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Climate Strike in Kitchener turns focus on B.C. Indigenous nation

It may be something going on on the other side of the country, but a group gathering in downtown Kitchener Friday afternoon is hoping you'll join them in voicing for change
climate change strike
Aastha Shetty / KitchenerToday

Waterloo Region is being called to stand in solidarity with an Indigenous nation's hereditary chiefs in British Columbia, trying to protect their land from the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

Climate action is also at the heart of the strike in downtown Kitchener Friday.

Kai Reimer-Watts volunteers with Climate Strike Waterloo Region. He said the strike is about holding the federal government accountable for the struggles the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have had protecting their land from the Canadian government trying to push through a pipeline project.

In release, Climate Strike WR said:

"People from across the region will gather on Friday, January 17 to sound the ALARM that the climate crisis is upon us and to demonstrate support for Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs who have submitted a formal request to the United Nations to monitor RCMP, government and Coastal GasLink (CGL) actions on their traditional, unceded territory."

This request follows the recent directive from the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination that requires Canada to halt the CGL pipeline project and withdraw RCMP from Wet'suwet'en territory in order to avoid further violations of Wet'suwet'en, constitutional, and international law."

Reimer-Watts said this is a justice issue, not only violating indigenous rights but also violating our country's commitment to climate action. He adds we need to be standing with those who are on the front lines of a changing climate.

"Facing the climate crisis, there are so many lessons we can learn from Indigenous people when it comes to sustainability and stewardship."

Everyone is welcome to join the group in the downtown core. It gets underway at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener at noon, in support of THEMUSEUM's upcoming exhibitions that respond to the climate emergency. 

"This is a call to all of our community, everybody who lives on this earth, breaths the air, drinks the water ... destabilizing our climate system really harms all of us."

He has this advice for anyone looking to become more involved.

"It's very easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the issue ... don't hide in fear as these events are playing out around the world."

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