About BWI

Quality Outdoor Education Since 1994 “Vera Doctrina Avium”

Boreal Wilderness Institute's History

The Boreal Wilderness Institute (BWI) is a World Class Outdoor Education Institute that since its founding in September of 1994 has Taught Professional Instructor-Led Field Safety Training in Wilderness Survival, Navigation, Wildlife & Bear Awareness. We regularly offered a variety of Courses and Seminars Teaching in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, & Northern Canada.

BWI offers world class Modern Wilderness Survival and Wilderness Navigation Training. We also provide Wildlife Awareness, Wilderness Skill Building Programs, Custom Corporate & Group Training Programs, along with our Wilderness Certification Programme. We will continue to be a Resource in the Field of Outdoor Education through ongoing research, writing, teaching and practice.

We have provided expert instruction to Dozens of Organizations included; Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Research Council, ATCO, AREVA Resources, Aurora College, Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Publics Works, Environment Canada, Golder Associates, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Saskatchewan Environment, SARDAA, TELUS and many other Groups & Corporations.

Bruce Zawalsky CD, Chief Instructor

“Don't Make the Decision to Survive Too Late”
Bruce Zawalsky CD, Chief Instructor of BWI

Bruce Expertise at Teaching Professional Instructor-Led Field Safety Training in Wilderness Survival, Navigation, Wildlife & Bear Awareness Ensures the Best Available Training in Canada. He has over 25 Years’ Experience Working as a Professional Wilderness Survival Instructor. He has a practical Hands-on Philosophy on the Teaching of Modern Wilderness Survival. His Monthly Podcast the Canadian Outdoor Survival's Podcast is available Directly or through iTunes.

Bruce guided his first Backpacking Group in the Mountains in 1981. Since then he has developed his skills in leading groups and team building at the University of Alberta, Augustana University College, PADI College, the Nordic Ski Institute, and through over 35 Years of Military Experience, serving in the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. He is a Lifelong Outdoor Enthusiast, completing a 90 day 3600km Canoe Expedition as the highlight of his Outdoor Education training at the UofA.

“In the World of Survival, you cannot Cheat by Carrying It, Nor is Losing an Excepted Option.”

Canadian Wilderness Survival CoverBruce has studied with Mors Kochanski and developed his teaching skills through years of instruction and practice. This along with his vast experience has allowed him to pass on his great wealth of knowledge of modern wilderness survival, wilderness navigation, and wilderness travel. He the author of Canadian Wilderness Survival (450 Page Full Colour Guide to Modern Wilderness Survival Techniques in Canada, Publication Date Fall 2017). He is also BWI's Custom Training Specialist.

“The Critical Difference Between a Cold Wet Group who Sets-up Camp and a Group that Decides to Push-on, is the Former have already Made the Decision to Survive, and the Latter is Heading into a Potentially Critical Survival Situation”

James Hawley, Instructor

"Survival is Simply the Art of Being Prepared to Live Well Everywhere You Plan to Go"
James Hawley, Instructor at BWI

James is an individual who never loses his Smile, even in the Worst Conditions. He has been a Soldier, EMT, Wilderness Firefighter, First Aid Instructor, and a Registered Nurse. He has studied Jungle Survival, Extreme Cold Weather Travel, Emergency Water Purification, and Emergency Preparedness. James always shows great drive and determination along with a truly Professional Outlook on Safe Wilderness Travel."