Demanding the environmental movement contend first and foremost with the fundamental linkages between colonialism and climate change, Indigenous youth across Native North America are mounting resistance efforts to protect their ancestral homelands from further exploitation.
Upon learning the federal courts upheld the rights of youth on April 8, 2016, in a landmark constitutional climate change case brought forward by Our Children’s Trust (representing 21 youth plaintiffs) against the US federal government and fossil fuel industry, Roske-Martinez made the following public statement:
When those in power stand alongside the very industries that threaten the future of my generation instead of standing with the people, it is a reminder that they are not our leaders. The real leaders are the twenty youth standing with me in court to demand justice for my generation and justice for all youth. We will not be silent, we will not go unnoticed, and we are ready to stand to protect everything our “leaders” have failed to fight for. They are afraid of the power we have to create change. And this change we are creating will go down in history.