Native Village
Youth and Education news
January 2010 Volume 3

Young play part at climate conference
by Don Davis
Condensed by Native Village 

Denmark: Almost 25,000 people attended the recent United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen. Hundreds of young adults played a key role at the two-week gathering.

Aurora Conley was one. She represented two underrepresented classes at the climate conference: native people and youth.

"It is very important that the indigenous people have a voice here in Copenhagen," said Conley, who comes from the Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin.

At the climate conference, Conley worked with indigenous people from South America, Africa, Canada and Australia. "We are the ones with the knowledge of our land, first and foremost," Conley said. "We need to make sure they are protected and preserved."

A tentative agreement gave the world's indigenous people some rights, but Conley wanted stronger language and terms.

 "Just because the conference is coming to a close, that does not mean our work will be over," she said. "Our work will never be over.  We consider ourselves in jeopardy."

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