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Iqaluit students walk out of school protesting inaction on climate change

About 100 students walked out of Iqaluit's Inuksuk High School in protest of climate change.

Students in Iqaluit want a youth advocacy group to talk about climate change

In an email to CBC student organizer Angela Austria said they want to Government of Nunavut to start a youth advocacy group, implement new policies to benefit the environment, pass a motion to declare a climate emergency, create an environmental action plan for the city of Iqaluit, and make a larger effort to educate the public on climate change. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

About 100 students walked out of Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit Wednesday morning to protest what they see as inaction on climate change.

Students holding signs emblazoned with slogans such as "like the oceans we rise" and "why should we go to school if you won't listen to the educated," marched to Iqaluit's main intersection — four corners — before heading to the nearby Nunavut legislature building.

Three students, Angela Austria, Cassidy-Ann Nester and Macintosh Pavia, organized the march.

"We want our youth voices to be heard, we want a youth advocacy board in which youth can contribute to community decisions," said Austria, a Grade 12 student in Iqaluit.

Austria said they decided to hold this walkout after learning more about climate change in class.

In an email to CBC, Austria said they want the Government of Nunavut to start a youth advocacy group to have their voices heard on climate change, implement new policies to benefit the environment, pass a motion to declare a climate emergency, create an environmental action plan for the city of Iqaluit, and make a larger effort to educate the public on climate change.

"We are the future, we are the path pavers of the future," said Austria.

Nunavut's Premier Joe Savikataaq and other members of cabinet could be seen looking out the window of the legislature building at the protest as students made speeches on the steps.

Students walked out of class on June 5 to protest climate change. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

Iqaluit MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone spoke to the crowd on the legislature steps.

"I want you to know that as an MLA I stand with you," said Arreak Lightstone.

He promised the students he would continue to push the government on creating better climate change policies.

"I believe that you guys are absolutely right and you are doing the right thing," said  Arreak Lightstone.

Iqaluit MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone spoke to the student protesters to tell them that he supports their initiative. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

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