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.

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

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Canfor announces permanent closure of Isle Pierre Mill

The company also announced curtailments at their pulp mills in Prince George.

COVID-19 and returning to safe operation

WorkSafeBC recognizes the importance of worker safety as businesses look to resume… Continue reading

Local governments receiving provincial grants

Meant for infrastructure projects and planning

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

Most Read