Protesters at a rally in Vancouver in support of pipeline protesters in northwestern B.C. (Darryl Dyck/CP)
This explains the two types of indigenous leadership, what role they each play and why they are often not in agreement.
There is also allegations and in some cases proof of foreign influence in some protests or activism against oil and gas. Sadly often some on both sides of this important issue have resorted to misleading, lies and sometimes worse.
Apparently from this article it is not just a few hereditary leaders that exist and they out number elected chiefs but many no longer active after colonization. They see themselves as caretakers of the land not owners. If including only the active it about equal number but it does not say how many of those support the protests. Many just disagree with who will benefit from the development of the land, the lack of consultation and that the RCMP are in this territory without consent.
It is a grey area for some of pipeline route as it not all treaty land with authority of elected chiefs / bands. It says most of northern BC indigenous territory esz never seeded to the Crown and there is many unsettled land claims.
The situation made worse with many of these chiefs of both types, bands, and members not trusting the police, corporations plus provincial and federal governments based on a trend of behavior of not honoring promises. The government and many Canadians also do not trust at least some of the “elected” chiefs and bands based on a trend of public or transferred funds to honor agreements and treaties being misused.
More info here as well.