Short documentary: Kid Warrior — Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a young environmental artist and activist from Boulder, Colorado, whose unorthodox campaigns are gaining international attention.

“The biggest challenge we face is shifting human consciousness, not saving the planet,” says 14-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, from Boulder, Colorado, in the short documentary Kid Warrior. “Because the planet doesn’t need saving — we do.”

Raised in the Aztec tradition by his father, Xiuhtezcatl has been fighting for environmental change since he was six, being moved to action after seeing Leonardo Dicaprio’s documentary The Eleventh Hour.

He’s organised over 100 high-impact rallies, events and conferences around the globe, has spoken for TED and is one of the youngest people to speak on a United Nations panel. He’s also youth director of Earth Guardians, a nonprofit organisation that encourages young people to get involved in environmental activism.

“We’ve gotten threats from the oil and gas industry… weird shit happens when people start to tell the truth about big industries that are coming in and taking advantage of communities, and taking advantage of resources,” says Xiuhtezcatl.

In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl was awarded ‘Youth Change Maker of the Year’ from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s youth council.

His twelve-year-old brother Itzcuauhtli is quickly following in his footsteps. On 27 October, 2014, he went on a 45-day silent strike for climate action. Now, Itzcuauhtli is collecting one million signatures to deliver to United Nations leaders when they convene in Paris for the December 2015 climate talks.

Together, Xiuhtezcatl and Itzcuauhtli have produced hip hop songs like ‘What the Frack?’ and ‘Speak for the Trees’ to deliver these messages in a way that is fun and accessible for young adults.

They are taking the campaign all across the globe, getting as many young people involved as possible. “People will look at this generation as the generation that was able to overcome one of the greatest issues that humanity has ever been faced with… People say that we’re the future, that we’re going to inherit this planet…It’s amazing to see young people say ‘we’re not going to wait until then’. We’re going to do something now.”

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