In Photos: Northwest Canoe Tribes Arrive at Historic Gathering at Standing Rock

Celebration and solidarity as hundreds of tribes unite behind the Standing Rock Sioux’s opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.
canoe Standing Rock

All photos by Sarah van Gelder. 

At Cannonball, North Dakota, the people keep coming.

The occupation to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline has become the largest gathering of the nation’s tribes in more than 100 years. It’s the first time all seven bands of the Sioux Nation have come together since the Battle of Little Bighorn.

On Thursday, dozens of tribal families from throughout the Northwest arrived by canoe to join the camps along the Missouri River in support of the Standing Rock Sioux. It was a day of celebration and formal greetings as the tribal canoe members arrived and requested permission to come ashore onto Sioux lands. Thousands of people, with nearly 200 tribes represented, are occupying the camps. On Friday, the Department of Justice stepped in and stopped construction after the U.S. District Court had denied the tribe’s request for a temporary injunction.

The North Dakota governor has put the National Guard on standby. The 1,170-mile pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day alongside the reservation and underneath the Missouri River, which provides drinking water to millions of people.

YES! Editor at Large Sarah van Gelder traveled with the Northwest canoe families to Standing Rock. These are her photos of the canoes’ arrival.