While much of the country celebrated Thanksgiving, federal officials ordered the eviction of Oceti Sakowin Camp, a central encampment for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
In the last week, reports of police using concussion grenades, water cannons, and tear gas on members of the Standing Rock Sioux and gathered Water Protectors resulted in dozens of activists being hospitalized. What comes next remains to be seen. Over the weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers ordered an eviction of Oceti Sakowin Camp by Dec. 5. On Nov. 27, the agency updated its eviction notice to say it "has no plans for forcible removal. But those who choose to stay do so at their own risk ... [and] will be considered unauthorized and may be subject to citation under federal, state, or local laws."
Nearly 1,500 veterans, EMTs, and firefighters have pledged to arrive to camp on Dec. 4 to stand in support of the Water Protectors, and there are signs that the militarized response to the protests is wearing on North Dakota’s resources.
Photojournalist Heather Wilson, Digital and Creative Director for PICO, traveled to the encampment at Standing Rock. She writes:
“Every elder spoke of the necessity of holding love in one's heart while preparing food, providing medical care, or standing on the front line. The call is to protect the Mother of whom we are all a part — no matter what side you are standing on. ...Family, prayerfully working to keep our earth safe for the generations to come. Because #WaterIsLife.”
Learn more at Stand With Standing Rock.