For over ten months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies camped in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing their land and endangering their water. The estimated $3.78 billion project is nearly complete, crossing almost 2,000 miles. Sioux resistance stalled development at the Missouri River, but was overturned by President Trump’s executive order issued just days into his presidency.
Although the pipeline appears to be the issue, the conflict runs much deeper and is rooted in violence that has been lasting for generation. The Nakota, Dakota, Lakota (Sioux) are the people of the Battle of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, driven to starvation by buffalo extinction and robbed of their sacred Black Hills. From their military vehicles, body armoured police have been true to this legacy, indiscriminately using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, percussion grenades and water cannons.
This work seeks to reflect the broader ongoing history of colonization that led to this newest injustice.
Amber Bracken’s interest lies at the junction of photography, journalism and public service with a special focus on issues affecting Indigenous people. With the rise of movements like Idle No More, communities are increasingly empowered in their fight for a more just relationship with governments and non-native people. She is looking for ways to represent and foster that strength while documenting issues around culture, environment and the effects of inter-generational trauma caused by colonialism. She is a Rogue Collective member.