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Youth Summit

Held in September each year since 2010, the Youth Summit engages young leaders from dozens of communities across the province.

Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2022, High Park Hub, Bird Hike © Ontario Nature

2022 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

From September 24-25, 2022 environmental leaders from across the province gathered in a hybrid version of our Youth Summit. While many attendees participated in the event online, in-person hubs were also held in Peterborough (Nogojiwanong), Walpole Island (Bkejwanong), Thunder Bay and Toronto.

In partnership with the Youth Council, the Youth Circle for Mother Earth partners and Coordinating Circle, this re-imagined gathering brought 36 young leaders and 4 youth mentors together through livestreaming and hubs. These youth represented communities across Ontario from as far as Windsor, Ottawa and Thunder Bay, with youth identifying from Indigenous communities and diverse cultures around the world.

Nogojiwanong Hub with Matt Levac, Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2022 © Maggie Cummings

Sessions

  • Cultural humility
  • Environmental visual art and storytelling
  • Beauty of birding
  • Orchid origami
  • Digital communications and online advocacy
  • Climate action and making your voice heard
  • Two-eyed seeing and Ethical Space
  • Medicine Wheel and 7 Sacred Teachings
  • Clans and responsibilities

Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2022, Orchid-gami © Ontario Nature

Other Highlights From 2022

Youth who joined hubs on Sunday participated in activities such as:

  • Creating a feast bundle and learning the history behind them in Bkejwanong
  • Land-based activities and plant teachings in Nogojiwanong
  • Conservation science through birding in Thunder Bay
  • Birding and creating drama and writing inspired by the environment in Toronto
  • Photo scavenger hunt and land invitation to reflect on connections to Mother Earth for virtual participants

Youth also participated in virtual discussions and youth-led sessions on networking, sustainability, story telling and a photo scavenger hunt.

This year’s keynote was Elder Shirley Williams (Migizi ow Kwe), member of the Bird Clan of the Ojibway and Odawa First Nations. She spoke of language, important elements in Anishinaabemowin: land (ki), air (nesewin), fire (mskkode) and water (nibi) and how youth can learn more and be better allies.

Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2022, High Park Hub, Bird Hike © Ontario Nature

“I gained a symbolic ring representing the four directions/the four stages of life, and I gained experience with the area, the history, and the culture of Indigenous Peoples. I also really loved the orchid-gami making. It was fun to fold, helped me practice my origami skills and patience, and the end result is super fun to look at. I also loved connecting with [event partners], and all the other wonderful people who helped me learn over the summit.”
2022 Youth Summit participant residing on the territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Attawanderonk peoples in what is currently known as Eden


“I really enjoyed the summit and am so grateful to have participated. I learned so much about Indigenous teachings and connections to the land and Mother Earth. I am excited to bring all the knowledge and resources from the summit to my school community and green team. It will allow us to work on new projects and give me an opportunity of being a leader in my green team.”
2022 Youth Summit participant residing on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation, signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850, in what is currently known as Thunder Bay

Wolf Lake © Ryan Mariotti

Thank you to our Nature Network members and other organizations .

Their support made the 2022 summit successful.

  • Bancroft Field Naturalists 
  • Bert Miller Nature Club
  • Carden Field Naturalists
  • Charleston Lake Association
  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Durham Region Field Naturalists
  • Eden Mills Eramosa River Conservation
  • Friends of Mashkinonje
  • Friends of Minesing Wetlands
  • Friends of Ojibway Prairie
  • Four Seasons Conservancy
  • Friends of Salmon River
  • Halton-North Peel Naturalists
  • Huron Fringe Field Naturalists
  • Ingersoll District Nature Club
  • Kawartha Field Naturalists
  • Leeds and Grenville Stewardship Council
  • Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • Nature Barrie
  • Nature London
  • Nith Valley EcoBoosters
  • North American Native Plant Society
  • North Durham Nature Club
  • Otter Valley Naturalists
  • Peterborough Field Naturalists
  • Quinte Field Naturalists
  • South Peel Naturalists Club
  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists
  • Thickson’s Woods Land Trust
  • Vankleek Hill and District Nature Society
  • Waterloo Region Nature
  • Willow Beach Field Naturalists
  • York Simcoe Nature Club

This project has been made possible by:

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) logo
Ontario Trillium Foundation logo
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada logo

Ontario Nature members


2022 Youth Summit for Mother Earth


Miigwetch – miigwech – nya:wen – hiy hiy – yaw^ko nakurmiik – merci – thank you!*

*The above translations may differ from other Ojibwe, Kanien’kéha, Cree, Oneida and Inuktitut dialects, and reflect the languages shared with and spoken by members in the Youth Circle for Mother Earth’s Coordinating Circle and project partners.


Over the past 12 Youth Summits, we have engaged 231 communities across Ontario.