Wikwemikong’s Autumn Peltier recognized as clean water advocate

Autumn Peltier at the 2016 Winter Meeting of Canada’s Premiers in Vancouver.

Featured in Canadian Living for receiving Youth in Action award

WIKWEMIKONG—Twelve-year-old Autumn Peltier of Wikwemikong is featured in the October edition of Canadian Living Magazine for her passion as a clean drinking water advocate which has earned her the 12 and under Canadian Living ME to WE Youth in Action award.

“I was nominated for the award and found out this spring that I had been chosen,” Autumn told The Expositor. “I was really happy. I will be presented with the award October 19 at the WE Day Toronto 2016.”

As part of the award Autumn will receive $1,000 to donate to a registered Canadian charity of her choice.

“I haven’t decided what charity I want to donate to yet, but I’m excited to be able to help people,” she said.

“Every day Canadians make extraordinary impacts in our world—from spearheading fundraising campaigns to founding their own social justice organizations,” states the metowe.com website. “They are raising awareness of issues they’re passionate about, being a voice for the voiceless and spreading incredible change within their communities and across the globe. In 2005, brothers and ME to WE co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger teamed up with Canadian Living magazine to celebrate these true heroes by creating the first ever Canadian Living ME to WE Awards.

Three finalists were chosen from the nominated youths in the ‘Educator,’ ‘In the Community,’ ‘Social Action,’ ‘Youth in Action 12 and under,’ ‘Youth in Action 13-17’ and ‘Free the Children 13-18’ award categories.

The finalists’ photos and entries were posted online in April and individuals were able to vote for one of the three finalists in each of the six categories over a six-week time.

Although Autumn was notified she has won the Youth in Action 12 and under, all the winners will not be officially announced until WE Day in October.

“‘There are First Nations communities that don’t have clean drinking water’,” states Autumn in the October edition of Canadian Living. “‘Kids, elders and youth—all those people can’t drink the water. Water is everything. It’s the lifeblood of Mother Earth. It brings new life.’ That’s why she’s been speaking publically to everyone—from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the kids at her school—to advocate for healthy water.”

“In the article I talk about how I have been advocating for clean water and how I was inspired by my Aunt Josephine (Mandamin),” she told The Expositor. “I also talk about how my mom has been teaching me about the Seven Grandfather Teachings and the importance of water since I was a toddler.”

“When Autumn’s not giving talks about our lakes and rivers, she’s participating in shoreline and community cleanups, getting rid of garbage that litters the nature around her,” the Canadian Living article of Autumn continues. “The goal is to make the world a better place for kids that come after her.”

Autumn, along with fellow Wikwemikong youth advocate Francesca Pheasant, were chosen to represent Canada last fall at the Children’s Climate Conference in Sweden where they shared their concern about climate change and presented a communiqué on behalf of the 64 youth in attendance to the Swedish Environment Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson.

Earlier this year the two girls attended the 2016 Winter Meeting of Canada’s Premiers in Vancouver, helping Josephine Mandamin during her water ceremony, singing a water song during the ceremony and sharing their concerns about climate change and the future of water with Prime Minister Justine Trudeau at a special dinner following the meeting.