Sudbury

Laurentian student draws on Indigenous heritage during climate change training

Laurentian University student Kaella-Marie Earle is getting ready to head to Seattle, Washington for climate change leadership training. The Wikwemikong, Ont. woman was chosen to attend the event. She says climate change is personal for her because of her Anishnawbe culture.

Training to be facilitated by a team of scientists and former vice president Al Gore

Laurentian University student Kaella-Marie Earle of Wikwemikong, Ont. is heading to the US to take part in climate change leadership training. (supplied)

Laurentian University student Kaella-Marie Earle is getting ready to head to Washington for climate change leadership training.

The Wikwemikong, Ont. woman was chosen to attend the event.

Climate change is personal, says Earle, because of her Anishnawbe culture.

"We're Ojibwe people from Wikwemikong and we believe that the earth is our mother and we don't own the earth, the earth owns us. When we die, we go back to the earth. Everything you do to the earth, you do to yourself."

Earle says she became an activist when she was a teenager after she realized her workplace didn't have a recycling program.

"I wrote a letter to the director of the building explaining if you really cared about the climate, you should start a recycling system in the building, and they did," says Earle.

"That was the first time I ever did anything along those lines of work and since then it's built up and up."

Training by former US vice president Al Gore

The training in Seattle is facilitated by a team of scientists, as well as former U-S vice president Al Gore.

It is meant to bring activists from around the world together to learn more about climate change in the hopes that their training will help educate more people about the environmental issue.

Once she returns to Sudbury, Earle wants to share what she learns with as many groups and individuals as she can.

She says one of the biggest challenges facing climate change activists is inspiring people to care. That's because many think it's a far off problem.

At Laurentian, Earle is studying to be chemical engineer, with a minor in environmental biology.

She leaves for Washington on Monday.

With files from Martha Dillman

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