Artemisa Xakriaba is a teenage indigenous climate activist who is fighting to protect the Amazon and indigenous land. She belongs to the Xakriaba tribe in Brazil who have faced the deforestation of their territories by the government and have suffered from the huge fires across the Amazon.
Artemisa started her activism aged seven when she started planting trees with her family. Later she started writing music about the problems Brazil faced. Artemisa was among the thousands of protesters who participated in the first-ever Indigenous Women’s March in Brasilia to protest Bolsonaro’s destructive environmental policies and his attempt to gut protections for indigenous peoples and their lands. After that march, a coalition of tribal youth organizations from across South America and East Asia, chose Artemisa to serve as their representative at the youth climate strike events in Washington and New York. In Washington, she met with members of Congress about the Amazon fires and the urgency of climate change and participated in a youth climate strike during which students from around the world marched on the Capitol. Addressing the crowd at the largest climate change strike in history in 2019 she succinctly said “We are fighting for our lives…The Amazon is on fire” and she asked for help “in the name of all Brazilian youth” and called for protections of igneous people around the world who are fighting to save the planet.
Artemisa is significant because she decided to step up and fight for everyone. She didn’t wait for an adult to do the job for her, she stepped up and was fearless. She had a heavy weight on her shoulders and was representative for millions of people, yet her words did not fail her and she continued to fight.