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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.

Meditating on the escarpment during the scavenger hunt © Anna ET

2022 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

We hope that the 2022 Youth Summit for Mother Earth can be hosted in-person with participation from youth across the province. The 2022 Summit will be held September 23-25, 2022. We will send sponsorship packages to Nature Network groups in June.

You may have heard that our beloved summit venue, YMCA Geneva Park, was sold this past year. We have been working to find a suitable location to host an in-person event, keeping COVID-19 restrictions in mind. We have been researching an appropriate venue that ensures the safety of youth, staff, chaperones, speakers, Elders, and their community members. We are still working to finalize the venue.

Art in Nature, 2021 Youth Summit © Arlo W

Registration Costs and Sponsorship

Should we decide to host the summit in-person at our top venue choice, sponsorship rates will be roughly $400 per youth. This is a $25 increase from our last in-person event and is a result of higher accommodation costs. We will send a sponsorship package to all clubs with more details in June.

We apologize for any inconvenience this delay has caused, and thank you for your understanding.

If you have any questions about our annual Youth Summit or are interested in sponsoring our event, please contact Christine Ambre, Conservation Education Coordinator, at 1-800-440-2366 ext. 244 or christinea@ontarionature.org.

Art in Nature, 2021 Youth Summit © Evening M

Highlights from 2021

From September 25 to 26, 2021 environmental leaders from across the province gathered virtually for cross-cultural learning and knowledge sharing. In partnership with the Youth Council, the Youth Circle for Mother Earth partners and Coordinating Circle, this re-imagined gathering brought 92 young leaders and 12 youth mentors together.

These youth represented 54 communities across Ontario from as far as Windsor, Ottawa and Kenora, with youth identifying from Indigenous communities across Turtle Island and cultures around the world. Youth also participated in group activities, outdoor challenges, virtual discussions and youth-led sessions on nature-inspired art, story sharing, Two-Eyed Seeing, climate action, environmental policy, biodiversity and networking.

This year’s keynote, Dr. Dan Longboat – Roronhiakewen (He Clears the Sky), shared stories, inspired the summit community to come together from different knowledge systems to solve the world’s complex issues, and reflect on how we are all interconnected.

Cleanup challenge, 2021 Youth Summit © Summer W

“The biggest impact for me would be to focus on the land that is around me. Not only taking in to account the traditional land and care takers that lived before me but the many diverse Indigenous communities that share the space now. Additionally, I will appreciate the physical environment around me and take time to notice the plants and animals that I share my home with. I will continue to advocate for the earth and respect all the inhabitants from plants, people and animals. I will also see the earth through a more spiritual lens, noticing how everything has been created for a reason and a purpose.”
–  2021 Youth Summit participant residing on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Treaty 13 Territory, in what is currently known as Toronto/Tkaronto

“I have always loved being outside, but I don’t think I understood until this summit how deeply interconnected human beings are to the environment. When we pollute the air, water and soil we are also polluting ourselves. This is where I feel two-eyed seeing and Indigenous teachings have the most impact and where I will, from now on, always try to employ. This Summit has shown me different ways of seeing things, will change how I approach tasks and even how I learn!” – 2021 Youth Summit participant residing on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation – in what is currently known as Almonte

Cedar, 2021 Youth Summit © Arlo W

Thank you to our Nature Network members and other organizations whose support made the 2021 Youth Summit for Mother Earth possible:

  • 4imprint Canada’s One by One Program
  • AWARE Simcoe
  • Bancroft Field Naturalists
  • Beaverton Horticultural Society 
  • Bert Miller Nature Club
  • Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation
  • Birds Canada
  • Brodie Club
  • Carden Field Naturalists
  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Durham Region Field Naturalists
  • Eden Mills Eramosa River Conservation Association
  • Four Seasons Conservancy
  • Friends of Charleston Lake Park
  • Friends of Frontenac Park
  • Friends of Mashkinonje
  • Friends of Minesing Wetland
  • Friends of Ojibway Prairie
  • Friends of the Rouge Watershed
  • Halton-North Peel Naturalists
  • Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
  • Headwaters Nature
  • Huron Fringe Field Naturalists
  • Ingersoll District Nature Club
  • Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club
  • Kawartha Field Naturalists
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Leeds and Grenville Stewardship Council
  • Macnamara Field Naturalist Club
  • Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists
  • Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • Nature Barrie
  • Nature Guelph
  • Nature League of Collingwood
  • Nature London
  • North American Native Plant Society
  • North Durham Nature Club
  • Ontario Environment Network
  • Ontario Horticultural Association
  • Orillia Naturalists’ Club
  • Owen Sound Field Naturalists
  • Patagonia Toronto
  • Pembroke Area Field Naturalists
  • Pickering Naturalists
  • Quinte Field Naturalists
  • Sarah Margolius Impact
  • South Peel Naturalists Club
  • Southern Ontario Orchid Society
  • Sudbury Naturalists
  • Symbiotic Living/The Bornstein Family
  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists
  • Toronto Field Naturalists
  • Urban Minds
  • Waterloo Region Nature
  • Willow Beach Field Naturalists

This project has been made possible by:

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) logo

Ontario Nature members

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

*The above translations may differ from other Ojibwe, Kanien’kéha, Cree 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.

2021 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

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