Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

The chief of a northern Alberta First Nation says he gave climate activist Greta Thunberg a message during a quietly arranged meeting in Fort McMurray on Friday night.

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam says he told the 16-year-old Swede that Europeans are major investors in the area’s oilsands, and she needs to get people to lobby those investors for greener technology to extract Alberta energy.

Adam says the meeting in a Fort McMurray office was arranged earlier this week, and was kept secret in order to prevent pro-oilsands campaigners from disrupting it.

Thunberg was in Edmonton earlier Friday for a rally at the Alberta legislature that drew thousands of people, but also attracted a small counter-rally of trucks that drove past, blasting their horns.

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement that has seen her speak plainly to world leaders and forums, chastising them to do something before it’s too late to reverse catastrophic weather changes.

Adam says it was a privilege to meet with Thunberg, and says she mostly just listened to him talk about the history of First Nations in the area and their concerns about oilsands development.

“You have to go back to Europe and you have to tell the European investors, why are you investing in the oilsands if you want to promote green energy?” Adam said he told Thunberg.

“Tell them to invest in better technologies to enhance how to produce oil from the oilsands,” he added.

“That’s what you call sustainable development.”

United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney had said he hoped Thunberg would recognize efforts made by Alberta’s oil and gas industry to reduce its emissions, but said he had no plans to meet with her.

Thunberg stayed away from any direct criticism of Alberta’s oilsands while in Edmonton on Friday.

Adam said Thunberg has now left the Fort McMurray area.

“I don’t know why the world is so scared of her. She stands about four feet tall and she’s probably, I’m guessing about 110 pounds, that’s about it,” Adam said, dismissing those who criticize Thunberg’s views because she’s young.

“We talk to our kids every day and sometimes our kids give us meaningful answers that we are looking for.”

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

READ MORE: Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former editor of The Free Press to showcase work at The Arts Station

Phil McLachlan’s show will run for one month beginning on January 30

Grasmere postal service still in question

A community meeting leaves residents with more questions than answers

A philanthropic twist on Fernie’s Australia Day festivities

Various local businesses hosted events and fundraisers for the Australian bushfires

The FSA Gumball Challenge back for round two

The snowmobile event will cover hundreds of acres of terrain

Fernie SAR responds to injured skier

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated on January 27 after receiving… Continue reading

Feds preparing plane to fly Canadians out of Wuhan, once China gives OK

160 Canadians have asked for help to leave province at centre of coronavirus outbreak

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in August 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

‘I am so sorry’: Stolen Baby Bear statue reunited with Mama, Papa Bear in B.C. town

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

Off-duty B.C. Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Most Read