Basin Youth Network Climate Action Forum

The Climate Action Forum is a unique online climate leadership development opportunity for Basin youth aged 14-18 to connect with, learn about and be inspired by the many opportunities and pathways of climate action.

This event has been postponed to February 2022 – check back for more information or email


Keynote Presentation: From Empathy to Action: Fostering Climate Dialogue and Promoting Youth Action, by Abhayjeet Singh Sachal


Lightning Round Presentations: Basin Youth Making a Difference

  • Bringing Clean, Renewable Energy to Indigenous Communities
  • Informing our Future: How Research and Data are Advancing Climate Justice
  • Problem? Opportunity. Where Business Meets Climate Action
  • Youth Climate Corps: Learning in Action
  • Mount Sentinel Secondary School Solar Project

Breakout Room #1

Breakout Room #2


From Global to Local: Food and Climate Action Workshop, presented by The Starfish

Wrap up


Abhay Singh Sachal

From Empathy to Action: Fostering Climate Dialogue and Promoting Youth Action

Bio: Abhayjeet (Abhay) Singh Sachal is a 19-year-old Canadian humanitarian, environmentalist, and activist who believes that engagement in dialogue and conversation can serve to spark change around the world. After a trip to the Arctic in 2016, Abhay co-founded Break The Divide Foundation, a non-profit organization that connects youth around the world with one another. Based on principles of environmentalism, sustainability, and reconciliation, Break The Divide focuses on fostering empathy and understanding to inspire action projects in communities. Abhay has been a key presenter at numerous international conferences in his efforts to share environmental and educational knowledge. Abhay was recently named one of Canada’s Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalists and featured as one of 10 International Youth Changemakers in Canada. He is also an avid ice hockey player and pianist. Abhay is a student at the University of Toronto, studying Global Health and Peace & Conflict Studies.

Lightning Round Speakers

Freddie Campbell

Bringing Clean, Renewable Energy to Indigenous Communities

Freddie’s presentation will cover her cultural, academic, athletic and career journey across three different countries. Her experiences and perspectives are grounded in decolonial, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and intersectional feminist approaches. Her presentation aims to share her story while providing areas for discussion and shared learning with other presenters and youth.

Bio: Freddie Huppé Campbell (she/her) is a proud 25-year-old Métis woman from the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation, also known as Kimberley, BC and currently resides on the traditional, unceded, unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin Nation – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She leads Indigenous Clean Energy’s (ICE) Global Hub, focusing on the acceleration of clean energy microgrids in Indigenous, island, coastal and remote communities as a core component of just global climate action.

Leeza Perehudoff

Informing our Future: How Research and Data are Advancing Climate Justice

How can research or data help advance climate justice? At Selkirk College, research teams are supporting rural communities to adapt and thrive under rapid change. Learn about the innovative solutions that are providing access to accurate, credible, and timely information and encouraging the understanding of complex issues and trends over time.

Bio: Leeza Perehudoff (she/her/hers) is a 25-year-old settler on the unceded traditional territories of the Sn̓ʕay̓čkstx (Sinixt), Syilx (Okanagan), and Ktunaxa peoples and has been a nearly life-long resident of the area known as “Castlegar”. She is an alumna of Selkirk College, with a Technical Diploma in Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife and a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Systems. Since 2020, Leeza has been supporting rural resilience research at Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre. She primarily works on the State of the Basin research initiative, which provides access to data that Columbia Basin-Boundary communities and organizations can use to support evidence-based decision-making.

Myles Peterson

Problem? Opportunity. Where business meets climate action.

All problems, even the environmental ones, have solutions. Anybody can work to make the planet a better place, and by trying to do so in innovative ways can create opportunities for themselves, the people around them, and the environment.

Bio: My name is Myles Peterson and I’m 19 and the founder of the Terracore Plastic Company. After a lot of work throughout high school to overcome financial hardship, I was able to save up enough money to start a recycling company, which today manufactures some of the world’s most innovative building products. You can read more about my story here.

Emily Markholm

Youth Climate Corps: Learning in Action

In the Wildsight’s newly launched Youth Climate Corps, crew members ages 17-29 earn wages, gain work experience, build networks, and develop themselves personally and professionally. Meanwhile, they complete projects that both benefit their own communities and support global efforts to act on the climate crisis. Emily will be presenting on the experience of the YCC and the vision for the future of the program.

Bio: Emily Markholm is currently Wildsight’s Youth Climate Corps (YCC) Special Projects Coordinator. She has lived in the Columbia Basin for most of her life and is passionate about local climate action initiatives. Emily was a crew member of the 2020 Youth Climate Corps pilot program in Nelson, BC.  She attended Selkirk College in Castlegar for a diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife and returned to school this fall at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George where she is studying Wildlife and Fisheries. Emily sits on the Youth Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation where she is actively involved in co-hosting the Sierra Youth Podcast. 

Mt Sentinel Secondary School Green Team Members

Mt Sentinel’s Student Green Team Spearheads Rooftop Solar Project

Mt Sentinel Secondary Green Team Members wanted to focus their energy on one thing that would leave a lasting impact on the school after they left. The students spent the next year focusing on ideas for solar panel installation before presenting to the School District board. The presentation so impressed the board that a special vote was held to add $27,000 for start-up costs and the first 10 panels installed on the school’s roof, to the next year’s budget. Fourteen years from now, when the project is complete, there will be 160-to-190 panels on the roof generating approximately 57,000 kilowatts per hour or about half the school’s use, according to director of operations.

Bio: The Green Team at Mount Sentinel Secondary School is a group of environmentally conscious senior students, supported by social studies teacher Danny Leeming, who have worked on various projects at the school such as the installation of a beehive, the construction of an outdoor classroom and wildfire-friendly composting on school grounds.

Workshop Facilitator

The Starfish

From Global to Local: Food and Climate Action

This youth-facilitated workshop will highlight how everything we do impacts all other aspects of life around us. However, to get things done, it is important to act on climate action.

How should these goals be determined? Is there an ethical component to climate action? This is where it will be up to you as the participants to decide. The workshop includes creative digital tools, deep discussions, and debate, as well as local case studies and breakout rooms to brainstorm solutions.

Bio: The Starfish is a national charitable not-for-profit organization offering high-quality programming and workshops to schools and communities, and it supports young environmental leaders by connecting them with a platform for storytelling and a community of change-makers. The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Enviromentalists Under 25 Program celebrates and rewards Canadian youth (some who have been as young as 8 years old!) for their incredible passion and love for the environment and their communities.

Space is limited so register soon. Registration closes November 18, 2021.

Click here to register.

Screen shots and video may be used to celebrate your efforts so a Photo/Video/Audio Consent Form is required. Click here to download.

Ready to upload your signed copy? Click here.

We gratefully acknowledge the 10 Basin high school students who volunteered for the forum’s Youth Advisory Group and played a key role in designing this event. We also wish to acknowledge the expert advice and guidance received by two food system champions and experts in the Columbia Basin: Rachael Roussin, Program Coordinator for the Kootenay Boundary Farm Advisors Program, and Melissa Hemphill, Food Security Coordinator responsible for implementing Revelstoke’s Food Security Strategy.