More than week after actress Shailene Woodley's arrest while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the actress has finally broken her silence. Woodley released her first full statement regarding the incident on Oct. 20.
"I was in North Dakota, standing side by side with Native Americans," the Divergent actress wrote in a lengthy statement published by Time magazine. "You know, those who were here before us. Well, guess what, America? They’re still here. And they are still fighting the good fight."
Woodley also criticized society's interest in appropriating Native American customs and culture, yet ignoring the demographic in all other facets. "We wear their heritage, their sacred totems, as decoration and in fashion trends, failing to honor their culture," she continued. "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 concluded her statement by outlining the reason for protesting the Dakota Pipelines, and why others should too. "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."
The actress added, "But hear me loud and clear: If you are a human who requires water to survive, then this issue directly involves you."
The 24-year-old was arrested on Oct. 10, on charges of criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot with 26 other protesters. Woodley, who recorded her entire arrest on Facebook Live, was released from jail on bail on Oct. 17. She's pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Prior to her arrest, the actress openly voiced her support for the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose water supply was being threatened by the pipeline. "Let us bridge these divides. Let us see beyond the illusions in front of us. Let us create a world for our children that promises them rivers to swim in, oceans to explore, and lakes to float upon," the actress captioned a pic of her with a member from the Sioux Tribe.