image credit: Jade Beall
I've been friends with Jade on Facebook for a year or so now. I became acquainted with her through her gorgeous photography of mothers, and fell only further into adoration as I saw all of the beauty that Jade captures, and that she herself possess.
One of her most recent projects brings attention to the Dakota Access Pipeline, sharing the story of those standing in peaceful protest.
I asked Jade if I could share her photos, and their story, here, and she graciously said yes.
I had the honor and privilege to make these photos mid October, 201610.14.16 What has been called one of the largest gathering of different tribes from all parts of North America united as one to protect the Sioux land, which for many represents all of their land, from the "The Black Snake" (Dakota Access Pipe Line) in North Dakota.
The beautiful humans defending their collective desire to save their sacred land call themselves 'protectors' rather than what media tends to call them, protesters. The humans are protecting their land completely and entirely non-violently. Every day that the protectors march to the front line, with the goal of blocking access to the building of the pipeline which they refer to as The Black Snake, there is a ceremony and prayer to send them off the peaceful warriors and the same intentional ceremony of love and respect when they return.
Just last weekend (October 22nd and 23rd) hundreds of protectors were maced, beaten with batons (the police armed with assault rifles), and hundreds taken to jail as they peacefully stood in the way of construction of the pipe line. The police are also shooting down with rubber bullets the drones that the water protectors which are filming the police brutal interactions with the peaceful protectors.
The pipeline was originally routed to go through Bismark, the capital of North Dakota and the largest city in the state. After consideration, the pipeline was re-routed to go through Sioux land and under their sacred Missouri river and sacred burial sites. Dakota Access Pipeline assures the tribe that the pipe is completely safe and will not damage their water. But if that was the case, why not build it as they originally planned, through Bismark?
The lack of media attention is noticeable and deeply questionable(besides the reporting of Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!) and the amount of unjustified brutality of the police against the protectors, not to mention the violation the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie of when "The United States acknowledged that all the land covered by the treaty was Indian territory and did not claim any part of it."
Special love and gratitude to the beautiful Wayne Martin Belger who was the original inspiration for our trip and who also made powerful fine art portraits of the water protectors and helped me with my shoots as well. We make a love-filled team.
The lovely and tender Dan Nanamkin of the Colville/Nez Perce Tribe and his beautiful dogs. Dan left his job to give everything he has to protect the water and work the front lines of #NoDAPL.
Dan says, "I am willing to die for this cause, for my relatives, for our mother earth."
The powerful and gorgeous elder Dona Lyn, from Southern New Mexico, facilitating support, prayer, ceremony and love for the water protectors of #NoDAPL on the front line. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The energetic, passionate and beautiful Carol, from the Paiute Tribe of Bishop, CA.
The powerful and beautiful Daphne, a "Traditional Practitioner" helping the water protectors @ #standingrock #NoDAPL that need healing. Daphne was a midwife for over 30 years. Now this beautiful human helps other humans who are ill with her herbs and natural remedies.
You can find her work at: www.zaniyan.org, and her herbal remedies at: eagletreeherbs.com
Carol, from the Paiute tribe and a friend she had just made, a woman water protector who works the front lines who's name I did not get but who was born in Standing Rock and from the Sioux tribe.