A member of the Tsitts Gitanee clan of the Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii, Haana Edenshaw, 16, is one of 15 Canadian youth suing the Canadian government for its contributions to climate change. Haana has been an environmental justice and Indigenous rights activist for much of her life, organizing climate strikes, speaking alongside Greta Thunberg at the 2019 Rally for Climate Justice in Vancouver, and delivering a speech in the Masset dialect of the Haida language at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues last year. Her deep commitment to social and environmental justice is rooted in the ancestral knowledge that land stewardship is both the basis of ecological health and essential to the practice and preservation of Indigenous culture.
In the lawsuit, Haana and her co-plaintiffs argue that their rights to life, liberty, security of person, equality, and public trust rights are being violated by the Canadian federal government due to its continued support of fossil fuels. The lawsuit is part of a global movement of youth, supported by the nonprofit law firm Our Children’s Trust, holding governments accountable for their role in the climate crisis.