Dear Readers, I am a photographer based in New York, dedicated to environmental and human rights issues. I am starting this feed to share current stories and images, while working on longer term projects.
I am currently on my second trip to North Dakota, at the Standing Rock Reservation. Over 300 tribes from around the globe have come together to unite against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172 mile pipeline proposed to carry crude oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to storage facilities in Illinois. The pipeline is currently 88% complete with a its last stretch to run beneath the Missouri River, just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which is their primary source for drinking water.
Since April 2016 thousands of protestors, or water protectors as they prefer to be called, have set up camp at the site of the Missouri river crossing. Over the past months, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department along with various state and local law enforcement have utilized military-style weapons against the water protectors, including tear gas, concussion grenades, sound cannons, rubber bullets, and water cannons in subfreezing temperatures. This has lead to the injuries of hundreds of people and more than 500 arrests.
In many ways this resistance is both novel and a perpetuation of a tortured history. The scope of this communion of tribes has never been seen before, yet the endless fight of indigenous people to protect and maintain their land has been carved into America’s past.