Autumn Peltier, Bernadette Shawanda and Francesca Pheasant.

Autumn Peltier, Bernadette Shawanda and Francesca Pheasant.

WIIKWEMKOONG UNCEDED TERRITORY — Youth from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory will be travelling to Sweden Nov. 25- 28 to participate in GlobeDays, a Children’s Climate Conference.

Two youth – Francesca Pheasant and Autumn Peltier will be travelling with chaperone Bernadette Shawanda to join other children around the world who are affected by the climate crisis in their home countries.  The purpose of the conference is to work together to agree on “the children’s demands”, a communique handed to the world’s leaders at the climate summit COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference which will be held on December 3.

Shawanda says that 64 children representing 22 countries, ages 9-12 will be hosted by the Grade 4 Blombacka School.

Pheasant explains how she is affected by the climate.

“A town called Espanola not too far away from my town, maybe an hour away, a paper mill runs there,” says Pheasant. “Once you get close there, you can smell the pollution in the air. Two hours from my home in Sudbury is a bunch of mines. One of their locations has a giant smoke stack and sometimes you can smell the sulphur when you drive by. The smell is really bad. So there is a lot of air pollution in our area.”

Below are the speeches that they each will be sharing at the conference:

Autumn Peltier’s Speech

Aanii, Bozhoo,

Mskwaageezo-kwe Ndishnikaas, Migizi Ndodem, Wikwemikong Ishkoonigong Ndoonjibaa. My English name is Autumn Peltier, I come from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve located on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada.

I would like to take share my thoughts about the importance of water. Our water is very important because it brings new life. We see this when babies are born when the water breaks. The reason I’m talking about the water is because our water is getting sick. The people/factories of the world are making the water sick. If we as Anishinaabe/fellow humans don’t do anything now, the sick water will make mother earth sick. Imagine a world without water? Our animals would die, our insects would die, our medicines would die, all life as we know it would die. This makes me very sad. Some countries have very little water. In my own territory there are First Nation families that can’t drink the water. I have an auntie Joesphine Mandamin “Biidasige-kwe”, she prays for the water everyday, she understands the importance of water. The woman of the world must continue to support her, we need to heal the earth, now is the time for the future of humanity following behind us.

I would like to offer up a water song to pray for our water and our woman of the earth. (Sings water song 4x through)

Miigwech (Thank you)

Autumn Peltier, Ojibwe/Odawa

Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve

Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

Francesca Pheasant Speech

Aanii, Francesca Pheasant ndizhnikaas. Wiikwemkoong doonjibaa. I promise my future children we will work to make this planet green and keep it that way. Some of our world leaders are worried about war. We need to worry about climate change, because it is happening now and it’s happening fast. We have to stop it before it gets so bad that we can’t do anything about it.

I saw this video where it showed how we buy many things we don’t need, and soon enough, we don’t like and we throw it away, wasting it. We’re consuming and wasting so much, it’s destroying our planet. We have to stop letting commericials on products convince us that we need things that we don’t. So let’s work to make a change, we were only given one earth, so let’s make it last.

Bernadette Shawanda

Naanowe Kamik Gokwe (One that comes from the centre of the earth)

Bernadette is an Odawa-Ojibway from Wiiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She attended Nipissing University specializing in working with special needs children and their families. She is the Director of Training & Certification for Great Lakes Cultural Camps. Bernadette is a multi-talented artist including her passion for cooking traditional anishinaabe meals and beading. Inspired by her travels to the north, she helps to share traditional cooking methods, knowledge and cultural dishes. She also is a canoe guide and whitewater kayak instructor for GLCC.

When she is not in the backcountry you can find her on the pow wow trail. Bernadette is a “Old Time” Women’s Scrub dancer. You also will find her in the dance arbor competing in Women’s Northern Traditional dancer category.