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I made an impromptu trip up to Standing Rock Reservation when I read of the arrests of activists standing against the North Dakota Access Pipeline. The physical protest was over by the time I arrived, with construction stopped and an injunction filed by the environmental justice group Earthjustice. With the decision forthcoming, the occupation near the pipeline site, in Cannonball, North Dakota, known as Camp of The Sacred Stones, is growing. I wasn’t working for anyone. I went up to make photos for the sake of making photos of what I feel is an important historical issue. I was asked to stay in the common area of the camp unless I was invited outside. The camp is stockpiling donations from everywhere as far as I could tell. On Saturday afternoon I watched pallets of water arrive, meat and other groceries and blankets. I spoke with a younger guy from Canada named Ernest who said they would be there for as long as it takes. Here are a few photos from the trip.

This is Ernest stacking donated water onto a trailer in the camp. He barley stopped working while I was there. He told me people need water, food, fire and other things and he was there to do his part.
This is Ernest stacking donated water onto a trailer in the camp. He barley stopped working while I was there. He told me people need water, food, fire and other things and he was there to do his part.
A pair of girls get their hair braided in the common area of the camp.
A pair of girls get their hair braided in the common area of the camp.
A camper stands near an upside down U.S. flag in the common are of camp.
A camper stands near an upside down U.S. flag hung in the camp.
The guy on the left, I can't remember his name, grinned when I made this photo then waved me over. He told me just don't photograph any prayers or rituals. Super nice guy.
The guy on the left, I can’t remember his name, grinned when I made this photo then waved me over. He told me just don’t photograph any prayers or rituals. Super nice guy.
Cooking happened pretty much all day while I was there. Here campers cut meat and chicken for stock pots and grills.
Cooking happened pretty much all day while I was there. Here campers cut meat and chicken for stock pots and grills.
A volunteer drops a handful of corn into a kettle in one of the kitchens in the camp.
A volunteer drops a handful of corn into a kettle in one of the kitchens in the camp.
This is Nantinka "Tink" Young of Rapid City, S.D. the "kitchen boss." She keeps all the kitchens operating to feed hundreds.
This is Nantinka “Tink” Young of Rapid City, S.D. the “kitchen boss.” She keeps all the kitchens operating to feed hundreds.
There was a steady stream of volunteers stepping up the split wood.
There was a steady stream of volunteers stepping up the split wood.
Behind the kitchens there were tents full of food and refrigerators running off of generators.
Behind the kitchens, tents full of donated food and refrigerators running off of generators.
A camper carries a case of water away from a loaded trailer.
A camper carries a case of water away from a loaded trailer.
This is Moses Brings Plenty, a an Oglala Lakota television, film, and stage actor, as well as a traditional drummer and singer.
This is Moses Brings Plenty, a an Oglala Lakota television, film, and stage actor, as well as a traditional drummer and singer.
This was pretty much the message, and from what I know its not a stretch. They didn't look to old books to find spirituality, they looked to the earth.
This was pretty much the message, and from what I know its not a stretch. American Indians didn’t look to old books to find spirituality, they looked to the earth. I don’t think that has changed much.

 

 

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