Flagstaff teen leads thousand-mile run to Standing Rock

Pipeline is said to have irreversible damage and implications for generations to come.

PHOENIX - Fifteen-year-old Riley Ortega, who is Navajo and Hopi, left Flagstaff on Friday and will run for one week to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in a show of support for protestors standing their ground against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"I think it's really horrible because the police are crossing barriers that have been established for many years and treaties," Ortega said. "That's one of the main reasons I wanted to do this."

The run is coming one day after more violent clashes between law enforcement and protestors that resulted in the arrests of more than 100 people. 

Many of the protestors say they're unarmed and are calling out law enforcement for showing up heavily armed and in riot gear. 

Officials say logs and water bottles were thrown at officers and several cars were set on fire.

The run to Standing Rock is being dubbed the "Perseverance for Preservation" run and the group expects to arrive in North Dakota by next Friday.

The runners have set up a GoFundMe account to support their travels, click here to donate.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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