“My son had a purpose,” said Dion’s mother Christina Ortiz. “He had this image that he could help protect the water.

Water is life, that’s why he was there. Whatever he did to protect the water and the Water Protectors, he did out of love.”

“He made himself a warrior and involved himself for the people,” said Martina Ortiz, Dion’s 25-year-old sister. ”He was fighting for something sacred. To us he’s not only a brother and a son, he’s more like a hero to everybody now.”

Dion told the court that he was motivated to pursue his GED and a driver’s license. His mother said this experience is making her baby grow up fast."