(Autum Peltier, seen here in Dec. 2016, presenting a water bundle to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the AFN SCA. Photo: APTN)
APTN News Sunday
For 13-year-old Autumn Peltier winning an international award would be nice but if she doesn’t it’s not going to change her future.
“Even if I don’t win, I’m still going to continue with my work for years to come,” said Peltier of the International Children’s Peace Prize.
Peltier is best known for confronting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last December when she presented him a water bundle at the Assembly of First Nations winter gathering in Gatineau, Que.
‘I’m really proud and when I see her up there speaking at different places, I can’t believe that she’s doing the work she’s doing,” said her mom Stephanie Peltier.
Peltier has already taken her message to Sweden to speak at the International Children’s Climate Conference.
“It just really came to my concern, like, what if in five to 10 years we don’t have clean drinking water and what are we going to do?” she said of where her inspiration came from.
“It’s not only in Canada, or in Ontario, it’s all over the world – Without water every living thing on this planet would die.”
Stephanie Peltier couldn’t believe her daughter was nominated for the international award and more so that she was the only child from Canada on the list.
“When I looked at the website, I went through every nominee’s name and I went back and I said, ‘Autumn, you’re the only one from Canada that’s nominated for this award and you’re the only First Nations,” she said.
The award is presented annually to an child whose actions have made a difference improving children’s rights.
“For people my age and younger, it’s our future and not only my future but for generations to come,” said Peltier.
It’s not only Peltier’s family supporting her, but her community, too.
“She’s speaking on behalf of the community. Not only our community but the larger Anishnaabe community and raising awareness for the rights of water,” said Chief Duke Peltier of Wikwemikong First Nation.
The winner is being announced Dec. 4 in Amsterdam and comes with a study grant, as well as funding of $100,000 Euros to be invested in projects connected to the winner’s work in their home country.