The #NoDAPL movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline gained mainstream traction in 2016, when it came to represent not just the urgency of the fight against Big Oil, but the continuing centuries-long stand for native rights. In April 2016, Sioux elder LaDonna Brave Bull Allard established a resistance camp on her land on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Known as Sacred Stone Camp, Allard’s camp helped to open the floodgates for a massive resistance against the pipeline. As thousands of “water protectors” made their way to Standing Rock, other camps were established, the main one of which became known as Oceti Sakowin.
Lining the long entrance to Oceti Sakowin were flags representing the more than 300 Native American tribes and nations who would eventually travel to Standing Rock to unite in peaceful resistance against the pipeline. It was an unprecedented gathering of tribes, many of which had previously considered one another enemies for generations.