5-Year-Old Turns School Project About 'Indians' Into a Kickass #NoDAPL Protest


We always kind of figured that, at this point, we lived in a world where everyone knew that calling members of the Native American community "Indians" was inaccurate and offensive. But we're not there yet. A school in Louisiana asked at least one student to dress up like an "Indian" for a project around Thanksgiving time, and the older sister and mom of 5-year-old Nyemah Greenhouse kinda sorta had a problem with that. Their solution -- which Nyemah agreed to and apparently enjoyed -- ended up being a really great protest on both a small and large scale.


The small-scale protest was against the school -- Nyemah's costume made it clear that she (and her family) disagreed with using the term "Indian" instead of Native American and with dressing up altogether. The large-scale protest was against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is currently threatening many Native American communities' access to clean water, as well as acres of their sacred ground.

More from CafeMom: This Mom Is Protesting for #NoDAPL With Her 3-Year-Old Daughter -- Here's Why

And all that looked like this:

Nyemah's mom, Tremeka Greenhouse, told Mic, "I was kinda shocked .... I was like, 'We're not doing this project,' but Nyemah, she didn't want to get into any trouble."

But, she said, after she explained what was happening at Standing Rock, Nyemah seemed interested in staging a small protest of her own. So that's what they did.

More from CafeMom: 12 Celebs Who Stood Up to Make the World a Better Place This Year

We love this. Even if Nyemah doesn't understand how big and complex of an issue the Dakota Access Pipeline is, we love seeing compassionate kids who can understand how other communities are hurting and want to do something about it. We love seeing parents who teach values as big as activism and as small as referring to people and groups by their preferred names. And we love seeing families as close and loving as this one seems to be teach each other about the world and what it needs from us.

The final piece of good news is this: Nyemah didn't get in trouble for her costume at school. Tremeka didn't get any feedback at all, which could mean they'll still use this assignment next year. But even if that happens, we know Nyemah will have something to say about it. And we can't wait to hear it.

Read More >