As people attend the Climate Strike in Montreal with Greta Thunberg in presence, a Canadian is raising awareness about First Nations and environmental issues too.
Autumn Peltier, the Anishinabek Nation chief water commissioner, has spent nearly half her life fighting against injustices.
She is 14.
“There are people living in third-world conditions in our first-world country,” she says. “It’s insane. Canada is wealthy. There shouldn’t be places that can’t drink their water.”
According to the Globe and Mail, Autumn travelled to New York this week to speak at the Indigenous march within Friday’s climate strike.
She will deliver a speech at the UN on Saturday, her second at the podium.
“I’m here to tell people about the importance of water, and to educate people on a cultural and spiritual level,” Autumn said. “They need to know that we need to act now.”
“I do get a different perspective than some of the other activists, since most of my work comes from traditional [Indigenous] cultural knowledge,” she added. “But the others give me courage. Some of those kids are really strong, and they have strong messages as well. It makes me feel like we will be able to get something done.”
Autumn is in high school and says her friends and family are very supportive of her. “My friends are very supportive of what I do,” she said. “They think it’s really cool.”