Hey guys, I'm Amber Bracken (@photobracken), I'm a Canadian photographer and member of @roguecanada. Today is my last day of sharing these images from my time in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistance camps at Standing Rock. I spent a total of six weeks over four trips with the #WaterProtectors with the intention of framing the issue in our shared history of colonization. These conflicts between government, industry and indigenous people are neither new or uncommon, but we could learn a lot by listening.
Thank you so much for following along with me this week. Though the Standing Rock camps are mostly gone, the movement that galvanized there is not.
Stolen land - The North Dakota landscape. Many of the charges against water protectors have stemmed from trespassing on pipeline land. Most of the land in question is outside the reserve borders that are currently recognized by the United States Government, but well within the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation, established by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.
The encampment’s challenge to these boundaries is intentional and part of a push to force the government to honour existing treaties. The Fort Laramie Treaty was the last agreement the Sioux signed, nation to nation with the American government. Since 1868, the territory has been clawed back, first with the theft of the Black Hills when settlers discovered gold in 1874, and later with legislation and private sales. Despite this, the territory is still un-ceded, meaning it has never been surrendered or sold by the Sioux.
More recently the reservation has been diminished by the damming of the Missouri River throughout the 1950s and 60s. Without affecting white ranchers or towns, the project flooded 55,944 acres of reserve land, including prime farming land, 95 miles of roads, three rodeo arenas, three sawmills, and 190 houses in Standing Rock, all without consultation. #WPPh16 #standingrock #stolenland #colonization