Speaking with Democracy Now this week, the “Divergent” actress revealed that Malia Obama was also in attendance at the event organized in solidarity with the people of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
“It was amazing to see Malia. I saw her last night when we did the event with [Standing Rock] Chairman Dave Archambault. And it was incredible to see her there,” Woodley explained. “To witness a human being and a woman coming into her own outside of her family and outside of the attachments that this country has on her, but someone who’s willing to participate in democracy because she chooses to, because she recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children.”
Obama, who joined her family on a Palm Springs vacation following Donald Trump’s inauguration, has been reportedly spotted attending screenings at the festival all week. The 18-year-old recently secured an internship with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but it’s unclear whether she attended Sundance in a professional capacity.
Woodley has been one of most high-profile advocates against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would carry crude oil across sacred lands, potentially contaminating the population’s fresh water source and disturbing sacred grounds. She and 26 others were arrested for criminal trespassing while protesting the pipeline in October.
Amid massive protests at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the Obama administration halted construction on the pipeline two months later, which was hailed as a significant victory for indigenous people everywhere. In January, President Trump reversed the decision by signing an executive order to continue building on the land.
But Woodley and other protesters plan to challenge Trump’s decision and “mobilize” following the setback.
“What we could do now as a population, as a society, is to hold our corporations accountable and hold our banks accountable, because there are a lot of banks that are invested in this pipeline,” she told MSNBC. “Regardless of any executive order or what our politicians want to do, if there’s no money invested in the pipelines, then they can’t be built.”