As UN summit approaches, Iqaluit joins rally on climate change

A climate-change rally in Iqaluit is one of 70 events around the world that's happening Sunday in solidarity with the People's Climate March in New York City.

Greenpeace to carry Inuktitut banner at People's Climate March in New York City

A group in Iqaluit is rallying Sunday to support the People's Climate March in New York City.

The march come days before a summit on climate change at the United Nations, which is expected to include 125 leaders from around the world. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon wants to set climate-change goals at this summit, creating momentum for next year's meeting in Paris.

In New York City today, 100,000 people are expected to join in on the march on climate change. 

Jerry Natanine, the mayor of Clyde River, Nunavut, says he's happy an Inuktitut banner will be carried in the march in New York City. 

"I'm really happy about it because we have our ugly past and now we've gotten over that and [are] trying to work together for a common cause," Natanine said, adding that Greenpeace will be carrying the Inuktitut banner. 

People in Iqaluit are planning to gather at City Square at 3 p.m. Sunday, just across from the North Mart.

The People's Climate March is expected to draw large crowds in cities throughout the world. (Pilar Olivares/Reuters)

Bethany Scott, one of the organizers of the rally in Iqaluit, says it's important to her that people understand climate change is about protecting the people living in the Arctic — not just the polar bears. 

"There are many well-meaning activists from the South, who have never lived or even visited the Arctic, who are worried about how climate change is affecting the North," Scott said. "I just want them to know that there are people who actually live here who are also concerned." 

Scott says the group isn't going to march today, but plans to gather with some garbage bags. 

"If we're going to ask elected leaders to develop policies geared towards a 'cleaner' future, we should do our part to keep our local environment clean too."

Scott hopes Iqaluit's participation in today's climate-change rallies will remind people about the voices in the North, a place many people know has to be protected. 

"Many people, especially in the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut, are frustrated because they feel that their concerns about issues — environmental or social — are falling on deaf ears," Scott said.

"It's important to me that Canada's northern communities are represented in this action, that the voices of our communities are heard by our elected leaders."