The 2021 Youth Summit for Mother Earth connected over 100 youth across Ontario through a weekend-long event held online, providing a meaningful platform to engage youth across cultures to protect nature in the spirit and practice of reconciliation. As part of the Youth Summit, challenges planned by youth, for youth gave participants the chance to spend time in nature and reflect on what they learned. This is the first blog of a series that showcases a few of the submissions of our youth participants based on a common theme.
Nature Connections Theme
“In this piece, I made the feathers of the peacock out of fallen leaves, to symbolize the beauty of nature. When people think of peacocks, they automatically think about how beautiful and majestical they are, and I believe that we need to have the same disbelief and wonder when it comes to nature around us, because even the fallen leaves in which we usually pay little attention to are immensely beautiful.”
“[This piece] is a representation of the idea that life is a circular entity… It is our responsibility not only to respect the natural cycles of humans, but all living things that coexist on this planet.”
“I want the wind to lift off the weight of the world So I can start again, Remind me of all I have And all that will come, Tell me stories from far away and a past I want to live in forever, Play with my hair, brush out tousled curls, Spin me faster and faster, round and round like a leaf In free fall, Catch me before I hit the Earth, Carry me away in sky blue arms To the castle in your branches”
“I look upon the Oak Ridges Moraine I walk along the hills and grass I relish the crisp pine-scented air while I can For I do not know how long it will last …
Its ridges undulate with rhythmic beauty Like a serpent embodied by gravel and sand When the storm brews and floods threaten They defiantly stand to protect our land”
In addition to nature challenge submissions, youth also participated in virtual discussions and youth-led sessions on nature-inspired art, dealing with eco-anxiety, story sharing, climate action, biodiversity and networking.
Nathaniel Rose grew up in Tkaronto or Toronto, Ontario and now currently presides in The Town of the Blue Mountains, Ontario on the land located within the boundary of Treaty 18 region of 1818, which is the traditional land of the Anishnaabek, Haudenosaunee and Wendat-Wyandot-Wyandotte peoples. He is of mixed European descent, with ancestors who lived in the United Kingdom as well as Russia and Romania. He is a member of the Coordinating Circle for the Youth Circle of Mother Earth and loves learning about Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives on conservation, biodiversity, and ways of knowing. He is currently working as a Knowledge Gatherer for the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Learning where he works on issues such as diversity and inclusion. In his spare time, he loves to listen to music and play guitar.