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

LETTER: Harrison should reconsider paving boat launch

Letter writer Ed Wood shares his concerns about stormwater runoff from the new pavement

LETTER: Fisheries letter invites colonized misinformation

Leah Ballantyne writes to share her disappointment in a recent letter to the Observer

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read