Sask. students join global strike for government action on climate change

It's a global revolution and Saskatchewan won't be left behind - if the kids have anything to say about it.

Students stepped out of class to speak up on environmental issues

Students in Saskatoon protested outside City Hall Friday to press politicians for action on climate change. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

It's a global revolution and Saskatchewan won't be left behind, at least not if kids have anything to say about it.

Students in Regina and Saskatoon skipped class Friday morning to protest climate change inaction at City Hall in Saskatoon and the legislature in Regina.

The walk-outs were inspired by the actions of Nobel Prize-nominated Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

Why should we be studying for a future that will be no more?- Stella Mansell

Approximately 30 students participated in the walk down the Broadway Bridge to City Hall in Saskatoon. There were dozens more in Regina.

Studying for an uncertain future

Thirty students in Saskatoon crossed the Broadway Bridge to downtown and protested environmental inaction in front of City Hall. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Sisters Rowan and Stella Mansell, both in Grade 7, participating in Friday's walk-out in Saskatoon.

They're looking for immediate action.

"I feel like right now we aren't guaranteed a future and the United Nations report on climate change says that in 12 years, if drastic changes aren't made, it'll be too late," said Rowan.

"I'll be only 24-years-old."

The sisters highlighted the importance of leaving school for the protest. 

"Why should we be studying for a future that will be no more?" asked Stella.

The sisters and their family walk often instead of using the family vehicle to commute to school and work. Stella and Rowan also aspire to produce zero waste and have begun to eat a vegan diet.

The Mansell family started eating vegetarian last year to combat the effects of methane gas from animal and meat production.

'They need to consider a carbon tax'

The climate change walk outs are focused on giving young people a voice, but they also have some demands directed at Saskatchewan's politicians.

"We need them to listen and meet them to take this seriously," said Alida Scott at the Regina walk-out.

The walk-out Friday was student-driven, and there were few adults present, except for a handful of parents, and grandparents. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

For the students at the walk-outs in Regina and Saskatoon, climate change has always been part of the global conversation.

Many said they haven't seen very much action, given how often environmental activism is in the news.

Some with families who farm are seeing the direct effects of climate change.

"It gets very dry and they have a lot of trouble with their crops," said Roux Fife outside the legislature.

"And then it leads to affecting our entire economy, which effects our parents going to buy groceries," Scott replied.

More protests are being organized for later in the year, including on April 22, Earth Day.


Bridget Yard is the producer of CBC's Up North. She previously worked for CBC in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan as a video journalist and later transitioned to feature storytelling and radio documentaries.

with files from Radio-Canada and Saskatoon Morning