Earth Charter Commissioner and Council member; host of the APTN TV series ‘Samaqan: Water Stories; board member of the David Suzuki Foundation. A longtime activist for the future, Severn and friends started the Environmental Children’s Organization at nine years old. This culminated in a speech to the UN at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 when she was twelve.
Severn is proud of her work on the Earth Charter Commission (earthcharterinaction.org) and continued engaging with UN Earth Summits – bringing ‘Recognition of Responsibility’ pledge to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002, and returning to Rio +20 as a Champion for the Canadian Earth Summit Initiative WE CANada in 2012.
Severn has participated in five speaking tours in Japan with the Namakemono Club; the most recent supported the post-Fukushima Million Mothers’ anti-nuclear movement. Severn is an Action Canada Fellow (‘04-‘05), has published several books in Japan, and was an editor and writer for Notes from Canada’s Young Activists (Greystone books, 2007) in Canada.
She holds a B.Sc. in Biology from Yale University and an M.Sc. in Ethnoecology from the University of Victoria, where she studied with elders from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations and Dr. Nancy Turner. Nine years ago Severn moved to the archipelago of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia, home of the Haida Nation, her husband’s community. There she began to study the critically endangered Xaayda kil (Skidegate dialect of the Haida language) with elders.
She was a founding board member of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, and today she is a Vanier Scholar pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia with the goal of bringing language research to help the revitalization of the Haida language.