Warriors of North Dakota

MJ, one of the masked warriors in the camp patrolling with his horse Champagne. Drugs/violence/guns strictly banned at the camp and it was very peaceful. There was so much praying and singing throughout my stay. 

It all started when...

An oil company which is under investigation by the Canadian government for laying faulty pipes underground and causing a lot of environmental disasters decides to build a $3.8 Billion pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. Same company tried to bring the same oil a.k.a environmentally worst oil due to its carbon footprint through Minnesota. After four years of legal battle and the unity shown by the activists, native tribes and concerned Minnesotans, the company pulled out of Minnesota, trying North Dakota as this state has almost no environmental protection laws, a governor who is accused of being concerned about his re-election and being in need of big campaign donors.

My photographer friend, Hikmet Sir and I went to North Dakota to document the standoff between the Dakota Access Pipeline Company and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe supported by more than 100 indigenous tribes from all around the United States and the world for Magna Collective. While most mainstream media outlets turned a blind eye on a huge standoff, Democracy Now (democracynow.org) had a very objective, detailed coverage of what's been going on in North Dakota since April 1st. Those who join the fight against the construction of this giant pipeline call themselves Protectors and do not like to be called as "protestors". They protect the water from the Black Snake. Water is life, water is a basic human right and Natives believe that the water is the First Medicine! All starts with it, all depends on it.

*All photos on this page are taken at the Red Warrior Camp, often confused with the Sacred Stone Camp and are registered with the U.S. Copyrights Office. 

 

Mni Wiconi (pronounced Mini Wee-cho-nee) means Water is Life in Lakota language was written everywhere.

Mni Wiconi (pronounced Mini Wee-cho-nee) means Water is Life in Lakota language was written everywhere.