Yellowknife students to walk out of class Friday to protest lack of action on climate change

Students protest a lack of action on climate change in Yellowknife last May (John McFadden/CKLB photo)

A mass walk out is planned for Friday in Yellowknife by students and other environmentally conscious individuals to protest a lack of action on climate change.

According to a news release, students from Yellowknife schools and other concerned residents will walk out of classrooms, homes and workplaces to join in the massive week of worldwide climate strikes that began Sept. 20.

The Somba K’e/Yellowknife climate strike is being organized by local high school students as well as the organizations Our Time – Yellowknife and Dene Nahjo.

It is to begin at 11:00 am at Sir John Franklin High School with the actual march set to begin at 11:30.

Protesters will then stop at St. Patrick’s High School before moving on to the post office on Franklin Avenue downtown.

From there it will move to Somba K’e Plaza beside city hall where a rally will be held beginning at 12:30 pm.

Students, Indigenous leaders and others will be giving speeches about how world leaders and all of us must do more to address climate change.

Protesters will hold banners and signs and march to the beat of the Dene Drummers.

The demonstration has the support of Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1)  Superintendent Metro Huculak who sent a letter home to parents this week.

“This is not a YK1-sanctioned event, however we understand that students at some of our schools may take part,” Huculak stated in the letter. “At YK1, we respect and appreciate student participation and concern for this global movement. We also encourage constructive, respectful and responsible student participation in different forms of social activism.”

The protest also has the support of Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty.

“I’d like to thank the students for organizing this event, for spurring the discussion, and for pushing for action,” said Mayor Alty. “I look forward to hearing from residents, businesses, community groups, and all orders of government on what we can all do to work together to address climate change.”

The event was inspired, at least in part, by teenage Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

She spoke at the United Nations this week and didn’t mince words when she told world leaders that it is pure greed that is keeping them from doing more to slow down global warming.

More information on Friday’s protest can be found at

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.