Cross-Post: Youth Consultation with Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change
In the effort to share the work I am doing more effectively, since I don’t always do a great job of cross-posting, I wanted to post about a recent experience I had with the Canadian Ambassador for Climate Change, Patricia Fuller, at the 2019 Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver.
I was asked to help pull together a youth roundtable with the Executive Director of the SFU Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT).
It was a really fascinating experience, particularly from the standpoint of someone who regularly works to convene people and facilitate meetings. It’s an honour to be asked to help with bringing people together to meet with such a senior person, but of course as someone working in the field, there’s always this complex dance to navigate of honouring the request of the authority figure, but also honouring the community that you come from. And of course, recognising that not everyone can be in the room — I tried, and failed, for example, to bring any local young Indigenous leaders to the table.I don’t think it’s impossible to honour and respect, but doing both definitely caused me to reflect on that power dynamic.
Part of doing that reflecting, both by myself and with my colleagues, left a sense that speaking and consulting and offering ideas isn’t enough on its own. Cataloguing and being public with the things these communities (in this case, young climate leaders) feel and need is important; important in terms of speaking truth to power, but also in using that process for something that is generative and thoughtful for oneself, as well.
With that in mind, we all wrote ideas down after the consultation and sent them back to the Ambassador as a final report. It’s not a perfect process, but there’s something fulfilling about having a conversation and writing down the things that matter afterwards. A little bit like this post here.
I’ll try and remark on these kinds of things more often, whenever the time is available, and for now, here’s the what we said: