“We all have a right to this water as we need it. Not just rich people, all people. No one should have to worry if the water is clean or if they will run out of water.” – Autumn Peltier, from an address the young Indigenous girl from Canada delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 on World Water Day
A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted April 24th, 2019, during a week of Earth Day events and observances, on Niagara At Large
As communities around the world continue celebrating Earth Day through this week, I want to offer yet another example of a young person talking to adults about action they know, or at least should know they should be taking for the sake of everyone’s future.
The last young person we featured on Niagara At Large in a post this April 23rd – the day after the official anniversary date of Earth Day – was Greta Thunberg, who delivered passionate addresses to representatives of the European Union earlier this April, and to a United Nations summit last December to act now to prevent a climate catastrophe that might spare no one.
This time, we want to put up a video of an address delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last year, this past March, by a now 14-year-old Indigenous girl and environmental advocate Autumn Peltier from the Wikwemikong First Nation in northern Ontario.
Speaking to the UN assembly on Word Water Day, this articulate young person made far more sense than many adults in and out of politics do these days when it comes to explaining why doing far more than what we are doing now to protect the world’s watersheds, including its rivers, lakes and oceans, is a matter of survival for humans and for other living beings on this planet.
During her address, Autumn talks about the inspiration and wisdom she received when she was as young as eight years old from her great aunt, Josephine Mandamin, who became a well-known member of the Mother Earth Water Walkers who walked the shorelines of all of the Great Lakes to draw attention to the need to keep our fresh water resources healthy and clean.
To watch and hear Autumn Peltier’s address to the UN Assembly on World Water Day, 2018, click on the screen below –
Visit Autumn Peltier’s Facebook page by clicking on – https://www.facebook.com/Waterwarrior1/ .
For a CBC story on this extraordinary young water activist, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/autumn-peltier-un-water-activist-united-nations-1.4584871 .
To read the news commentary Niagara At Large posted this April 23rd on Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg making a plea earlier this April to adults at a European Union conference take strong, uncompromising measures to combat climate change before it is too late, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2019/04/23/on-climate-change-kids-make-more-sense-than-the-adults/ .
Finally, when are the governments of Canada and Ontario finally going to clean up the life-threatening mercury contamination in rivers near the lands of the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong Independent Reserves?
The length of time it is taking to carry out a complete cleanup is scandalous, and it is inexcusable for a federal government of Justin Trudeau that came to power almost four years ago, promising to undo injustices like this for Indigenous people.
Click on the following link for some information u on this long-standing contamination disaster – https://www.ontario.ca/page/mercury-contamination-english-and-wabigoon-rivers-near-grassy-narrows-wabaseemoong-independent-nations .
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders