Dear Hollywood: Stop misrepresenting Indigenous views on resource development
A message from the Indigenous Resource Network
The Indigenous Resource Network advocates for a sustainable future for Indigenous communities who rely on the natural resource sector in Canada. Here’s their message to Hollywood celebrities like Mark Ruffalo who continue to spread misinformation about the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project in B.C.
Hollywood celebrities from outside of Canada are actively campaigning against the Coastal GasLink project, claiming Indigenous People do not support it. However, 20 elected First Nations governments along the route do support it.
Hollywood celebrities are standing in the way of us being able to make our own decisions. Their main goal is to push their agenda and use us as talking points; ultimately, communities are left to pick up the pieces.
Indigenous people and communities want to have self-determination. It is an important step towards reconciliation and that means allowing for Indigenous communities to develop their natural resources how they see fit.
When Hollywood celebrities insert themselves and their agendas in this conversation, it sets us back even more. We have the right to freely determine our political status and pursue economic, social and cultural development.
Although their intentions may be to help Indigenous people in Canada, this can be best done by allowing our people to use their own voices. We are able to decide for ourselves what is best for ourselves and our communities.
Many First Nations and Metis communities across Canada have participated in resource development and benefited from it. Resource projects provide communities with own-source revenue, employment and a future out of poverty.
Our land is sacred to our people. We can participate in resource development while applying our own ways of knowing and traditional knowledge to ensure we are protecting the environment. We take this responsibility very seriously.
Hollywood celebrities: please do not speak for us. We have our own voices and do not need to be spoken for. If you want to help us, support our right to self-determination.