Young Leader Award

Honouring an individual 30 years or younger who has been recognized as a leader, created change, and strengthened leadership in their community.

2019 Recipient:

Autumn Peltier
Water Advocate
Wikwemikong First Nation

Through her work as a passionate advocate for protecting water, fourteen-year-old Autumn Peltier is inspiring youth around the world to fight for environmental rights. Autumn has gained national and international recognition for her advocacy for clean water for Indigenous communities in Canada.

She recently addressed the UN General Assembly on World Water Day to tell leaders to better manage and preserve world water resources. Autumn met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, and as a result, he made a public commitment to take steps to protect the water in Canada. 

Autumn is a third-time nominee for the International Childrens Peace Prize, and a nominee for the 2019 Muhammed Ali Humanitarian Award. Autumn recently received the 2019 Water Warrior Award from Ecologos, was recognized as one of 30 under 30 by North America for Environmental Education, and was named in the top 100 Most Influential People in the World for Climate Change Policy in 2019.

Selection Process

The recipient of this annual award is nominated by OMSSA's Awards and Nomination Committee and selected by OMSSA's Board of Directors. Selection criteria includes:

  • 30 years and under

  • Has been recognized as a leader in their community and seen as a person who has created change, as well as strengthened leadership in various capacities

  • Special consideration to be given to someone involved in human services sector work

  • Able to travel to future a Leadership Symposium to receive award and speak during a plenary session


Recipients are honoured each year at OMSSA's Annual Leadership Symposium.