Justin Bieber Defended By Canadian Aboriginal Group Over His Controversial 'Free Gas' Remarks (EXCLUSIVE)
"I'm actually part Indian. I think Inuit or something?" Bieber was quoted as saying in Rolling Stone magazine's August issue. "I'm enough per cent that in Canada I can get free gas."
But the organization that chided the pop star is now thanking him, Celebuzz has learned.
“Justin Bieber has done us a favor,” The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' national chief Betty Ann Lavallée told Celebuzz.
Bieber’s remarks initially riled up the Ottawa based group, which said his claim that "Aboriginal people are entitled to free gas is simply not true."
"These kinds of remarks are another example of what Aboriginal Peoples in Canada struggle with every day," she added, in her statement on August 3.
"It promotes the misconception that we are somehow getting a free ride. This simply is not the case and we are concerned that many people may believe what he said."
Now, Lavallee is saying Bieber “has nothing to apologize for.”
“We are not angry and Mr. Bieber has really done us a great favor for the simple fact that it is not unique. I commend the young man, in a way. He acknowledged his heritage. He opened up.
“We have all kinds of young Aboriginal people living in urban and rural centers sometimes who make these same statements."
“We have Canadians who actually believe that they get a free ride and this is simply not true.”
The organization, which represents off-reserve status and non-status Metis and First Nations Canadians throughout Canada, would like to start a debate this fall as a national discussion to educate people and debunk a lot of these myths – and would like to invite the superstar to join the discussion.
“I think he would have lots to offer to the debate," Lavallée said. “He can be a role model to young Aboriginal people living off reserve today.”