Getty photographer Scott Olsen captures DAPL protest scenes from the Oceti Sakowin Camp, in the Rock Sioux Reservation in December of 2016.  This camp is located outside the census-designated place of Cannon Ball, in the northeast Sioux County, North Dakota. Native Americans and activists, called "water protectors”, have been at the Oceti Sakowin for several months protesting the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In a fierce winter storm, the water protectors are joined by military veterans from around the country.

 

The Dakota Access Pipeline, also called the Bakken Pipeline, is 1,172 miles long would transport oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois. Protests to the DAPL stemmed from concerns for the environmental impact of the pipeline, and the destruction of land sacred to the Sioux people of North Dakota.

 

The $3.78 billion project was announced to the public in June 2014, and construction began in the summer of 2016. It is estimated that over 15,000 people showed up near and in Standing Rock Reservation to protest construction of the DAPL over the course of several  months in late 2016. Despite these months of protesting, an order from former president Donald Trump to expedite the project alongside “military style counterterrorism measures” would see the completion of the project in 2017.

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Winter brings Military Vets to Standing Rock

An activist fights the wind as while walking along Flag Road in Oceti Sakowin Camp as blizzard conditions grip the area around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 6, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Despite blizzard conditions, military veterans march in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Over the weekend a large group of military veterans joined native Americans and activists from around the country who have been at the camp for several months trying to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Caption by Getty Images.

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Neil Gordon secures the base of a teepee at Oceti Sakowin Camp as blizzard conditions grip the area around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 6, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Military veterans are briefed on cold-weather safety issues and their overall role at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Winds whip across Oceti Sakowin Camp as blizzard conditions grip the area around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 6, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

Military veterans march in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images. 

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Jarrod Phillips and Air Force veteran from St. Louis, Missouri serves stew to other veterans at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Despite blizzard conditions, military veterans march in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Martan Mendenhall, an Army veteran and Blackfoot Indian, joined other military veterans in a march to in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on  December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images. 

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Military veterans march through blizzard conditions in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Despite blizzard conditions, military veterans march in support of the "water protectors" at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 5, 2016. Caption by Getty Images.

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Activists at Oceti Sakowin near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation brace for sub-zero temperatures expected overnight on December 6, 2016.  Caption by Getty Images.