The Standing Rock protest has been intensifying as the days go by. Protestors constantly face mass arrests, mace attacks, and beatings from batons. Stars like Shailene Woodley and Mark Ruffalo have shown their support by either participating in-person or raising awareness through the media. Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi took to Instagram this week to show their support from the set of Thor: Ragnarok.
At the same time, Hemsworth addressed a cultural appropriation faux pas he made last year at a party:
Standing with those who are fighting to protect their sacred land and water. #nodapl #waterislife #mniwiconi @taikawaititi
I would also like to take this opportunity to raise something that has been bothering me for sometime. Last New Year’s Eve I was at a “Lone Ranger” themed party where some of us, myself included, wore the traditional dress of First Nations people. I was stupidly unaware of the offence this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue. I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action. I now appreciate that there is a great need for a deeper understanding of the complex and extensive issues facing indigenous communities. I hope that in highlighting my own ignorance I can help in some small way.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Hemsworth joins Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, Nikki Reed, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jaden and Willow Smith, who have all pledged their allegiance in standing with Standing Rock.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and demonstrators are currently protesting to stop production of a 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to Illinois. They recently an uplifting sign of hope and solidarity from Mother Earth when a herd of buffalo suddenly appeared near the protestors’ camp.
Indigenous culture honors American bison as a symbol of sacrifice — bison give their lives to provide food, shelter, and clothing through the use of their meat and their hides. It is believed that as long as buffalo roam free and as long as the herds are bountiful, the sovereignty of indigenous people would remain strong.