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malia obama supports the standing rock sioux at sundance

The former first daughter was spotted at a solidarity event hosted by actress Shailene Woodley and Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

by Hannah Ongley
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27 January 2017, 9:05am

Malia Obama has the coolest side hustles. Over the last half of her dad's presidency, the former first daughter interned on Lena Dunham's Girls and did a viral stint of PR for Joey Bada$$'s Brooklyn hip hop collective Pro Era. Just a few days ago, she landed a second internship with Miramax mega-producer Harvey Weinstein. Considering who gave birth to her, it might not come as a surprise that Malia is also dedicating some spare time to humanitarian efforts. On Monday she was seen checking out a Standing Rock solidarity event at Sundance Film Festival. The gathering was hosted by actress Shailene Woodley and tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, to protest the controversial Dakota Access pipeline that Malia's dad ordered be halted last month. 

"It was amazing to see Malia," Shailene told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. "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 recognises, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn't participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children." Unfortunately, the day after the event, Donald Trump signed an executive order to move forward with both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines. 

This isn't the first time Malia has expressed an interest in the conservation of indigenous land. She recently took a secret trip to Bolivia and Peru as a student of There Will Be Dragons — an organisation that encourages participants to "examine current political trends, social movements, and environmental conservation efforts in the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru." Malia performed chores and lived with a family in the tiny central Bolivian town of Tiquipaya, where she was apparently "mesmerised by the Bolivian landscape." We're thrilled to see she's also taking a keen interest in the landscape back home — with a climate change denier now in the White House, we're going to need all the support we can get.

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Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram