Over the last year, our own Contributing Writer Tia Shah, has been writing an amazing column about trailblazing girls throughout history. This new Incredible Girls column is in that vein, only this column is about contemporary girls under the age of 25 who are doing awe-inspiring and significant things in the world. Every Friday in 2019, we are going to post a column detailing the life of an Incredible Girl and why you should know about her. Read on for a glimpse into the life of indigenous water warrior, Autumn Peltier.
15-year-old Autumn Peltier has been an advocate for safe and clean drinking water since age eight. She was inspired by her great-aunt, the late Josephine Mandamin, who was an Anishinawbe elder and water activist. She is an influential and passionate speaker and activist, and has received international acclaim for her water advocacy.
She skyrocketed to fame when she presented Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a copper water pot, and confronted him about his support for pipelines and the need for water protection. Earlier this year, Autumn was named the chief water commissioner by the Anishinabek Nation, a post previously held by her great-aunt Josephine. In the role, she will advocate for water protection of the Great Lakes.
Autumn has also been nominated for several awards, including an International Children’s Peace Prize, and has spoken at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in 2018 and 2019.
“Many people don’t think water is alive or has a spirit,” she said, in a speech at the United Nations. “My people believe this to be true….We believe that water is sacred because we are born of water and live in water for nine months…My heart is not for sale and neither is our water or our lands.”
Read more about Autumn in this Anishinabek News article here.
Girl Museum Inc.