The most revolutionary week of my life, the days I grew the most, was at Standing Rock. I had the chance to watch the grandmothers laugh together, the babies run and play around their tipis, and all of our men sing together at the sacred fire. I felt so proud to be indigenous, and I knew that I would do anything to protect and lead my people when it’s time. I learned to love my roots and who I am, and I was blessed to have the ability to learn how to act as an integral part of my community.
-Lexine Salazar Tsalagi (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Anikwi Clan), age 18, is from Denver, Colorado and is passionate about being a protector, prayer woman, and young leader for my people.