August 12, 2021
OTTAWA, Ontario – “Growing up, my family lived off the land for many months of the year. We travelled by dog team or boat. We hunted, fished and gathered food. And my parents taught me how to live in two worlds: the Inuit world and the non-Inuit world.
Today’s youth also have to navigate different worlds. One is a world of hope, diversity and sustainability, where the land is sacred and we work to preserve it. Another is a world in crisis, where climate change is impacting our natural earth and the air we breathe, putting the food we can grow and eat in jeopardy. Through passion, knowledge and innovation, young people are bringing those worlds together and bringing hope to our endangered planet. They inspire all of us with their accomplishments and we must support them in their efforts.
We mark International Youth Day by honouring those who are making a better tomorrow, whose vision and perseverance are contributing to a healthy future. This year’s theme, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” is one of the great challenges of our time, and one that we all must confront. By taking action, youth can inspire other Canadians and make a real difference. Youth understand that nature contains and creates our climate, and our climate allows all aspects of society to be possible.
They are taking responsibility for the future because it is their future. Let us all help them to reach their goal.
I wish everyone celebrating this day the very best.”
Mary May Simon
Governor General of Canada