The Dakota Access Pipeline runs 1,100 miles long and is part of a $4.8 billion project to carry oil from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The current approved pipeline crosses Missouri close to the Standing Rock reservation and parts of North Dakota that were supposed to be given to Native Americans under an 1851 treaty. The pipeline will carry approximately 470,00 barrels per day with its highest capacity being 570,000.
Because it will cross sacred land and because of the dangers of oil spills that will possibly affect not only Native Americans but also millions of Americans’ water source, Native Americans and activists from all regions of the US have gathered around the Standing Rock reservation to protest the building of these pipelines. People have traveled thousands of miles to rest in handmade teepees and suffer through summer heats and harsh winds as winter approaches. Here, these people gather in peace and unison to protect the largest resource for us here on Earth. Natives gather in prayer for their lands and hold the patience it takes to be part of a months long protest. Unlawful arrests have been alleged, people have been injured by guard dogs or disrespected for confronting the authorities who continue to push for the building of the pipeline.
People in other parts of the country and throughout the world, in places like Norway, have gathered in protest of these pipelines as well, standing in solidarity with the people at Standing Rock.
Photographer Molly Steele has set up camp in Standing Rock and dwells with the natives bringing updates to those who are not able to join the fight through Instagram (@Moristeele). She has brought updates about the teepee making progress for the natives and the setting up of the camps, the fires across security checkpoints and the progress they are making in getting better resources for the camp. She has also set a GoFundMe page for the supplies needed at camp, for those who need the funds to get transportation and supplies for the camps and to bring aid to the Native Americans.
Thousands have also brought awareness and solidarity to the issue through social media through hashtags #NODAPL, #istandwithstandingrock and #Waterislife.
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