EN - News

Greta Thunberg's Meeting With A First Nations Chief Was Kept A Secret Until Now

The two discussed how climate change affects First Nations communities.

Greta Thunberg's visit to Alberta was a busy one. The young climate activist travelled to Edmonton to give a speech at the city's own climate strike. While that event put Greta in the public eye, another stop during her visit to the province was kept fairly quiet. On October 18, Greta Thunberg was in Fort McMurray to have a discussion with Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam.

The meeting was kept quiet as Fort McMurray is at the heart of Alberta's oil industry and Thunberg and Adam did not want any disruption from pro-oil sands protesters. Greta Thunberg has faced plenty of pushback during her visit to the province and was told she was not welcome in Alberta even before she arrived.

The discussion took place just hours after Thunberg's speech at the Edmonton Climate Strike, and Adam called it "a great discussion," according to Fort McMurray Today.

"She didn’t say a lot. She just sat there and listened to us," Adam told Fort McMurray Today. "She was receptive and kind-hearted.

Thunberg and Adam discussed the concern over the oil sands industry and the impact it is having on the environment, specifically from a First Nations point of view.

"We talked about what was going on in our region," Adam told CBC News. "Where we come from, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, everything you [Fort McMurray] do affects us."

Adam discussed how European investors that put money into the Canadian oil industry should be told to find ways to make the industry more sustainable.

"Tell them to invest in better technologies to enhance how to produce oil from the oilsands," Adam told Thunberg, according to the Canadian Press. "That's what you call sustainable development."

After their meeting, Adam admitted that he couldn't understand why people are so afraid of Thunberg and what she is saying.

"I don't know why the world is so scared of her," Adam told the Canadian Press. "She stands about four feet tall and she's probably, I'm guessing about 110 pounds, that's about it."

"We talk to our kids every day and sometimes our kids give us meaningful answers that we are looking for," Adam told the Canadian Press.

Thunberg has not commented publicly on her trip to Fort McMurray. During her speech in Edmonton, she seemed to avoid criticizing the oilsands at all, and instead focused on the effects that climate change will have on the planet.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.