By Kelsey Duchesne
Thanksgiving has always had a troubling history, but this year's felt especially uncomfortable as indigenous people and their allies protested the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock in North and South Dakota. While many public figures, including Ava DuVernay and Lupita Nyong’o, took to social media to remind us all what matters this holiday, another admirable A-lister, Jane Fonda, traveled to Standing Rock to help serve food to protestors.
The actress and activist donated 7 butchered bison to the meal at Standing Rock High School, and shared her experience at the protest with Indian Country. Fonda, who has protested on behalf of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and Wounded Knee in the 1970's, was humbled and in awe of the protestors at Standing Rock. She spoke about the passion, love, and strength exemplified during the protest, despite variables like temperatures dropping and police brutality.
"One of the things that moves me so much is that its the youth have been in the leadership. I asked the chairman where the strategic focus on water came from, and he said it came from the young people. They said, 'we’re going to protect our water,'" Fonda told Tracy Rector of Longhouse Media for Indian Country Today Media Network.
"Its funny, because when you're on the outside you hear all these stories about violence, and its simply not true. I've rarely seen so much love, gratitude, determination, resilience," Fonda continued. "I feel so hopeful after being here, because of the way people are treating each other, and their attitude about everyone, including the police. I heard people talking about how they would like to bring this delicious food to the police, but were afraid if they got too close they would be shot at with water and tar gas and bullets."
Fonda concludes the interview by calling this protest "historic" and commending people from all over the world, including Ecuador and China, for traveling to Standing Rock to protest.
Watch Fonda's interview below, and if it's making you feel all the feels like us, you can donate to the Sioux Tribe and their efforts here.