Signage at the Unist’ot’en camp near Houston, B.C., on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Leonardo DiCaprio voices support for Unist’oten anti-pipeline camp in northern B.C.

Actor-slash-climate-activists’s message to his 18.9 million followers received a mix of fandom and criticism

Leonardo DiCaprio, the award-winning actor and climate activist, has voiced his support for a group of First Nations protesters who are against the Coastal Gaslink LNG pipeline in northern B.C.

DiCaprio is one of a handful of celebrities who have voiced their support for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and its members who are against the $6.2-billion pipeline set to transport natural gas from near Dawson Creek to Kitimat.

In a tweet on Friday, he urged his 18.9 million followers to sign a petition created by protesters at the Unist’oten camp “as they fight to protect their lands.”

DiCaprio’s message received a mix of fandom and criticism, with dozens calling him a hypocrite for rejecting the pipeline but still enjoying a lush lifestyle surely burning fossil fuels.

Others asked him to consider the roughly 20 elected Indigenous chiefs who signed agreements in support of the project.

READ MORE: B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

At the core of the dispute is confusion over details in the Indian Act and unresolved issues over land claim boundaries. Hereditary chiefs against the pipeline argue they are the ones who have authority over the 22,000 square kilometres of Wet’suwet’en traditional territory while elected band members administer the reserves.

In early January, actors Susan Sarandon, Ellen Page and Rosario Dawson used their social media capital to highlight anti-pipeline solidarity protests that were held across Canada after RCMP moved into breakup one of the camps setup to block access to Coast Gaslink’s construction sites near the Morice River Bridge, south of Houston.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protest

Coastal Gaslink announced on Jan. 28 that it would halt operations because traps had been placed inside construction boundaries and people were entering the site, raising safety concerns. They have since announced temporary homes will be built nearby to house pipeline workers who will be constructing new access roads ahead of further work.

On Thursday, the provincial government and Wet’suwet’en heriditary chiefs said in a joint statement that they are committed to “explore a path forward together, government-to-government, that seeks to build trust over time and meaningfully advance reconciliation.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Most Read