'Rio Remake' Anniversary Project
2017 marks 25 years since I gave a speech on behalf of ECO, to the UNCED Rio conference in 1992. ECO was the Environmental Childrens' Organization, which included myself, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttie and Tove Fenger. We were 12 years old when ECO traveled to Brazil to attend the first Plenary Session at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. A whole generation has since turned! Yet, the words given in 1992 are still painfully relevant - so we would like to give these words to today's children, who will in turn give these words new life in this generation.
In celebration - and in collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation and Earth Charter Initiative - we invite you to participate in an anniversary project involving young people from around the world. It’s time to hear the Rio speech in the voices of today’s youth.
To tell you all about the project, I've recorded this brief video.
Do you know a 12-year-old (or close to 12-year-old) who’d be interested in being part of a video remake of the Rio speech? We are asking kids to video themselves giving the speech from Rio, and submit their remake videos to us. We will then create a new compilation video of youth voices from around the globe. A re-make of the speech, 25 years later! Sound cool?
If you're interested, send us a brief note with their /your name, age, city and contact information (email address and name) for a parent / guardian / friend who could help with the video by June 30, 2017.
All you need to participate is a smartphone and permission from a parent /guardian! We'll then follow-up with technical details, a speech template and anything else you need to produce and submit your video.
Thanks everyone for your participation - we can't WAIT to see your videos! #RioRemake
Samaqan: Water Stories is a television show that explores the sacred relationship between water and Indigenous people, primarily in North America, on Aboriginal People’s Television Network in Canada.
Produced by Urban Rez Productions and introduced by Severn, the series presents an indigenous perspective on one of our most precious resources. Crisscrossing the continent, and beyond, the documentary crew delves into the spiritual and physical connections to water, as well as the challenges aboriginal communities face today with their water resources.
To learn more about the show and watch episodes visit samaqan.ca.
On Canada’s west coast, a powerful test of democracy is unfolding in a groundswell of First Nations and civil society fighting the federal government’s approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
Worried that the pipeline will facilitate the expansion of the tar sands as well as destroy natural habitats and wildlife, people from communities along the proposed pipeline route came forward to be heard in the during Join Review Panel (JRP) Hearings process. Of them, 1,159 opposed the pipeline and two agreed. Yet the JRP recommended to the federal government that it should be built. Severn is among the opposition to gather support, to stand against the pipelines and tankers that would ship oil through B.C. waters, and against a plan built on an undemocratic framework.
In an effort to prevent such a disaster from happening again, the Million Mothers Movement aims to stop further use of nuclear power in Japan. It is a movement not only of mothers, but all those with a spirit of mothering who want a safe, healthy world for future generations.
Severn joined the Million Mothers Movement in 2014, and stands in solidarity with mothers as they call on the Japanese government to put their children’s future ahead of the nuclear power industry.
Visit the Million Mothers Facebook page here.
The human family is currently in danger of losing our cultural and linguistic diversity. Researchers estimate that every two weeks, a language disappears.
On Haida Gwaii, off the west coast of Canada, a group of elders are determined that the Haida language will not be one of these. Every day, they come together at the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (SHIP) to preserve and revitalize the Skidegate Haida Language.
Severn began working with the elders at SHIP to learn Haida and write books for learners in the language. She is currently teaching her young sons to speak the language, and she dreams that their children will have the opportunity to know and speak the language of their ancestors.
For more information visit: Skidegate Haida Immersion Program.
The Earth Charter is an international declaration of fundamental ethical values and principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. The result of the most inclusive drafting process of any international declaration, the Earth Charter Commission formally launched it in 2000.
Currently endorsed by over 4,500 organizations, including many governments and international organizations, the charter seeks to inspire a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for Earth and the human family.
A strong advocate of this vision, Severn initially served as an Earth Charter Commissioner from 1997 to 2000, and she has now joined the Earth Charter International Council.
Visit the Earth Charter website.
Founded in 1990 by Severn’s parents, David Suzuki and Tara Cullis, the Foundation works to find solutions to our planet’s ecological crises. With offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, the Foundation focuses its work in Canada with the goals of protecting the climate, creating liveable communities, establishing environmental rights and justice, transforming the economy, connecting with nature and building community.
Severn joined the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation in 2006 and chairs the Programs Committee of the board. Learn more about the David Suzuki Foundation.
Photo credit: Janice Williams
The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society is a non-profit organization that offers university education inspired by the communities and environment of Haida Gwaii.
In partnership with universities across Canada, Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society offers immersive, experiential learning in a place where the Haida Nation, Islands communities, and provincial and federal governments are working together towards sustainability and reconciliation through complex joint management models. Courses focus on the ecology, forestry, history and political situation of the archipelago the programs unique pedagogy exposes students to ways of problem solving that prepares them to become future leaders and decision makers.
Severn is a founding director of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society.