Standing Rock | Oceti Sakowin Camp | Day 1

I arrived at Oceti Sakowin Camp from Omaha, NE very early on the morning of Dec. 4th. I had no idea how eventful the day would be. After a short sleep our group woke at dawn to attend the morning prayer and water ceremony. I dressed poorly and returned to the yurt after to get warmer clothing. This would turnout to be the warmest day in my time at camp, reaching the high 30’s by mid-afternoon. I traveled to a nearby plot of land where BOLD Nebraska had donated supplies for three solar sheds. The sheds were intended to house workers who would be building larger earth lodges nearby. There I met Mekasi and Matthew two Native American folks who were leading construction of the inside of the sheds. Simultaneously 2000+ veterans were arriving at camp. There was a line of cars waiting to enter the camp so when Mekasi, Matthew, and I went back to camp to retrieve the solar panel it took 45+ minutes. We did our best to start insulating and put up plywood panels until the tool batteries died. 

When Mekasi returned he joyfully announced that the Army Corps of Engineers had refused to grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement to drill under Lake Oahe. There was a celebratory air in the camp that I had not expected to see, let alone on my very first day. It didn’t last long as folks quickly began to speculate as to whether or not it would immediately halt construction and drilling. | Photos from 12-04-2016

Oceti Sakowin Camp from a nearby hill

A helicopter flies above Oceti Sakowin Camp

A drone videographer working for Playboy catches their drone

Ross cooking in the yurt

A flare falls above a yurt, in celebration of the Army Corp’s announcement

Fireworks explode in celebration of the Army Corp’s announcment

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