Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary joined students all around the world by participating in a global youth climate strike on March 14th at 1pm. Youth from the Damaan Tlagee Society Protecting the Land gathered with their classmates to raise awareness locally and internationally, with Haida Citizens and Haida Gwaii Residents joining in support.
GwaaG̲anad Diane Brown started the event in prayer. Haida Gwaii youth then started their march through G̲aw Massett starting in front of Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay, up to the Village of Massett Office, and down Main Street, where they gathered in front of Delmas Co-op. Damaan Tlagee Society addressed the students and public that gathered. Midori Campos then read a supportive speech from her aunt Kihlguula Gaay.ya Severn Cullis-Suzuki, who unfortunately could not attend the event.
After the speeches the youth brought forward a petition to ban single-use plastics on Haida Gwaii as a first step towards making a difference. The petition received 37 signatures and about 100 students and community members gathered in support.
The petition relates to Haida Gwaii Youth Assembly resolution 2014-05-10-02 “Plastic Bags Ban on Haida Gwaii”, submitted by Team Energy in May 2014. The CHN House of Assembly voted unanimously to support the Youth Assembly resolution in October 2014. The HOA subsequently passed resolution 2018-23 “Plastic Bag Ban”, reiterating its unanimous support of the Youth Assembly resolution.
The Global Youth Climate Strike started in Sweden in 2018 when Greta Thunberg (16) learned about climate change and the inaction of society. She started skipping school once a week to protest in front of Swedish parliament in Stockholm with a sign that said “School Strike for Climate”. The movement has grown globally, with groups of youth and adults from hundreds of countries gathering together to demand that leaders take action against climate change.