School Walk Out in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en People
By Makiyah Williams
Photo by Jason Hargrove
I am an Indigenous student that goes to school in Caledonia and who also comes from a long line of strong and amazing Mohawk women. I follow a lot of activism and actions that have to do with Indigenous communities including my own. I organized a student walkout at my highschool because I value my beliefs and I feel like we as Indigenous peoples should have equal rights and jurisdiction over our own land and waters.
Organizing the student walkout was hard because at first I was unsure and scattered about the whole idea but, with being at the highway 6 blockade when it first went up, my dad and I spent lots of time talking about what I could do and how I could do it. I have family in B.C and right from day one I followed everything that was happening. I was filled with some confusion and anger because once again the government is going into another Indigenous community and doing their dirty work. When my mom brought up the flyer for the student walkout she urged me to do something. My family and I spent days talking about different actions I could take, but I was nervous and didn’t know what I would do. I talked about it for days on end with my family expressing how I felt about things going on in Wet’suwet’en territory, it was frustrating knowing the RCMP and the police have the right to forcibly remove Indigenous peoples from their unceded and traditional territories/lands, when Indigenous communities all across Canada don’t even have clean drinking water. Planning the student walkout, I had lots of ideas but I wasn’t exactly sure as to what I was going to do. All the way up until the day of the walkout I had some help with making sure everything went smoothly. It had a great turn out and I am especially grateful to my sister Lola for helping me make the signs the night before and helping me write a statement of which we did not get the chance to read. I look forward to being a part of more movements and organizing more. I was proud and honored that I was able to be a part of an amazing movement. Regardless of the inevitable negativity we got from passer-bys, it was great to receive support, and overall it was time very well spent.