Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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March 22, 2018

YOUTH WATER ADVOCATE ADDRESSES UN ASSEMBLY

NEW YORK, NY (March 22, 2018): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum expressed support for youth advocate Autumn Peltier who brought her plea for the protection of water to world leaders this morning at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

“The sacredness of water and Mother Earth must be honoured. The message of Autumn Peltier must be upheld and implemented if we want to survive,” said Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum, who supported Autumn along with her mother, Stephanie Peltier, and Duke Peltier, Ogimaa (Chief) of Wiikwemkoong Anishinabek. “We are proud to support Autumn and youth leaders from all Nations who are raising awareness about the importance of access to clean drinking water and the need to protect it.”

Peltier, a 13-year old internationally recognized water ambassador from Wikwemikong First Nation in northern Ontario, is a leading activist for the protection of water – a voice for water and the land who shares her message across Turtle Island in the hope of inspiring other young leaders.

“I do what I do for the water because water is sacred. I am from this land. My ancestors are buried here on this land. This land is our land and its part of me and part of everything I am and everything I do,” says Peltier, who was honoured by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) as a water protector. “I’m going to be an ancestor one day. I’m still going to have great-grandchildren on this land and I hope they are still able to drink the water.”

In 2016 she made an emotional plea for the protection of water to the Prime Minister during an AFN assembly. Earlier this month, she spoke on behalf of 150 First Nations and U.S. Tribes who signed a Treaty Alliance opposing oil pipelines and tar sands expansion.

Today on World Water Day (March 22), the United Nations launched the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028 aiming to further improve cooperation, partnership and capacity development in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Water for Sustainable Development aims to implement water-related goals and targets and build on the achievements of the UN’s “Water for Life” Decade 2005-2015 by creating a platform to advance cooperation and partnerships and place greater focus on the integrated management of water resources.

Currently, there are 17 drinking water advisories in place across in First Nations across NAN territory.

More information: https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/launch-of-the-international-decade-of-water-for-sustainable-development-2018-2028/ 

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or (807) 621-2790 mobile or by email mheintzman@nan.on.ca

News release