Alex Cool Fergus, 2016 Finalist

ALEX COOL FERGUS
AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Gatineau, QC (Traditional territories of the Anishinaabe)

Alex Cool Fergus grew up with ecologically-minded parents and was exposed to nature from a young age. A few years ago, she attended a program called Katimavik in the Northwest Territories. Prior to this experience, she had always been against the seal hunt for ecological reasons. However, after spending time among indigenous people, she realized hunting seals was actually part of their culture and a way that local people fed themselves. This experience got her thinking about the social impacts of climate change, and she realized that the most important goal of environmentalism is protecting humans through climate justice. Alex is now working toward climate justice for disadvantaged populations.

Aside from working on community initiatives in her home province of Quebec, Alex went to COP20 in Lima, Peru as part of the Canadian Youth Delegation where she was involved in high-level policy analysis. According to other youth delegates, Alex is dedicated to her work, a gracious speaker, and a thoughtful decision maker. She is also bilingual, so she was able to translate the work of the Canadian Youth Delegation into French. In Lima, she and other youths worked toward the anti-corporatization of COP20 so that the voices of frontline communities could come to the forefront of decision-making regarding climate change impacts.

Alex has just graduated with a degree in environmental studies and politics, and she is now working for an environmental NGO. This work involves developing a program with local partners to provide high school students with agriculture training and get them involved in their communities. In the next few years, Alex aspires to start an organic vegetable farm in order to create a space for local agriculture and training geared towards climate justice. Through this project, she hopes to build community around the social aspects of environmentalism. Alex believes that in order to achieve climate justice, we need to deal with social, political, cultural, and natural injustices.

She would like to thank her colleagues from Ecology North for introducing her to the social lens of environmentalism and the COP20 Canadian Youth Delegation in Lima for inspiring her


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alex was a member of the COP20 Canadian Youth Delegation.

  • Alex spent a week in Virginia working with post-secondary students on a coal ash related campaign.

  • She was a Fossil Free Fellow for the March for Jobs, Justice and Climate.

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