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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

Youth Summit for Mother Earth

From August 22 to September 19, 2020, environmental leaders from across the province gathered virtually over a series of livestreams highlighting cross-cultural learning and knowledge sharing.

In partnership with the Youth Council, our Youth Circle for Mother Earth partners and Coordinating Circle, this re-imagined gathering brought 92 young leaders and 12 youth mentors representing 55 communities across Ontario as far as Windsor, Cornwall Island and Kenora, with youth identifying from Indigenous communities across Turtle Island and cultures around the world.

Appreciating nature, 2020 Summit scavenger hunt © Mikayla W


  • Treaties and Indigenous politics
  • Environmental policy
  • Navigating activism and eco-anxiety
  • Grant writing
  • Learning from industry professionals
  • Biocultural diversity
  • Power to affect change
  • Manoomin (wild rice) and Indigenous food sovereignty
  • Biodiversity and the intersection of Indigenous and western sciences
  • Traditional medicine
  • Importance of water and interconnectedness
The 2019 Youth Summit brought together over 100 youth from communities across Ontario © Noah Cole

Other Highlights

Youth participated in virtual discussions and youth-led sessions on baaga’adowewin (the sport of lacrosse and its importance to Indigenous peoples), learning Inuktitut, youth advocacy, nature dance class, and story sharing. They also participated in challenges that gave them the chance to get out into nature and connect with one another meaningfully, while also developing their leadership and event planning skills.

This year’s keynote, Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation inspired participants to seek the truth and see the world from different perspectives.

Medicine pouch, 2020 Summit challenge © Leah B

2021 Youth Summit

Please check back for updates about the 2021 Youth Summit.

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.

Waterlily, 2020 Youth Summit for Mother Earth © Mikayla W

“The knowledge shared in this summit was very empowering and a lot of it completely new to me and I’m so grateful for that. I personally found that the group challenge was my favourite part because it is so hard to know how to take initiative and where to begin. Having this opportunity and support to create ideas and put them into action was amazing! Having done that, I feel so much more comfortable and less overwhelmed by the idea of initiating an event/campaign!” –  2020 Youth Summit participant from Stayner

“I really enjoyed this summit. I did not participate in last years, so can’t compare, but I thought this was really well put together (and virtually at that!). The mail swag was definitely fun to receive. I can’t wait to share all that I learned.”–  2020 Youth Summit participant from Walpole Island

Canoeing, 2020 Virtual Youth Summit for Mother Earth © Sophia L

Thank you to our Nature Network member groups and others whose financial support has made the 2020 Youth Summit possible:

  • Bancroft Field Naturalists
  • Beaverton Horticultural Society 
  • Bert Miller Nature Club of Fort Erie
  • Birds Canada
  • Brodie Club
  • Carden Field Naturalists
  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Durham Region Field Naturalists
  • Friends of Frontenac Park
  • Friends of Mashkinonje
  • Friends of Ojibway Prairie
  • Friends of the Salmon River
  • Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
  • Headwaters Nature
  • Ingersoll District Nature Club
  • Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club
  • Kawartha Field Naturalists
  • Leeds Grenville Stewardship Council
  • Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council
  • Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists
  • Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • Nature League of Collingwood
  • Nature London
  • North Durham Nature Club
  • Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society
  • Ontario Field Ornithologists
  • Orillia Naturalists’ Club
  • Owen Sound Field Naturalists
  • Patagonia Toronto
  • Prince Edward County Field Naturalists
  • Quinte Field Naturalists
  • The Regional Municipality of York
  • South Peel Naturalists Club
  • Sudbury Naturalists
  • Sydenham Field Naturalists
  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists
  • Toronto Field Naturalists
  • Vankleek Hill and District Nature Society
  • Waterloo Region Nature
  • Willow Beach Field Naturalists

This project has been made possible by:

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) logo

and Ontario Nature members.

Miigwech – niá:wen – hiy hiy – merci – thank you!

2020 Virtual Youth Summit for Mother Earth

Over the past 11 Youth Summits, we have engaged 214 communities across Ontario.