Nicole Kaneski

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Nicole is a 16 year old human rights advocate from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Nicole first became involved with advocacy after being involved with a project called Strong Girls, Strong World when she was 13. This project helped her develop a sense of what activism looked like, and after this, she threw herself into the world of activism!


Nicole states that her biggest passions are intersectional feminism and the wellbeing of all women. She's also passionate about lgbtq+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Human rights are her first love but she is also interested in environmental issues and try to do as much as she can to minimize her environmental footprint! On what inspires her to pursue her work in activism, Nicole says “Other people inspire me to be an advocate. Seeing all the work being done to change at both the community level and globally. Additionally, seeing and feeling the prevalence of so many issues in today’s world makes activism unavoidable, it’s about survival.”


Nicole is heavily engaged with Plan International Canada, participating in a variety of different campaigns such as being selected as a Maternal and Newborn Health Advocate where she had the opportunity meet with young Canadian activists from across the country was incredible. As well, she also had the opportunity to shadow Caroline Riseboro the CEO of Plan Canada for Girls Belong which she says was the opportunity of a lifetime! She is most proud of the work she did with Strong Girls, Strong World. SGSW was a group of young women in Winnipeg who collaborated to prevent violence against women in the city. They created a teaching tool and presented it at various local organizations to spread awareness and education. She was also involved with various local organizations like the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. She also ran the Newspaper at my high school and used that as a vehicle to raise awareness for human rights issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.


What’s next for Nicole? I started University this fall and I’m really excited to just learn as much as I can. I’m really interested in both journalism and law and my dream job would be working at the ACLU or any human rights organization. I also really want to continue to be involved with advocacy on the grassroots level, so I don’t want a career that will take me too far away from the issues on the ground.

“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing” - Audre Lorde

What would you say to a young person who wants to make a change?

Find your community. You can feel very powerless and overwhelmed on your own, even though that’s not true, but when you engage with like minded youth your perspective totally shifts. Even little things like following activist instagram accounts, or reading blogs can make you feel connected. When you have those connections you can learn from them and grow, which will help you make the most of your activism.