The Faces of Standing Rock

Water Protector and his horse at the front lines. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White special to WhoWhatWhy
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and protesters have won a major victory. After months of protests and sometimes violent confrontations with police, the Army Corps of Engineers decided not to grant a permit for the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline to continue its path through the area. The pipeline will have to take an alternative route. Members of the Sioux Tribe had previously expressed concerns about the possibility of their water becoming contaminated because of the oil pipeline. They also claimed that the pipeline would traverse sacred burial ground. The protesters are celebrating victory, but already some are calling for caution as the policy and actions of an incoming Trump administration are not yet fully known.

While this development is an immediate victory for the Sioux Tribe and those gathered with them in the harsh cold, many are now seeing this as a blueprint for effecting change in other related areas of concern nationwide, whether fracking contamination, climate change, or the broad issue of corporate power. So where is the next Standing Rock?

WhoWhatWhy has had several reporters/photographers on the ground in Standing Rock. We present to you below some of their photos as a snapshot of a hard-fought — albeit tentative — victory. Stay tuned for more from them.

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National Indian Youth Council member who assists with direct action training for newcomers. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White.

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Lakota elder waits with worry by the river. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Nervous horse knows a storm is coming. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Huddling by the fire to stay warm. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Medicinal plants for fellow protesters. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Muslims stand with Standing Rock Sioux. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Lakota woman cries at front lines. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Lakota elder speaks at front lines.  Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Water Defenders watch as police officers threaten to arrest them.  Photo credit: Avery Leigh White 

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Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Undercover DAPL security agent’s truck afire.  Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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The front lines, filled-with-tear-gas, rubber bullets, and water hoses. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Water Defenders try to protect themselves with makeshift shields. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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This will not protect her from the cold, especially after she is sprayed with water. Photo credit: Avery Leigh White

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Why? Photo credit: Avery Leigh White


Related front page panorama photo credit: Water Protector (Avery Leigh White special to WhoWhatWhy).

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