Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Chloe Dragon Smith
Roles at NAAEE:30 Under 30
Canadian Parks Council
Chloe Dragon Smith is a young Metis woman from the small northern city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Of Chipewyan and European heritage, she grew up close to her Indigenous cultural values and learned traditional skills for living on the land. This northern upbringing shaped her values today. Chloe is a trained canoe instructor, an open water scuba diver, an avid hiker, and a hockey player. She loves to travel and she seeks out Nature in every new place she visits. She leads by example.
Chloe holds a degree in Earth Science from the University of Victoria. While educated in Science, she is keenly interested and has found her niche in working with people on the social/cultural benefits of the natural world. Currently, Chloe works with the Canadian Parks Council, co-chairing an intergenerational citizen working group called Connecting a New Generation with Nature. The working group has created a document called The Nature Playbook: Take action to connect a new generation of Canadians with Nature. It will soon be available online. A draft of this book has inspired the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to adopt The Nature Playbook model as a global best practice and it was featured at the World Conservation Congress this September, 2016. This project spans the continuum of Nature, reaching children and youth in cities, regions, states/provinces, and countries.
This summer, Chloe worked on piloting The Nature Playbook in Yellowknife, her hometown. She is reaching children in parks, showing them fun and simple ways of connecting with Nature. She is also working with organizations to institutionalize Nature-based learning and education opportunities for local and regional children. On a larger scale, Chloe has spoken to many important audiences about her passion for connecting children and youth to nature. In late 2014 Chloe was a plenary speaker at the IUCN World Parks Congress where she spoke to 6000 delegates about the interconnection between Nature, education and culture. Similarly, she was asked to provide an opening address at the Inspiring a New Generation Summit in November 2015.
Connecting people with Nature is important to Chloe because she loves the land and cares about conservation - but most of all, she wants to bring the wonderful feelings she's had outdoors to others. We are all part of Nature, and so spending time outdoors brings us a lot of balance. By helping to create balanced, happy people we can accomplish many societal goals, even beyond conservation.