Teen flourishes as a junior black belt, tackles social, political issues

- At just 13-years-old, a valley girl is not only flourishing as a junior black belt -- training with adults twice her age, she's also taking on political issues that she believes in. 

Along with her father, the two led a march to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Kyle Hunt-In-Winter is not a normal teenager. 

"She's extremely active.. she trains six days a week," said John Burns, owner of Martial Arts Academy.

She's a junior black belt and has won numerous awards for her incredible martial arts skills. Her coach sees her as a role model for everyone.

"Her drive to win is second to none.. she's always pushing herself to be the best. She trains with the adults.. she likes to train with the people that push her the hardest so that she can be the best that she can be," said Burns.

"I really enjoy doing it -- it's definitely something I would say it's fun and not just work," she said.

This tough teen is also brave enough to stand up for what she believes in. Along with her father, the two led a march to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"It's very important to protect to the water, everybody needs water to live, so we say water is life or mni wiconi, is how you'd say it in our language. I am actually part of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is the reservation that is dealing with it right now," said Kyle.

Her hard work and dedication have caught the attention of some pretty important people. Next month, she is up for the Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Award, but she takes it all in stride.

"I would not say it's hard -- I would say it's challenging."


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