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Mark Ruffalo, Snoqualmie Tribe join protest over Canadian pipeline

The Snoqualmie Tribe and Hollywood A-Listers are throwing their support behind the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in protesting the Coastal Gas-Link pipeline.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada — The Snoqualmie Tribe is joining some of Hollywood's biggest A-listers - to end a fracking pipeline in Canada.

Mark Ruffalo, a longtime advocate for Native American rights and a longtime activist against fracking, found out that Hollywood's major bank - City National – is owned by The Royal Bank of Canada, which is helping fund the 420-mile Coastal Gas-Link pipeline - running east to west across British Columbia, about 14-hours north of Seattle.

Ruffalo told KING5, “Most of Hollywood is fighting the brutalization of indigenous people and, and climate change. And while we sleep, we come to find our money has been secretly funding the very things that we've been fighting.”

Extracting oil and gas – fracking - will pump billions of dollars into the Canadian economy and create thousands of jobs.

But the pipeline itself goes right through Wet'suwet'en land and water, and the tribe has to give its consent. Chief Namoks of Wet'suwet'en First Nation told KING-5 that hasn’t happened.

“We've never approved it,” he said. “This pipeline affects the land, the air, the water, our food sources, our sovereignty, our rights and title - and who we are as humans.”

Last week, the Snoqualmie Tribe joined Ruffalo and some other Hollywood heavyweights - from Leonardo DiCaprio to Robert Downey, Jr. to Scarlett Johansson to Ben Stiller and more - declaring its opposition to the pipeline.

Matthew Randazzo, Senior Adviser to Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, told KING5, We hope that this is a turning point that allows Canada and the United States to start looking at their laws, so we don't continue to have to fight these battles every month, in a different part of North America, forever and ever - until we've run out of time.”

“We want to see this shut down,” said Ruffalo.  “I come from a frontline community; I was in upstate New York when the oil and gas industry wanted to frack there. And so I actually lived through this. There's a lot of money on the table. We [in Hollywood] want to see our bank divest from this. Just like the United Nations says, this is an infraction of indigenous rights, and it should be shut down immediately. We're standing behind the UN's decision to do that.”

In a statement to Variety Magazine, Coast Gas Link said, it has tried to engage and consult with the tribes, that it wants to seek “meaningful ways to address their concerns.”

For now, construction on the pipeline continues.

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