'We are protectors of water, and we will stand strong and protect the water for future generations.'
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Until recently, most of the voices raised in protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been those of adults and elders. That’s starting to change, as Native American youth make their voices heard in opposition to the pipeline. That’s no coincidence, according to Layha Spoonhunter, a youth leader and representative of the International Indigenous Youth Council. “Native youth are very proactive in the movement,” Spoonhunter says. “This is something that has been foretold through prophesies and prayed for by our elders; that our nations would come together as one, and you’re seeing people from all over the world coming and standing in solidarity.”