Jane Goodall speaks at University of Winnipeg


Jane Goodall spoke in Winnipeg on Friday night at the Burton Cummings Theatre, and said that her greatest hope for our planet is young people.

The theatre was filled with people who came from Winnipeg and surrounding communities to hear Goodall’s well-known story. Many were students and youth who left feeling inspired and encouraged by her.

Declan Smith, 14, came from Neepawa for the event and says the two-hour drive was well worth it.

“It was very inspiring. It makes me want to help the environment through activities like recycling.”

The lecture began with Goodall mimicking a chimpanzee greeting, saying that if she didn’t begin her talks this way, people were usually disappointed, “That means, this is me, this is Jane.”

Goodall told of what it was like to arrive in Africa in 1960 as a 26-year-old woman, outlining the decline in the environment since that time.

“Can you imagine what it was like? I remember seeing a fish fly out of the water and land on a deck, it was magic. And of course, I was the first one to run and throw it back in the water.”

Audience members shared questions for Goodall over Twitter, and when asked on stage what she was most proud of, Goodall responded saying she was most proud of founding Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program. Founded in 1991, Roots & Shoots was started to empower youth to become the next leaders the world needs to ensure a better future for people, animals and the environment.

“I loved the idea of Roots & Shoots, I want to start one at the U of M,” said Kate Thoroski, 24, who is enrolled in teaching at the University of Manitoba, “It gives me hope for the future.”

When asked on Twitter what her next biggest adventure will be, 83-year-old Goodall had the audience laughing when she responded quickly with, “My next big adventure is dying.”

Goodall received a standing ovation and all of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.