Yellowknife's Chloe Dragon Smith believes in starting environmental awareness at a young age.

Photo: Chloe Dragon-Smith.

Photo: Chloe Dragon-Smith.

AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Chloe is a northern born girl from Yellowknife, who grew up with many traditional experiences on the land that allowed her to connect with nature since her childhood. Optimistic and passionate, she is happiest when she is exploring the outdoors and is determined to shift the way we interact with nature. Chloe’s boyfriend says that her resolve to do this is an inspiration to him and instills hope in many others.

Chloe says that respect for the environment was part of her childhood. Thanks to her family, she grew up with  embracing traditional skills, animal harvesting, and lots of outdoor play.

She believes that the key to change is in early childhood development. If children are able to get outside and experience nature, they will continue to love and respect nature into adulthood. This respect for nature would ensure that future generations make positive contributions to environmental sustainability. Chloe herself is living proof that it is possible to foster a positive attitude towards the environment by exposing children to outdoor learning at a young age.

Chloe works for the Canadian Parks Council as the Youth Co-Chair of the Connecting Youth to Nature working group, developing strategies to connect Canadian youth to nature. She raises awareness and gathers support for youth engagement by speaking to diverse audiences about the importance of getting kids outside.

Last November, Chloe had the opportunity to make her voice heard on a world stage when she spoke about the importance of nature in human development and societal health during the opening of the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

In the next few years, Chloe plans to continue gaining experience in her field, while constantly thinking of creative solutions for getting people in Canada re-connected with the land.

Chloe would like to thank her family for instilling in her a deep appreciation of the environment. She would also like to thank everyone who has listened to her story on a larger stage.

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