Aslan Tudor, who first traveled with his mom Kelly Tudor to Standing Rock when he was just eight-years-old, has written a book about his experience in a book titled “Young Water Protectors: A Story about Standing Rock.”
“I thought it would be a good book to hear about kids in Standing Rock,” said Aslan, who traveled to Standing Rock when he was eight in August of 2016, and had turned 9 by the time he returned in October.
Aslan Tudor, first traveled with his mom Kelly Tudor to Standing Rock when he was just eight-years-old. His sister was there too. Courtesy photo.
Aslan said to Indian Country Today that the first time he arrived in Standing Rock with his mom, things were just getting started, but when he returned the second time around in October, things were much busier. “They had a school with a whole library in it the second time,” he said.
Aslan’s mother Kelly Tudor, who helped Aslan write the book, and who says her grandmother was sold as a child and the family were displaced from the Apache Wars, wanted to support the gathering at Standing Rock.
Kelly Tudor says the first time around things were peaceful and Aslan and other children were able to join in prayer and songs, the situation was more intense the second time around.
“The second time around, a lot of the forces had started going up there. There wasn't law enforcement all over the place the first time when we were there in August. Kids could go up there with us. They were up there singing with us praying with us walking into the pipeline land areas with us.”
Kelly Tudor says the first time around things were peaceful and Aslan and other children were able to join in prayer and songs, the situation was more intense the second time around. Courtesy photo
“He is homeschooled. This way I can give him an accurate and more decolonial education that is culturally relevant. I believe this is what led him to being a published author at his age. And being able to travel with me for things like this. We were at the Native Nations March in DC last year. This year we went to Pine Ridge for a film camp for Native youth (Outlast Film Camp). So now he and my daughter are in a Frank Waln music video (Wokiksuye).
According to Tudor, children spent time at the Defender of the Water school, which was created to care for and teach children of the camp while families were at the pipeline site or volunteering. Tudor said the camp where the children were located was safe and away from conflict.
Tudor is an emergency medical technician and volunteered in the medical tent at the camp.
Aslan and his sister in Standing Rock's camp. Courtesy photo
Kelly Tudor, Aslan's mom told the CBC she typed out his words as he dictated to create the 12-page children's book. “"He wanted to make a resource for younger kids to understand what happened at Standing Rock and why. His book is available on Amazon and through his publisher eaglespeaker.com. He has more book ideas, too,” she said.
Aslan told Indian Country Today he would like to write more books on Native issues. “One of my friends read the book. They liked it.”
Check out Aslan Tudor’s book on Amazon here: