A celebrity with few, if any connections to Canada gets 100 times more coverage than a First Nations chief speaking on behalf of her community.
In recent years, Canada has become a touchpoint for Hollywood stars eager to demonstrate their environmentalist props. Motivated by commitments to sustainability, while publicly declaring support for Indigenous peoples, celebrities like Leo DiCaprio, Neil Young, Mark Ruffalo and Jane Fonda feel free to lecture Canadians about both environmental matters and their treatment of Indigenous peoples.
Infatuation with stardom means Hollywood pronouncements receive outsized media attention. A celebrity with few, if any connections to Canada, let alone to Indigenous communities, gets 100 times more coverage than a First Nations chief speaking on behalf of her community.
It hurts that the commentary can be so ill-informed and destructive of what we have worked toward. Simplistic notions — resource development is bad, all Indigenous peoples oppose oil and gas projects — may be wildly off the mark, but this doesn’t deter the stars.
Mark Ruffalo called out the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline and the Canadian government for ignoring Indigenous peoples. This was totally inaccurate. The pipeline has the support of all 20 First Nations along its route.