2017 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 1st prize

Standing Rock


Amber Bracken

15 November, 2016

Riot police clear marchers from outside a Dakota Access Pipeline worker camp. They were drawing attention to violence against Native American women, exacerbated by the presence of mostly male work crews.


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

Amber Bracken, a lifelong Albertan, is a freelance photojournalist based in Edmonton, Canada, who photographs primarily across western North America to better connect to the glob...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
25.0 mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II

This image is collected in