WATCH — Greta Thunberg and Autumn Peltier chat COVID, activism, the future

Story by CBC Kids News • 2020-09-22 10:35

Both teens have documentaries airing at TIFF

Two teen activists from different parts of the world spoke on the environment, COVID-19 and their new movies over the weekend.

Greta Thunberg and Autumn Peltier both have documentaries airing at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this month.

Autumn, 15, is a clean-water activist from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

Greta’s school strike for climate inspired thousands of young people around the world.

Watch a video of Greta and Autumn’s virtual discussion here:

If COVID-19 has taught Greta anything, it’s that there’s hope for the climate.

Now 17, she is going to school in Stockholm, Sweden, after a year spent travelling the world, leading climate strikes and spreading the message of the climate crisis.

And even though COVID-19 has meant that large public gatherings have been put on hold, the world's response to it has made Greta believe her cause will be taken seriously by world leaders.

“The corona crisis might change the way we perceive and treat crises,” she said. “Why can’t we act that fast on an issue like [climate change]?”

Greta Thunberg speaks at a podium

Greta Thunberg speaks at a climate change rally in Montreal in September 2019. (Image credit: Evan Mitsui/CBC) 

I Am Greta is a documentary about the journey Greta has made, from her single-person climate strike, to addressing the United Nations in New York and leading climate marches around the world.

Autumn’s film, The Water Walker, is about her trip to the UN to promote the importance to water rights of Indigenous people.

“There are still hundreds of communities in Canada that still can’t drink their water,” she said during the discussion.

An Indigenous teen stands on the edge of the ice.

Autumn Peltier is one of Canada’s youngest water protectors. (Image credit: Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Like Greta, Autumn is hopeful that can change now that she’s seen the response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Seeing how we’ve all come together so quickly for an issue like this.
And then I think back on issues here in North America, why can’t we come together for specific issues like the drinking water crisis?” she said.


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