Shailene Woodley's recent arrest made headlines across the nation, but the actress and activist wants to make sure her arrest is getting attention for the right reasons.
The Divergent star penned an essay for Time magazine to reveal "the truth about my arrest," explaining the importance of her peaceful protest and raising awareness to what society may be blind to.
On Oct. 10, the actress was protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline when she was initially arrested. On Wednesday, Woodley pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal trespass and engaging in a riot.
After explaining why she was standing in solidarity with Native Americans on Indigenous Peoples' Day, and the severity of needing to protect our resources, Shailene began to call out Americans for exploiting Native American traditions 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," she writes.
"We buy plastic teepees from Toys-R-Us and set them up in our living rooms for children to play in. We grow up romanticizing native culture, native art, native history...without knowing native reality."
She continues to state that, "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," and points out the irony in the fact that it was only brought to the forefront after she was taken in by authorities.
"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?"
Regardless, Shailene expressed her gratitude for the well wishes. "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."
She concludes, "I am not scared. I am not afraid. I am grateful, and I am amazed to be standing by the sides of so many peaceful warriors. Standing Rock "protests" are rooted in ceremony and in prayer. I've been there. And all these narratives about riots? Just watch my Facebook livestream and decide for yourself who looks more dangerous: police in riot gear with batons, or native grandmothers and children smudging sage and singing songs.
"Thank you, to all the tribes who have gathered. To all the nations standing as one. To all the people who know that if not we, then who? And if not now, then when? 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?"