The Wild Swans at Coole
By W. B. Yeats.
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
Autumn Peltier is a 15-year-old, Canadian indigenous clean water advocate who is Anishinaabe-kwe and a member of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation. She has been called a water warrior. She has been the voice for the universal right of clean safe drinking water for Indigenous communities in Canada.
In 2018, Peltier travelled to the UN General Assembly in New York where she addressed the UN on water rights, as part of the commencement of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development. “Water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth,” she told the UN. “Our water should not be for sale. We all have a right to this water as we need it.”
Since the age of 8, Autumn has been active in her efforts to raise awareness about inequality in relation to accessing clean water. There are many young environmental activists emerging who are bravely campaigning for a better environment.
“Water has to live, it can hear, it can sense what we’re saying, it can really, really speak to us. Some songs come to us through the water. We have to understand that water is very precious.” – Josephine Mandamin, Water Walker, 1942-2019