While former president Barack Obama enjoys a Caribbean vacation, just over a week removed from his final days in his office, another Obama has stepped into the national spotlight.
Malia Obama, the president’s 18-year-old daughter, has been spotted at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in recent days, and according to multiple media reports, she also participated in a Dakota Access Pipeline Protest, seemingly echoing her father’s beliefs on the issue.
Per USA Today, Obama attended the protest Monday, but media coverage was limited because Obama, who has been accepted into Harvard University, is also set to begin an internship with filmmaker Harvey Weinstein in the near future, and Sundance is considered one of the most prestigious film festivals in the country.
But Obama’s political activism on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who made national headlines in late 2016 for its protest against the path of the pipeline through sacred cultural grounds and near water supplies, was highlighted by another famous protester — actress Shailene Woodley.
In an interview with Democracy Now, Woodley, said it was “amazing” to see the elder Obama daughter at the protest.
“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 recognizes, regardless of her last name, that if she doesn’t participate in democracy, there will be no world for her future children,” Woodley continued.
Woodley herself has been a fierce advocate against the pipeline, on which Obama eventually halted construction as hundreds of protesters gathered in North Dakota where the pipeline was set to be laid. President Donald Trump, however, signed executive orders in the past week that cleared the way for construction to resume, per Fortune magazine.
Obama’s political beliefs had been the subject on some scrutiny while her father was still in the White House. The 2016 election marked the first time she was able to vote, and her father revealed in his final press conference that both Malia and her younger sister Sasha were “disappointed” by Trump’s victory, per Politico.
In the same press conference, Obama said neither of his daughters planned on having a political career.