Shailene Woodley is speaking out about her controversial arrest.
As you know, last week, the 24-year-old was charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot after protesting the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Sioux County, North Dakota.
In her first full response since pleading not guilty on Wednesday, the Divergent actress penned a powerful essay for Time magazine revealing “the truth” about her arrest.
Explaining why she was standing in solidarity on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Shailene called out Americans for taking advantage of Native Americans without respecting their culture:
“We wear their heritage, their sacred totems, as decoration and in fashion trends, failing to honor their culture. Headdresses, feathers, arrows. Moccasins, sage, beadwork. You know what I’m talking about, Coachella. Walking around the flea market this weekend, I can’t even tell you how many native references I saw being used in a way that feeds our western narrative.”
The Fault In Our Stars actress continued:
“Treaties are broken. Land is stolen. Dams are built. Reservations are flooded. People are displaced. Yet we fail to notice. We fail to acknowledge. We fail to act.”
Miz Woodley then pointed out that it took her — a “white, non-native woman” — to bring attention to such an important issue:
“So much so that it took me, a white non-native woman being arrested on Oct 10th in North Dakota, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to bring this cause to many people’s attention. And to the forefront of news publications around the world. The day I was detained, 26 others had to dress in orange as well, as they were booked into the Morton County jail. Did you hear about them? Twenty-six men and women who put their livelihoods on the line, to protect their children, your children and my future children.”
As for why Shailene believes the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline could be so detrimental, she explained:
“When the Dakota Access Pipeline breaks (and we know that too many pipelines do), millions of people will have crude-oil-contaminated water. I know it is easy to be apathetic or detached from the reality that fossil fuel contamination could actually affect you and the ones you love├óΓé¼┬ª But hear me loud and clear: If you are a human who requires water to survive, then this issue directly involves you. Don’t let the automatic sink faucets in your homes fool you├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥that water comes from somewhere, and the second its source is contaminated, so is your bathtub, and your sink, and your drinking liquid. We must not take for granted the severity of this truth.”
The California native concluded by expressing gratitude to her supporters:
“I appreciate all of you out there who supported me while I was arrested. I am humbled and grateful for your love, your prayers and your hashtags.”
And adding a call to action:
“Simply feeding off the hype of a celebrity’s arrest ain’t going to save the world. But, standing together will. Please stand in solidarity with the Sioux people of Standing Rock Reservation to ensure that we still have rivers to swim in, springs to drink from and lakes to float on. Will you join us?”
You can read the rest of Shailene’s response HERE.
[Image via Shailene Woodley.]