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Climate Change and youth

Good Day! There are many young strong voices today. Earlier, we shared the powerful work and voice of Anishinaabe Nibi Water Protector, Autumn Peltier. The next generation is shedding the fears of past and asserting their voice, particularly in the name of social justice and climate change. Most have also heard of young climate change

Good Day! There are many young strong voices today. Earlier, we shared the powerful work and voice of Anishinaabe Nibi Water Protector, Autumn Peltier. The next generation is shedding the fears of past and asserting their voice, particularly in the name of social justice and climate change. Most have also heard of young climate change activist, Greta Thunberg. She, too, has actively and fearlessly called out various national leaders regarding policies on climate change. Peltier and Thunberg have met in person at the World Economic Forum.

Additionally, many Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-Keepers have been talking about the changes they’re seeing on the land. Nunavut-based director Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat The Fast Runner) directed a film titled, “Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change” (2010). The film is described as Inuit communities documenting their knowledge and experience regarding climate change. This documentary, the world’s first Inuktitut language film on the topic, takes the viewer “on the land” with elders and hunters to explore the social and ecological impacts of a warming Arctic. This unforgettable film helps us to appreciate Inuit culture and expertise regarding environmental change and indigenous ways of adapting to it (source: imdb.com). Very important work.

Recently, like Autumn, Greta boldly addressed national leaders regarding climate change and the environment:

“My name is Greta Thunberg and I’m not here to make deals. You see, I don’t belong to any financial interest or political party so I can’t bargain or negotiate. I’m only here to once again remind you of the emergency we are in….The climate and ecological crisis can unfortunately no longer be solved within today’s systems. According to the current best available science that’s no longer an opinion that’s a fact…The longer we avoid this uncomfortable truth and the longer we pretend that we can solve the climate and ecological emergency without treating it like an emergency the more precious time we will lose. And this is time we do not have. Today, we hear nations and leaders all over the world speak of an existential climate emergency. And yet instead of taking the immediate action you would in any emergency they set up vague, hypothetical distant targets way in the future. Targets based on loopholes and incomplete numbers….We understand that the world is complex and that change doesn’t happen overnight. But you’ve now had more than three decades of blah, blah, blah. How many more do you need? Because when it comes to facing the climate emergency the world is still in a state of complete denial. The justice for the most affected people in the most affect areas is being systematically denied….Because you still say one thing and then do the complete opposite. You speak of saving nature while locking in policies of further destruction for decades to come….And since the general level of public awareness continues to be so low our leaders can still get away with almost anything. No one is held accountable. It’s like a game. Whoever is best at packaging and selling their message wins. As it is now, we can have as many meetings and summits as we want but unless we treat the climate and ecological emergency like an emergency no sufficient changes will be achieved….But what is hope? For me, hope is not more empty assurances that everything will be alright that things are being taken care of and that we don’t need to worry…For me, hope comes from action not just words. And for me, hope is telling it like it is no matter how difficult or uncomfortable that may be. And again, I’m not telling you what to do. After all, safeguarding future living conditions and preserving life on Earth as we know it is voluntary. The choice is yours to make. But I can assure you this. You cannot negotiate with physics. And your children and grandchildren will hold you accountable for the choices that you make. How’s that for a deal?”

To view her full address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjRDUlkEbu4.

The work and voices of youth like Autumn Peltier and Greta Thunberg should be taught in every classroom. First Nations (Indigenous) youth need to learn about and see the work, fearlessness, humility, resiliency, and power of Peltier. It is a wonderful thing to see the strength of voice in the next generation like Peltier and Thunberg. They are deeply thinking about the world and its systems – challenging them. And that is what education is all about.

Miigwetch. Renew and revitalize.

Image source: Manitoulin Expositer, Warren Schlote, Jan.29/20 (Manitoulin.com)

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