Photos From Standing Rock After the Decision

Photographer Brian Nevins captures a moment of victory for the Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

By Brian Nevins

December 6, 2016

Standing Rock March

“About the most powerful moment I've experienced in a while. The entire march had stopped on the bridge separating the Standing Rock march from the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was like Moses parting the seas; everyone split the line open. Then people danced and sang down to the front line, with everyone cheering and yelling in unity.” —Brian Nevins 


All Photos By Brian Nevins. Introduction by Joe Spring.


This past Saturday night, Dispatch singer Brad Corrigan called photographer Brian Nevins and told him he wanted to go to Standing Rock. Nevins was on a flight six hours later from Boston. At the time, Corrigan was in Pine Ridge Reservation doing work for his organization Love, Light and Melody, which he’d founded to raise the profile of vulnerable children by telling their stories. Some of the people with him at Pine Ridge wanted to go to Standing Rock to be water protectors. He invited Nevins to join them because the photographer has worked with him on past projects, most notably in Nicaragua.

Both men were present when news moved through the camp that the Army Corps of Engineers would look for an alternative route to the pipeline, instead of drilling near the camp and under the Missouri River. After the announcement, Nevins says the reaction in camp ranged from happy to concerned that the news couldn’t be trusted. He says that people also realized that the forces behind the Dakota Access Pipeline might just wait until Trump is in office to move forward, and that they are resolved to protest until the end.

His photos capture a march that took place after the announcement was made. “It’s a far cry from what it felt like to be there, but I hope it captures our best side of humanity,” says Nevins. “For a day, we were one people with one cause all unified in prayer for the cause of our planet. It brought me to tears. We are truly amazing as humans.” 

—Joe Spring

A first nations marcher

A First Nations marcher 

Standing Rock March

The march stopped at the bridge looking over toward the Dakota Access Pipeline side. The wind, the snow, and the cold only amplified the heart poured into the day. 

Standing Rock Marchers

Water is Life marchers

Standing Rock Marcher

A Standing Rock resident

Veterans at Standing Rock

Veterans and First Nations marchers grab the Standing Rock flag in solidarity. 

Veterans at Standing Rock

Veterans and First Nations members meet in prayer. 

Veterans at Standing Rock

Veterans linked together to form a protection line for the march. 

A veteran at Standing Rock

A veteran forms part of the protection line for the marchers. 

A Lakota Sioux marcher

“The most stunning eyes I've ever seen, from a Lakota Sioux marcher.” —Brian Nevins