British Columbia

B.C. students join nationwide school walkout in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs

B.C. students joined others across Canada in a nationwide school walkout Wednesday organized to show support for the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs.

Langara College students blocked the intersection of Cambie Street and 49th Avenue in Vancouver

Langara College students block the intersection at Cambie Street and 49th Avenue in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

B.C. students joined others across Canada in a nationwide school walkout organized to show support for the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs.

In Vancouver, Langara College students blocked the intersection of Cambie Street and 49th Avenue Wednesday afternoon.

In North Vancouver, there was a protest around 5 p.m. in the area of Mountain Highway and Keith Road.

Students gather in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs at UBC on Wednesday afternoon. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

And in Victoria, hundreds of university and high school students gathered at the B.C. Legislature, where they stood on the lawn in a circle of ceremony, with the Indigenous youth who have been camped out on the steps for days.

More than 5,000 students across Canada from at least 38 different universities took part in the Wednesday walkout, according to a release from a group called Students in Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en.

UVic student Alison Conibear said it's important for students to voice their support because they "have the privilege of endless knowledge."

"[As students], we have to be making the changes we want to see, and this [walkout] is the place for it," she said.

Other schools, including Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, University of the Fraser Valley, UBC, and Camosun scheduled walkouts for Wednesday afternoon. 

The National Student Walkout for Wet'suwet'en is organized by a coalition of student organizers in B.C., according to social media posts, and is demanding "that the RCMP and [Coastal GasLink] fully withdraw from sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory immediately."

University of Victoria students left class Wednesday morning as part of a nationwide student walkout. (Adam van der Zwan/CBC)

Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose Coastal GasLink's natural gas pipeline cutting through their traditional territory in northern B.C.

Over the weekend a draft agreement was struck between the chiefs and federal and provincial officials, however the pipeline issue at the heart of the conflict was not addressed in the deal. 

With files from Adam van der Zwan and Joel Ballard