Yellowknife students are skipping school today, to protest for climate action.
Holding signs and encouraging drivers to honk in support, the young protesters gathered outside the downtown post office have some powerful messages to share with their community. “(We’re here) to show people that a kid can make a change, so pretty much anyone can make a change,” says Bea, 11.
“There’s nothing big going on at school today but I find this is a bit more important than school right now because we need people to raise the issue within the community,” says Nina, 11. “If people don’t notice this, that could make climate change go faster. If people don’t get aware of what’s happening around us.”
Start small, on a personal level, they say. Some action they want to see are people driving less, opting for walking, biking or driving electric cars. They also want to see consumers cut down on plastic packaging and bag use, as well as grocery stores producing less plastic bags.
A lot of the action students propose involves things people can do on a personal level to reduce climate change. For example, Nina says people should use reusable bags when shopping and when asked if they want a plastic bag ‘just say no thank you.’
“There are other things we can use instead of plastic or we can just re-use plastic, so there is less pollution,” says Talia, 12.
Leo, 10, says he would like to see more people donate to second-hand stores and less car tourism throughout the city.
Neve, 10, also want to see the GNWT cut down on the usage of fossil fuels to heat buildings in the city. “Some of them might but others might say they’re just kids, they don’t really know anything,” she says, of the possible reaction from politicians. “Even though we’re just kids, it’s not just adults who can make a difference because we are the future. We can make a difference too.”
Yellowknife students as young as 10 are taking part in the protest, part of the global Fridays For Future movement started by Swedish student Greta Thunberg.