Ontario First Nations youth host successful symposium on the environment

    TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - The Ontario First Nations Young Peoples Council
in partnership with Mushkegowuk Regional Youth Council co-hosted a successful
5th Annual Youth Symposium on Environment from February 28 to March 2, 2008 at
the Northern College in Timmins, Ontario.
    First Nation youth in Ontario expressed concern about how their
communities and families are being affected by environmental issues. Using the
four sacred elements of Water, Air, Earth and Fire as a framework, youth and
Elders held discussions about issues such as water protection, air pollution,
land contamination, and climate change. Elders also shared teachings about
First Nation relationships with the natural world.
    The Symposium provided a valuable opportunity for Elders and youth to
discuss current environmental problems affecting First Nations across Ontario,
and to identify potential solutions.
    "The Symposium provided a forum for our youth, Elders and community
leaders to talk face to face about environmental issues affecting our
communities across the province," said Carolyn Kokokopence, who holds the
environment portfolio for the Chiefs of Ontario Young Peoples Council. "This
collective learning will lead to solutions that make sense to who we are, as
peoples of the land," she said.
    In addition to discussions and teachings with respect to the environment,
the Symposium featured traditional music, art, and special guest speakers such
as Gordon Tootoosis and Tatiana Degay.
    The Symposium has been made possible in part by support from the Ontario
Trillium Foundation and the Environment Unit of the Department of Indian
Affairs. More information is available at

For further information:

For further information: Laura Calmwind, Chiefs of Ontario, Email:
laura@coo.orq or Phone: (416) 986-9856

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Chiefs of Ontario

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