Canadian youth speak up at COP24

Jessica Steeles at COP24 Youth Press Conference

Earlier this morning in Poland, Jessica Steele, one of KAIROS’ delegates to COP24 spoke at a Canadian youth press conference organized by BCCIC.  Jessica spoke of how women, particularly Indigenous women disproportionately bear the brunt of climate impacts and Indigenous women leadership, knowledge and perspectives needs to be at the centre of decisions that affect their communities.

In Jessica’s words:

“It is vital that Canada, the UNFCCC, the United Nations and the whole world break down colonial barriers in these decision making processes and create space for Indigenous women to take leadership roles. As a settler youth living on unceded Coast Salish territory, I see it as my responsibility to uphold UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and advocate for Indigenous rights to self-determination and sovereignty.  For us to have a fighting chance of tackling this climate crisis, it is imperative that we listen to Indigenous women, and in particular young Indigenous women. All of our futures depend on it.”

Watch the press conference.

Jessica’s part starts around 19:00 min, but I encourage you to listen to the whole panel – some strong words from our youth!  #thekidsareallright

Filed in: Ecological Justice


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