Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Portrait of Severn Cullis-Suzuki.

David Suzuki Foundation Executive Director, environment and culture activist and author

Did you know?

As a child, Severn and friends started the Environmental Children’s Organization, culminating in a speech to the United Nations at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 when she was only 12!

About Severn

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is an activist for diversity in the natural world and in human society. From a young age, she has spoken widely about intergenerational justice, the need for ethics in our economics, and respect and recognition of Indigenous rights and title. Rooted on the West Coast of Canada, she is part of the global movement to shift our human path toward sustainability and survival.

Severn married into the Haida Nation, and has lived on Haida Gwaii for many years, where she and her family have been focusing on learning and helping others learn the critically endangered Xaayda kil (Skidegate dialect of the Haida language) from elders. She is a Vanier Scholar pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia, researching Indigenous language revitalization. She holds a B.Sc. in biology from Yale University and an M.Sc. in ethnoecology from the University of Victoria.

Severn hosted Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s Samaqan: Water Stories and was a founding board member of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society. She is a member of the Earth Charter International Council and, after serving on the David Suzuki Foundation board for over 15 years, is now the Foundation’s executive director.

Expertise: Lifelong activist and public speaker for intergenerational justice. Immigrant on Native land dedicated to upholding Canada as family

Credentials: Total commitment to two-eyed seeing. Lifelong learning from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers in B.C. and the Amazon, and modern science (B.Sc. in biology, M.Sc. in ethnoecology). Currently a PhD candidate in linguistic anthropology on Haida language revitalization

Passions: Justice – social, climate, intergenerational. Nature – healing our relationship with Earth. Family – doing my best as daughter, sister, mother and community member

We have forgotten our most ancient and tested survival strategy — to act with the future in mind.