With summer break officially underway, politicians and residents joined members from the Climate Action Inuvik group for one final march and rally on June 28.
“This is our last march of the season. I just want to say how successful – and for us to recognize the young people here who have a very unique voice,” said Abe Drennan, the founder of Climate Action Inuvik.
The group met at the entrance of East Three Secondary School before marching down MacKenzie Road towards Chief Jim Koe Park where they held their first ever rally.
As they made their way to their final destination, they shouted out chants and held up signs that contained various messages regarding climate change awareness.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd of about 20 people, which included youth, Mayor Natasha Kulikowski, Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses and more.
“Our future is bright because we won’t stop fighting for it,” said Kendra Bulldog, a member of Climate Action Inuvik and a student at East Three Elementary School.
Mayor Kulikowski, who’s supported the local movement since it began in March, told the group that her involvement in their cause was to let members know that there is a politician out there who is listening to what they have to say.
“As youth in our community, you’re showing the way for what adults should be doing and what kids could be doing,” said Kulikowski. “All of those new things that we’re going to come forward together with, to make sure that we have a better planet going forward.”
Earlier in the day, Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Alfred Moses was in town to announce the GNWT’s $5.5 million contribution to the renovation of Inuvik’s Mike Zubko Airport, a project that is designed to alleviate the impacts that climate change is having on the airport’s infrastructure.
“That’s us working as a government with the municipality, as well as with the federal government to address these concerns, and we’ll continue to listen to what your needs are, as well as the needs of leaders right across the territory and the Arctic to say that we need to make some changes to make sure that our people are safe and are healthy,” Moses told the crowd.
His parting message to the group was to continue to fight for what they believe in.
“Your voice does mean a lot. Your support does mean a lot. I encourage you to continue to bring that voice forward,” he said. “I just want to say thank you on behalf of the GNWT, and as a resident of Inuvik and the NWT.”
As students and residents head their separate ways for the summer break, Drennan said that the goal of the event was to test the waters of rallies and public speaking, which he hopes to see more of once school picks up in the fall.
“In some cases, young people can see solutions that adults can’t. That’s due to their passion and energy,” said Drennan. “I think as adults, I see my job as giving them space, listening to them and providing them opportunities for them to have a voice continuously along this journey.”