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Youth Summit

Each September, Ontario Nature hosts the Youth Summit for Mother Earth for youth aged 14 to 20 from across Ontario.

Youth Summit for Mother Earth, 2023 © Gillian Johnson

2024 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

For the 2024 Youth Summit, Ontario Nature, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Plenty Canada, and Walpole Island Land Trust will be partnering with our leaders on the Youth Council and Youth Circle for Mother Earth’s Coordinating Circle to offer a unique, cross-cultural event for youth across Ontario.

Young leaders, Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2023 © David Pugh

Weekend Details

When: September 13–15, 2024

Where: Tawingo Outdoor Centre in Muskoka on the traditional territories of the Ojibway, the Chippewa, the Algonquin and the Odawa. Today, Muskoka is home to three sovereign nations: Wahta Mohawks First Nations, Moose Deer Point First Nation and the Moon River Métis. Tawingo Outdoor Centre is located on what is now known as Huntsville.

Who: 90 youth (aged 14–20) from across Ontario

We look forward to delivering a weekend of hands-on, outdoor education and land-based learning opportunities alongside our incredible partners. Ontario Nature’s COVID-19 Precautions for Events provides details on the prevention measures we will take in advance of and during the event. The Youth Summit for Mother Earth will be held in compliance with Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s COVID-19 measures at the time of the event.

Networking Session, Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2023 © David Pugh

Registration

Registration for sponsored youth will open in late spring. Instructions to access the password-protected form will be emailed directly to sponsors and sponsored youth.

Full sponsorship cost to attend the 2024 Youth Summit for Mother Earth is $450. A sponsorship of $450 covers the hard costs of a youth’s participation, including accommodations, meals, speakers, workshops, materials, event coordination, and additional costs associated with reducing barriers for youth participation (e.g., travel).

If you are not being sponsored to attend and would like to participate, please contact the event coordinator below to be notified when subsidized registration opens.

Please contact Maya Davidson at mayad@ontarionature.org or 416-444-8419 (toll-free 1-800-440-2366) ext. 280 for inquiries about sponsorship or registration.

Red team, Great Group Challenge, 2023 © Kayla Salive

2023 Youth Summit for Mother Earth Highlights

On September 22–24, 2023, young environmental leaders from across the province came together at Camp Wahanowin on Anishinaabe (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) territory near Orillia for the fourteenth annual Youth Summit in partnership with Ontario Nature, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Plenty Canada and Walpole Island Land Trust. The event, also partnered with youth leaders from the Youth Council and Youth Circle for Mother Earth’s Coordinating Circle, allowed over sixty youth from 42 communities to participate in workshops, a cultural humility session, sharing circles and group activities.

Nokomis Stephanie, grandmother from Mnjikaning (Chippewas of Rama First Nation), led an opening and closing ceremony for all participants, sharing knowledge about smudging and the Seven Grandfather Teachings. We were also lucky to have Amber Sandy from Neyaashiinigmiing (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation), speaking on her experiences and natural hide tanning for a virtual keynote in November 2023.

Nature Photography Workshop, Youth Summit for Mother Earth 2023 © Madi F.
“I loved the Summit and had the best weekend ever. It was a great chance to make lots of new memories and long-lasting friendships!” – Harnoor, Brampton

“This Summit has encouraged me to do even more with my community with the resources I now have.” – Emlyn, Bancroft

Wolf Lake © Ryan Mariotti

Thank you to our Nature Network members and other organizations .

Their support made the 2023 summit successful.

  • Bancroft Field Naturalists 
  • Bert Miller Nature Club
  • Blue Mountain Watershed Trust
  • Carden Field Naturalists
  • Durham Region Field Naturalists
  • Essex County Field Naturalists
  • Friends of Charleston Lake Park
  • Friends of Minesing Wetlands
  • Friends of Ojibway Prairie
  • Friends of Salmon River
  • Headwaters Nature
  • Huron Fringe Field Naturalists
  • Junction Creek Stewardship Committee
  • Kawartha Field Naturalists
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists
  • Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • Nature League – Collingwood
  • Nature Barrie
  • North Durham Nature Club
  • Orillia Field Naturalists
  • Peterborough Field Naturalists
  • Saugeen Nature
  • Simcoe Catholic District School Board
  • South Georgian Bay Innovation Fund
  • South Peel Naturalists Club
  • Sudbury Naturalists
  • Sydenham Field Naturalists
  • St. Teresa Catholic Secondary School
  • Waterloo Region Nature

Thank You to Our Corporate and Program Sponsors

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) logo
Orchid Species Preservation Foundation


Thank You to Our Corporate and Program Sponsors

Adrian Johnson

Andre Willi

Dr. Anne Bell

Brian & Jan Bornstein

Craig Meikle

John Ambrose

Dr. Muhammed Qureshi

Susan Robertson in memory of Carolyn King


2023 Ontario Nature 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 15 Youth Summits, we have engaged 902 youth from 251 communities across Ontario, representing nations across North America/Turtle Island and cultures around the world.