First Nations demand apology from William Shatner and Ryan Reynolds

Editorial Staff

“This is a classic example of a rich, elite, removed, urban white men overriding the wishes of vulnerable Indigenous communities.”

A coalition of B.C. First Nations have called on Canadian actors William Shatner and Ryan Reynolds to apologize for a profanity-laced video criticizing the wider industry.

The video was released Thursday by the conservation group Pacific Wild, and features 93-year-old Shatner unleashing a stream of bleeped-out expletives directed at salmon farms – a response to the federal government’s recent decision to extend the facilities’ licences to operate off the B.C. coast for another five years.

On Friday, the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship released a statement calling the video an “atrocious attack” on the dignity of members who “choose to host salmon farming” in their territorial waters.

Watch: Star Trek legend tells salmon industry to ‘F*&% off’ in profanity-laced comedy video

“Sadly, this response from people like Mr. Shatner and Mr. Reynolds is all-to-common in today’s Canada,” reads the statement. “This is a classic example of … rich, elite, removed, urban white men overriding the wishes of vulnerable Indigenous communities,” the statement added.

While Reynolds does not appear in the video, it was created by Maximum Effort, the production company and digital marketing agency he founded.

“We have been the stewards of our lands, waters, and elements for over 10,000 years, including wild Pacific salmon, the life blood of our people,” the statement said. “Due to the impact of colonization on wild salmon stocks, we have had to include salmon farming alongside salmon stewardship to fill the economic gap caused by the decline of wild salmon.”

The coalition is made up of 17 First Nations that hold formal agreements with the salmon farming industry, and claims the sector brings in $133 million to Indigenous communities in the province annually.

To repeatedly say “f*ck off” to a sector that is woven into the social and economic fabrics of a dozen First Nations along BC’s coast implies that you do not care about the human well being of our remote communities that do not have a lot of options to turn to economically. These jobs, this sector, cannot be replaced.

“We are most disappointed in Mr. Reynolds part in this. The caring image he has built for himself, in our eyes, apparently could not be further from the truth after this video was released insulting our people.”

According to the alliance, more than 120 other First Nations in the province support transitioning away from open-net salmon farming.


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