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

Standing Rock


Amber Bracken

14 September, 2016

A stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline on which construction has been halted.

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. Large protests at Lake Oahe gained national and international attention. Traditional religious ceremonies and prayer formed part of the day at the protesters’ camp.


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
120.0 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

This image is collected in