Meet Climate Action Youth Ambassador Ian Enns
Greetings from the rainforest island city of Victoria, on the Coast Salish territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt peoples.
My name is Ian Enns. The greater part of my genetics reaches far into the plains of Manitoba: My maternal grandfather was Oji-Cree from Peguis First Nation in Treaty 1 territory and my maternal grandmother was from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. My paternal grandmother is first generation Canadian, alive and well, and is of Mennonite heritage from Russia. Finally, my late paternal grandfather is who connects me to Vancouver Island. He was Tla-o-qui-aht, one of fourteen tribes of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples on the west coast of the island.
For the past year, I have been interning with the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, a family foundation founded by my father Eli Enns and his partner Monica Shore. I'm very drawn to the work of IISAAK OLAM, which supports Indigenous-led conservation with a focus on Canada. My role in the organization is with Climate Action Youth Ambassadors Canada (CAYAC), which empowers youth to advocate and take action for Mother Earth.
I was beyond moved by Greta Thunberg’s speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York last week. The words, passion and direction she brought to the stage came from a place of ambition, heart, soul, and a burning love for the world and its peoples. Greta not only presented the cold hard facts, but she did so with passionate emotion as she called for urgent action – action that my generation has been seeking for a long time.
We are heading down a spiral of greed, lust, entangled ideologies and opinions. All these things blind us from the ever rising, ever expanding tidal wave heading directly towards us all and which threatens so many of the things upon which our lives depend: clean air, water, and healthy food.
Greta vocalized many issues that not only our generation, but also generations to come, will be forced to deal with for the rest of our lives. Greta is far ahead of her generation and, truth be told, most generations. So many people today remain un-informed and mis-informed, and their misconceptions lead them to resist the very necessary actions we must take to restore balance in society's relationship with Mother Earth.
We need more people like Greta, with that passion, that determination, that same fire burning within them.
I thank you, Greta. I thank you for the passion you have for the issues that daunt us and that are beyond our immediate view. I admire your pursuit in making the world a better place, informing the youth of today, along with so many people much older than yourself.
And thank you, reader, for taking the time to read and consider.