Northern Ontario First Nation teen to speak on clean water issues
Autumn Peltier at traditional pow wow. (Instagram / Autumn Peltier)
CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca staff, with files from Mariam Matti in Toronto
GREATER SUDBURY -- A teenager from the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island continues her efforts to bring clean water to Indigenous communities across the country.
Autumn Peltier, 15, who spoke at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, is in New York City this week to speak about the importance of clean water at the UN Global Landscape Forum, where she is joining world leaders and other young activists.
The northern teen was also recently nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by the David Suzuki Foundation.
Peltier first learned about the issue of a lack of clean drinking water on a First Nations community when she was just eight-years-old.
The Liberal government has promised to end all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves by March 2021. According to Indigenous Services Canada, as of September, 56 long-term drinking water advisories remain. Since 2015, 87 long-term advisories have been lifted.
Peltier “strongly encourages” other young people to speak up about climate issues.
“Anyone can do this work because I was just a little kid making speeches,” she advised. “Our message is stronger when it’s more than one person.”