2017 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Stories, 1st prize

Standing Rock


Amber Bracken

13 November, 2016

A man waters his horse, an animal central to Sioux culture.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,886-kilometer-long underground oil pipeline project designed to transport oil from North Dakota to a shipping terminal in Illinois, USA. By 2016, most of the pipeline was complete, but the section closest to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation still awaited federal approval. The Standing Rock Sioux people opposed the DAPL, fearing water contamination and damage to sacred tribal sites. A stretch of the pipeline was set to run under the Missouri River—the prime source of drinking water for the reservation. The temporary camp at Lake Oahe gained national and international attention. Traditional religious ceremonies and prayer formed part of the day at the camp.

About the photographer

Amber Bracken

After getting her start as a staffer in daily newspapers, she has moved on to a freelance career and the pursuit of long-term projects. She has since worked with many clients, in...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
50.0 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

This image is collected in