TORONTO | TRADITIONAL TERRITORIES OF THE HURON-WENDAT, THE ANISHNAABEG, HAUDENOSAUNEE, CHIPPEWAS AND THE MISSISSAUGAS OF THE CREDIT FIRST NATION — The 2021 Future Ground Prize winners were announced tonight at a virtual celebration featuring David Suzuki and other special guests.
The Grand Prize was awarded to Indigenous Seeds of Hope – Planting our Future, in Milton, Ontario, chosen by this year’s jury of renowned influencers.
“On behalf of Grandmothers Voice and the Earth Walkers, we are so honoured that our collective vision was chosen to share with David Suzuki,” said Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill of Indigenous Seeds of Hope. “Indigenous Seeds of Hope invites all people to participate in the journey of healing in community by connecting to the land. It’s time now to plant our future together in hope, peace and wellness.”
The People’s Choice Prize was awarded to Ohneganos Let’s Talk Water in Ohsweken, Ontario, with 1,776 votes received — a reflection of Ohneganos Let’s Talk Water’s ability to mobilize the community.
“We are honoured to receive the David Suzuki Foundation’s Future Ground People’s Choice Prize,” the Ohneganos Let’s Talk Water team said in a statement. “Traditional ecological knowledge is a critical guide to mitigate the global climate crisis. Our goal is to elevate Indigenous voices that have been silenced for too long. As importantly, Indigenous people deserve the right to clean water in their own country.”
The Youth Prize was awarded to the Movers and Shakers program in Guelph, Ontario.
“There aren’t many organizations that so holistically support the honest work that youth want to do,” said Stephanie Rosen, director of outreach and funding at the Movers and Shakers program. “We’re so incredibly grateful to the David Suzuki Foundation and Desjardins for this funding, as it will allow us to drive further engagement with youth around Ontario and will ensure we can properly compensate the speakers and facilitators who will be involved throughout the program.”
The inaugural Future Ground Prize in Ontario was presented by Desjardins and supported by Nature’s Way. The competition received submissions from 135 community-level projects representing some of the most innovative and ambitious environmental and social efforts in Ontario.
“The Future Ground Prize is so much more than a competition. It shows what’s possible when you mobilize a community of passionate people who share a vision for a better tomorrow,” David Suzuki Foundation associate director of engagement and mobilization Megan Hooft said. “The Youth Prize was especially inspiring to see, as young people are leading the charge on so many critical environmental and social issues. This often inspires families and communities to get involved too.”
The virtual celebration was hosted by singer-songwriter and performance activist Elle Barbara and included a special musical performance by Hannah Georgas. The three winners presented their projects to David Suzuki and each was awarded prize money from Desjardins.
“For seven years, Desjardins has supported this competition in Quebec, and we are delighted to keep contributing to a growing civic movement, for the benefit of a better future for all, as the initiative expands to Ontario this year,” said Pauline D’Amboise, vice-president of governance and sustainable development, and secretary general of Desjardins Group. “And what pride to be able to reward the efforts and successes of young agents of change with the new Youth Prize! We are delighted to support citizen action in our territory and the positive impacts it can have on our communities.”
“The passion, creativity and commitment to sustainability we saw throughout this process is inspiring,” said Geoff Wills, vice-president of marketing with Nature’s Way. “All the nominees captured the spirit of the Future Ground Prize, and we are proud to celebrate these community heroes.”
Details about the 2022 Future Ground Prize contest will be announced in early 2022.
– 30 –
To learn more about the Future Ground Prize, visit DavidSuzuki.org/future-first-prize/.
For more information or a media interview, please contact:
Lana Brandt, email@example.com, 778-833-2954
The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, collaborating with all people in Canada, including government and business, to conserve the environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through evidence-based research, public engagement and policy work. The Foundation operates in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.