goal across borders, in many languages, and at various scales – from the grassroots to global – through partnerships with indigenous leaders, local communities, grassroots organizations, government leaders, businessmen and entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and conservation advocates.
One of WILD’s core foci is to integrate traditional people’s approach to respecting and protecting wild lands and seas into contemporary human society. This year, WILD was honored by the U.S. Forest Service with the Bob Marshall Award for Group Champion of Wilderness Stewardship. One of the Forest Service’s highest honors, the Bob Marshall Award is presented to organizations and individuals who show exemplary leadership and outstanding accomplishments in wilderness stewardship. Our goal is to inspire and inform the kind of leadership that places wilderness areas and wildlife under permanent protection for future generations.
Our main activities include:

  • Managing the collaborative, results-oriented, World Wilderness Congress (WWC) process, integrating politics, science, management, government, academia, the arts, indigenous leaders, youth, corporate leaders and advocates into a multi-year, public conservation program with unique and practical accomplishments achieved through each two-to-three year process and convention;
  • Working with local partners, including our Zulu Village Project (with very rural Zulus) and the Mali Elephant Project (with Tuaregs and Peuhls);
  • Developing policy mechanisms and peer-to-peer networks that integrate traditional knowledge and wilderness management by indigenous groups on tribal lands (NLWC);
  • Enhancing private sector wildlands management on corporate lands through the Corporate Commitment to Wilderness;
    • Implementing cultural approaches, through the arts and humanities, to conservation solutions;
    • Conducting public and professional outreach, training and education
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