Hunter Beardy, a University of Manitoba student and York Factory First Nation member from Thompson, has been selected by the province to serve on the Youth Advisory Council for Climate.
The government of Manitoba is, “calling on youth of all walks of life, and from areas across the province to help inform the implementation of the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan.”
The council consists of nine members who will serve a one-year term starting in December 2019. Criteria for selection were: being a Manitoba resident between 15 and 25 years of age, representing the diversity of Manitoba, being knowledgeable of issues related to the province’s Climate and Green Plan, demonstrating a proven engagement and interest in environmental issues and civil society issues, engaging in respectful, open discussion, being accepting of differing viewpoints, and not being employed by the Manitoba government.
“The Youth Advisory Council will be directed by the Expert Advisory Council,” the province states on their website. “It will provide advice and recommendations to the Expert Advisory Council regarding issues and initiatives to help inform implementation of the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, including but not limited to addressing climate change and managing plastics.”
“The Youth Advisory Council will work along with the Department of Conservation and Climate, not directly with the minister, but will work with another council called the Expert Advisory Council,” Beardy told the Thompson Citizen. “They are professionals on this issue of climate and sustainable development. With that we will be making recommendations to the expert advisory council.”
Beardy became involved in climate change advocacy and sustainable development issues when attending a climate change protest in 2019.
“There was a big outcome and audience,” he said. “With everything going on with the [recent] Australian bush fires and global warming itself. It does affect the north and First Nations communities with a shorter winter road season.”
Beardy is also working on other environmental issues like water resources, and land erosion due to impacts of hydro development.
“That interests me, and I want to be an advocate,” said Beardy. “To find better solutions to the issues that affect the north.”