When the US federal government announced that it would not be issuing the permit necessary for continuing construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were overjoyed. The announcement marked a decisive victory in combating environmental racism.
Over 200 Native Americans nations and their allies celebrated the unexpected turning point. Yet, at the center of it all is a 13-year-old water-warrior named Tokata Iron Eyes, who lives on the Standing Rock reservation.
"You helped start this movement, didn't you?" Social activist and author Naomi Klein asked Iron Eyes on December 4, to which the 13-year-old revealed the origin of the action against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
"This entire movement was brought up by the youth," Tokata Iron Eyes told Klein. "It just started so small and then this entire camp was built.. the easement for DAPL was denied… [I feel] like I got my future back."
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.