Her Daughter's Assignment Was To 'Dress Like An Indian,' So She Made This Outfit

A brilliant compromise.

As Americans celebrated Thanksgiving with their families across the country, the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters held their ground at Standing Rock as the rumors of police raids ultimately came to pass. It was a particularly somber holiday for Native American communities protesting alongside the Standing Rock Sioux Nation as the threat of the pipeline's construction on their sacred burial grounds and clean water supply hung in the air. While it seems like the protest has yet to illicit a response from president-elect Donald Trump and his tight-knit circle, the pipeline protestors have garnered national attention, chiefly through a strong social media push.

Tremeka Greenhouse is one of those following the #NoDAPL protests closely. So when her daughter Nyemah brought back a Thanksgiving assignment earlier this month to "dress like an Indian," Greenhouse decided that they'd put together an outfit that showed their support for the DAPL protestors.

Greenhouse initially wanted to skip the assignment altogether, since dressing "like an Indian" is widely recognized as appropriative and disrespectful of Native American cultures, but settled on something even better — a #NoDAPL protestor. 

 "I explained to her what the #NoDAPL protester were doing and why what they are doing is so important, she was excited and starting asking a lot of questions," Greenhouse told A Plus in an email. "It was a great teaching moment for the both of us."

Greenhouse and her older daughter Taniyah used a pillowcase to make a vest on which they wrote, "Water is life. #NoDAPL." Nyemah wore the vest and a headband, and posed for a photo with her fist in the air.


Greenhouse told The Huffington Post that she encourages her four daughters to speak up when they see something they disagree with. They didn't received any negative feedback from the school for the outfit, Greenhouse added. 

Taniyah's tweet, too, received overwhelmingly positive comments. "Honestly, I was not expecting all of the responses that Nyemah's picture has gotten. I am truly shocked," Greenhouse said. "I believe it was so well received because it shows solidarity. We support Standing Rock wholeheartedly and hope that there is a positive outcome out of the protests."

The pipeline protest has been a hot-button issue that's been boosted by prominent politicians like Bernie Sanders and Gabbard Tulsi, as well as actress Shailene Woodley. Greenhouse added that she hoped Nyemah's picture shows those at Standing Rock: "we see you, we hear you and we support you." 

In the meantime as protestors prepare for the icy winter, supporters are sending supplies and donating money to shore up their means. But whether they can weather the season — and an incoming Trump administration — remains to be seen.

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