The Green Gazette - June/July/August 2019

Page 28

Vancouver School Strike for Climate Action Article & Photos by Leonardo DeGorter At the recent Vancouver rally, David Suzuki showed up and addressed the crowd at one point, making an emotional speech. Among other things, he called attention to how politics and corporate agendas have played down the scientific facts about climate change and cited the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Report (IPCC) from October 2018, and how it’s still possible to revert course and avoid climate chaos, but only if we, in an unprecedented event, act decisively on changing our ways. At the event, hope and optimism were well balanced with the sense of urgency of this crisis. -GG Leonardo DeGorter is a documentary photographer focused on conservation and environmental issues. His work can be seen on Hundreds of youth took to the streets of Vancouver on May 3, during a school strike for the climate. Despite the traffic disruption, many drivers were sympathetic with the movement, honking their horns and waving at the crowd.


ancouver students walked out of their schools on May 3 for the fourth time since December. The school strike for climate action has a clear goal: address world leaders to take action against climate change in order to avoid its worst consequences. By fighting for a better future at an early age, students are helping to spread an obvious message: climate change is a time sensitive crisis that demands immediate action from policy makers. On May


3, thousands of students joined the movement across Canada. This unlikely movement of students trying to wake up our so-called leaders to scientific facts regarding our urgent crisis was started last year by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish student. At the time, she started a one-girl strike for climate action outside the Swedish parliament building. From that first lonely day, the movement grew rapidly, now reaching hundreds of cities across the globe.

David Suzuki made an emotional speech, based on science and the political facts that lead the world, and Canada, to its current environmental crisis.

Tŝilhqot’in Nation Deliver Historic Statement to the United Nations

hief Joe Alphonse of Tl’etinqox, Chief Francis Laceese of Tl’esqox, Chief Jimmy Lulua of XeniGwet’in, and Chief Otis Guichon of TsiDeldel attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York City to represent the Tŝilhqot’in Nation while Chief Russell Myers Ross of Yunesit’in and Chief Roy Stump of ?Esdilagh remained back home to look after the interests of their communities and the Nation. On May 2, 2019, at the Permanent Forum, the chiefs and cultural ambassador of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation were invited to take the floor of the United Nations. Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chair of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government, presented to the Permanent Forum and hundreds of visiting Indigenous Nations, countries, and UN delegates. “We are Tŝilhqot’in. We will stand together, we

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will fight together, and we will never settle for anything less than full recognition of our rights, our title, our jurisdiction, and our authority in our homeland,” said Chief Alphonse. He further shared how the Tŝilhqot’inwar chiefs of 1864 continue to guide and give strength to the Tŝilhqot’in as they seek to implement their 2014 Supreme Court of Canada title victory, and to secure recognition of title and jurisdiction to their territory. Chief Francis Laceese of Tl’esqox explained that Tŝilhqot’in culture is most powerfully expressed through traditional values like the drum song, and invited PeyalLaceese, a Tŝilhqot’in youth and cultural ambassador, to take the floor. Peyal shared with the UN the same drum song that rang through the Parliament of Canada in March 2018, when Prime Minister Trudeau delivered a statement of exoneration to the Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs of

1864, bringing those assembled on the floor of the UN to their feet. -GG Photo: Tŝilhqot’in National Government

The Tŝilhqot’in Chiefs in New York City for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Left to Right: Chief Francis Laceese of Tl’esqox, Chief Jimmy Lulua of Xeni Gwet’in, Chief Otis Guichon of Tsi Deldel, and Chief Joe Alphonse of Tl’etinqox.

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