Outstanding achievements of a water protector highlighted at the Canadian Museum of History

November 15, 2022


A new display at the Canadian Museum of History will highlight the activism and remarkable accomplishments of Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe water-rights advocate and Anishinabek Nation Chief Water Commissioner.

From November 15, 2022 to January 8, 2023, the public will be able to learn more about this young Indigenous woman, who is a world-renowned water-rights advocate and leading global youth environmental activist, from Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. The display features items related to her international advocacy for clean water rights, including the dress she wore when she addressed the United Nations General Assembly in March 2018 about the issue of contaminated water on Indigenous reserves across the country.

When she was eight years old, Peltier attended a ceremony at Serpent River First Nation in Ontario and saw boil water advisory signs in the community. This inspired her to fight for the right to safe and clean drinking water, whether on reserves in Canada or in the developing world. In 2016, at only 12 years old, her activism led her to a high-profile exchange with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau where she called on him to “protect the waters” from pipeline development.

Peltier’s activism connected to water rights is inspired by her community’s teachings, especially those of her mother and her great aunt, Josephine Mandamin — a well-known Indigenous water activist in the Great Lakes region who was the Chief Water Protector for the Anishinabek Nation until her death in 2019. After her great aunt’s death, the Anishinabek Nation selected Peltier as Chief Water Protector and Commissioner.

Peltier has been honoured with numerous Canadian and international awards for her activism, including multiple nominations for the International Children’s Peace Prize. This year, she was one of three finalists for the award — the first time a Canadian has made this final stage.

From November 15, 2022 to January 8, 2023, the public will have the opportunity to view objects on loan from Autumn Peltier, as they will be on display in the Museum’s Special Exhibitions Corridor. After that, the objects will be featured in the Canadian History Hall.

More information is available at historymuseum.ca or by calling 819-776-7000 or 1-800-555-5621.

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Media contact:

Stéphanie Verner
Senior Media Relations and Communications Officer
Telephone: 819-776-7169