At Camp with the Standing Rock Pipeline Protesters
I first made the 1,600-mile journey from Berkeley, California, to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in late August and again in early September to document this latest skirmish in the fight to shield fresh water from pollution, to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and to ensure greenhouse gasses stay out of the atmosphere.
When I arrived, I realized there are two major stories unfolding here on the windswept prairie of North Dakota. One of them, the one that has drawn the most media attention, plays out in rallies and hashtags, Facebook Live streams, and confrontations with pipeline security workers. The other is more difficult to see unless you visit the camp itself, where old friends and long estranged tribes have reunited, and people share songs, prayers, and stories as they articulate a future in which tribal lands are no longer national sacrifice zones and the zero-sum logic of industry is not taken for granted.